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Historic Place Category 1
Pt Allot 106 Sec 6 SBRS of Auckland (CT 185707), North Auckland Land District
Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)
The idea of erecting a war memorial at Auckland Grammar School was first mooted in 1919 although it was not until 1921 that a competition was held for its design. From the 25 entries received, Prouse and Gummer won the commission.
Construction began a year later and the memorial was unveiled on 19 December 1922 by the Governor General Lord Jellicoe. The memorial commemorates the 268 Auckland Grammar School Old Boys who lost their lives in World War I.
The court and flanking walls were erected to commemorate the 342 Old Boys who fell in World War II. This addition was unveiled by the Governor-General Sir Willoughby Norrie on Anzac Day 1953.
The Auckland Grammar School War Memorial commemorates those Old Boys of the School who fell in two World Wars, and whose names are inscribed on bronze tablets attached to the base of the memorial.
The Auckland Grammar School War Memorial combines the exemplary design skills of William Gummer, in partnership with William Prouse, and Richard Gross' fine sculpting. Highly symbolic, its vertical emphasis and outstretched figure are quite distinctive. It is an elegant design and a fitting monument to the school's fallen of the two World Wars.
The memorial is prominent within the school grounds and clearly visible from Mountain Road.
The Auckland Grammar School War Memorial consists of an octagonal base and an octagonal obelisk surmounted with a bronze figure. Attached to each face of the octagonal base is a cast bronze tablet with an inscription of names of Old Boys who fell in World War I.
The slightly tapering stone column of the memorial reaches a height of about 15 metres (50 feet) and the eight faces of the octagonal shaft symbolise the eight cardinal virtues. Near the apex of the column are a number of Roman fasces symbolising the authority of the State over the individual, a medieval cross symbolising sacrifice and a medieval sword pointing downwards, a symbol of peace.
The Art Nouveau style bronze figure surmounting the column is that of a boy with one arm outstretched skyward, a symbol of aspiration and inspiration.
1953 - The court and flanking walls were erected in memory of the Old Boys who fell in World War II.
- Original Construction: 1922 (circa)
- Addition: 1953 (circa)
Reinforced concrete foundation; New South Wales sandstone column; bronze sculpture.
- Auckland Grammar School Chronicle,Second term 1921; Third term 1921; Second term 1922; Third term 1922
- Auckland Weekly News,21 April 1921
- New Zealand Herald,19 December 1922, p 10;
20 December 1922, pp 8,10;
29 December 1964
- An Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Government Printer, Wellington, 1966
- New Zealand Historic Places Trust,Frank Rogers, Report on Auckland Grammar School War Memorial
- Kieran J Shanahan, The Work of William H. Gummer, Architect, Thesis, University of Auckland, Auckland, 1983
- Paul Tritenbach, Auckland's Historic Schools, Auckland's Historic Schools' Press, Auckland, 1984
This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
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