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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.

  • Lest We Forget
    Poetry Competition

    Past Event

    Our annual Lest We Forget Poetry Competition is now open. This year's theme is 'A Personal Story'. Finalists will be invited to read their entries inside the Museum on Anzac Day.

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  • Remembrance Sunday 2020

    Past Event
    SUN 8 NOV, 1.30PM & 2.30PM

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

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  • Passchendaele Commemoration 2020

    Past Event
    SUN 11 OCT, 11AM

    In October 1917, in the farmlands of Belgium, New Zealand suffered one of its greatest tragedies.

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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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  • 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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