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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.

  • Military Heritage Day

    Past Event
    SUN 15 OCT, 10AM - 3PM
    South Atrium, Free with Museum entry

    On Military Heritage Day, experts from the New Zealand Military Historical Society and other military heritage groups will share treasured collections, replicas and fascinating accounts of the role of our servicemen and women.

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  • Battle of Britain Parade

    Past Event
    SUN 17 SEP, 10 - 11.30AM

    Join us and the Royal New Zealand Air Force Association to commemorate the Battle of Britain and to remember all those who have fallen in the Air Forces.

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  • Armistice Day 2017

    SAT 11 NOV, 11 - 11.45AM
    FREE, WWI Sanctuary, Level 2

    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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  • Remembering Passchendaele - Symposium

    Past Event
    TUE 3 OCT, 6.30PM - 8.30PM
    Free, Auditorium

    Join us for a symposium commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele.

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  • Passchendaele 100th Commemoration

    THURS 12 OCT, 11 - 11.45AM
    FREE, WWI Sanctuary, Level 2

    One hundred years on from the Battle of Passchendaele, join us for this commemorative service, a time to reflect and remember the sacrifices made in the hope of securing lasting peace.

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  • Remembrance Sunday

    SUN 12 NOV, 1.30PM – 2PM AND 2.30PM – 3PM
    FREE, WWI Sanctuary, Level 2

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

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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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