Tauranga waterfront's Field of Remembrance was relocated to Memorial Park yesterday before the Armistice Day Centenary service tomorrow.

November 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I after four years of brutal conflict, when more than 18,000 New Zealanders died.

More than 41,000 others were wounded or fell ill.

Among the more 18,000 who died were 109 servicemen from Tauranga. To honour their sacrifice, a named white cross has been erected in the Field of Remembrance.


Fighting in WW1 ceased on November 11, 1918 at 11 am.

Tomorrow, the city's official Armistice Centenary service at Memorial Park will begin with a "march on" parade led by the Tauranga Pipe Band at 10.45am.

A minute's silence will then be observed at 11am, followed by a karakia (prayer) and welcome by Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless.

Next will be prayers and scripture readings, and a Roll of Honour with local students laying poppies and a rosemary on the corresponding 109 white crosses.

Brownless said it would be a moving commemoration service.

"We will remember our fallen and the centenary of the Armistice that finally brought peace and I invite everyone to use this opportunity to connect with our own history," he said.

"The First World War has an impact on almost every family at that time, and it is important that we remember this significant day in our history.

"We will join the nationwide effort to recreate the roaring chorus that announced peace in 1918 by incorporating Dave Dobbyn's song Welcome Home.


"With 109 white crosses and 320 large-scale poppies, it will set the scene for the service at the cenotaph and a whole day of remembrance for everyone to participate in."

The poppies have been painted by children from Tauranga and the Western Bay district.

Brownless urged as many people as possible to join the important day of remembrance and to visit the 109 named crosses representing Tauranga's men who died in the WWI.

"I also encourage people to explore the stories of our soldiers who made it back to Aotearoa at the Homecomings: From Tauranga to the Trenches exhibition."

Groups wishing to march in the parade should assemble by 10.15am next to the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre.

The service will go ahead rain or shine, and attendees are urged to bring a hat and apply sunscreen.

A free park and ride service to Memorial Park will be available at Tauranga Boys' College at 9.30am, from Mount Maunganui RSA at 10am and Tauranga RSA at 10.15am.

Parking for mobility cardholders is available outside the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre.

Road closures will be in place on Fraser St between Eleventh and Thirteenth Aves and on Eleventh Ave between Fraser St and Devonport Rd from 9am to 2pm.