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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.

  • Illuminate 2017: New Zealanders on the Western Front

    Sat 22 - Mon 24 Apr 2016, 6.30 - 10pm
    Northern Façade, Free

    Bring a blanket and sit under the stars to view rarely seen footage from the Western Front projected onto the outside of the Museum.

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  • Anzac Day

    Tue, 25 Apr 2017
    From 6am, Court of Honour

    Join us on the 101st Anzac Day as we honour the soldiers who fought at Gallipoli and other conflicts in which New Zealand has been involved.

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  • Remembrance

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

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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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