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Passchendaele commemorated as part of WW1 Memorial Forest

Published: Mon 9 Oct 2017 04:04 PM
Battle of Passchendaele commemorated as part of WW1 Memorial Forest project
When the New Zealanders' attack at Passchendaele was called off at 3pm on the afternoon of 12 October 1917, 842 Kiwis had been killed and several thousand more wounded.
It is the most lives lost in a single day in New Zealand's military history.
The World War I Memorial Forest site at the new Kaimarama Cemetery on SH25 just south of Whitianga pays tribute to the New Zealand men killed on that blackest of days, as well as the hundreds of others who fell in the ultimately unsuccessful months-long campaign to break the German lines on the Western Front in 1917.
Other Memorial Forest sites pay tribute to those who were killed in other battles and campaigns: Gallipoli, the Somme, Sinai-Palestine and Le Quesnoy. Some sites honour the men from specific Coromandel townships who went off to war and never returned. One tree has been planted for each soldier.
When the New Zealand government asked for projects to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI, our Council and our Community Boards proposed to establish a series of Memorial Forests across the Coromandel where native trees could be planted to represent some of the 18,166 New Zealanders who were killed in the war.
We have worked with partners including DOC, the Waikato Regional Council (WRC), iwi, RSAs, schools and community groups in the planting and care of the Memorial Forest sites.
We have received contributions from DOC, WRC, Perpetual Guardian (administrators of Stella Evered Memorial Park), Barkers and NZ Lotteries.
We have also received many contributions from people wishing to commemorate a tree to a relative who fell in the Great War.
As the trees planted in the Memorial Forest sites grow, they will mature into places of quiet contemplation where people can walk and contemplate history and the sacrifice of those who served and were killed in WWI.
How you can contribute
Commemorate a tree to the fallen soldier of your choice with a $25 donation. Your donation will pay for the care of a tree in one of our Memorial Forest sites.
You'll receive a memorial certificate with the soldier's name and the GPS co-ordinates of the tree.
Or, you can gift the tree on behalf of your family to an unnamed soldier. You will receive a memorial certificate without a GPS location.
To donate, go to www.tcdc.govt.nz/ww1memorialforest or call our Customer Services team on 07 868 0200.
The WWI Memorial Forest sites
Thames - Rhodes Park. Thames war dead.
Coromandel Town - Hauraki Road. Represents Coromandel war dead and the "supreme sacrifice" paid by all those who were killed in the war.
Whitianga - new Mercury Bay cemetery. Honours the local war dead and the Battle of Passchendaele.
Stella Evered Memorial Park - Commemorates the Somme.
Cathedral Cove - Gallipoli.
Tairua - the fallen from Tairua-Hikuai.
Pauanui - Tangitarori Lane. The Sinai-Palestine campaign.
Whangamata - the Battle of Le Quesnoy.

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