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War Memorial

The Auckland War Memorial Museum was constructed in 1929 with the aid of subscriptions raised by Aucklanders in rememberance of their war dead.

In the building's foreground is the consecrated ground of the Court of Honour and the Auckland Cenotaph (empty tomb). The first Cenotaph was a temporary structure of wood and plaster; built and designed by Sir Edwin Luytens at Whitehall, London, for the Peace Day events of July 1919. 

Luytens designed an empty tomb on a pedestal in stark severity, without decoration or religious symbols and inscribed to "The Glorious Dead". The Cenotaph captured the grief of an Empire unable to bring home their war dead and subsequently a permanent Portland stone monument was built for the first anniversary of the Armistice in 1919 as a lasting memorial. The Auckland Cenotaph was copied from cinema newsreels as the blueprints for the original Whitehall design were deemed too expensive for their purchase.

The official opening and consecration ceremony for Auckland War Memorial Museum was held on 28 November 1929. To this day, Auckland War Memorial Museum is a touchstone of remembrance for families and returned service personnel who wish to honour their loved ones and fallen comrades.

Read more on the history of Auckland War Memorial Museum.

  • Remembrance Sunday 2019

    SUN 10 NOV, 1.30PM & 2.30PM

    Join us on Remembrance Sunday to reflect on the sacrifices of our servicemen and women.

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  • Armistice Commemoration 2019

    MON 11 NOV, 11AM

    Join our Armistice Day memorial service as we remember all those who served and those who have given their lives in military service.

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  • Lest we forget poetry competition

    Past Event
    13 February 2019 - 10 April 2019

    This year, our annual Lest We Forget Poetry Competition invites poets of all ages to respond to our theme, "War is over... if you want it." Finalists will be invited to perform their poem in the Museum on Anzac Day 2019. See our website for more information on how to enter.

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  • Armistice 100

    Past Event
    SUN 11 NOV, 11AM - 8PM

    Join Auckland War Memorial Museum as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day with a day of performances and remembrance services.

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  • Military Heritage Day

    Past Event
    SUN 14 OCT, 10AM - 3PM

    Explore New Zealand’s military heritage with experts from the New Zealand Military Historical Society and other military heritage groups as they share treasured collections, replicas and fascinating accounts.

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  • Illuminate - New Zealanders in the First World War

    Past Event
    FRI 9, SAT 10 AND SUN 11 NOV, 8.30PM - 11PM

    Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War's Armistice Day, Auckland War Memorial Museum presents a looped film projected onto the northern façade of the building.

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  • First World War Centenary

    Throughout the centenary, we will remember the multiple faces of bravery and commitment shown by New Zealanders at home and abroad, under the banner of ‘He toa taumata rau: Courage has many resting places’.

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  • War Memorial galleries

    The top floor of the Museum houses several galleries on permanent display dedicated to those who served.

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  • Remembrance

    Commemorations, flag days and information about the Battle of Passchendaele.

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