Town memorial

The students view an image of a town memorial. A visit to your local town memorial would be an excellent alternative hook.

Clevedon Memorial, Clevedon/Te Wairoa.(external link)

Clevedon Memorial, Clevedon/Te Wairoa.


Local war memorials exist in most towns and come in many different kinds and styles. The obelisk, or four-sided pillar, is a common form, but there are also memorials in the form of figures or other symbolic shapes. Many memorials are also functional: there are memorial halls, bridges, gates, parks, and more.

Most war memorials name the local men and women who were killed while at the various wars New Zealanders have participated in.

A class visit to your local memorial may inspire a new perspective on a community landmark that is often taken for granted. During the visit, the students can sketch the memorial, take photographs, read and record the words that explain the memorial, or make a rubbing of the text.

Key questions

  • What can we observe?
  • What do we already know?
  • How might people view this memorial in different ways?

Possible discussion questions:

  • Where is your local war memorial?
  • What does the memorial look like? Why do you think it is built in the shape that it is?
  • When was your local memorial built, and is there a story behind this?
  • What dates can you see on the memorial, and what do the dates represent?
  • Do you recognise any names on the memorial?
  • What are some other words or pictures that are on or near the memorial?
  • What do you think about the fact that most memorials only list those who died, and not those who served during the wars?
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  • Print.
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