Topic: Roll of Honour, Wharenui School

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Roll of Honour board located at Wharenui School to recognise former students and staff of the school who served in the First World War


How the Roll of Honour Board came in to being

The idea of a Roll of Honour board listing ex-scholars of the school who had enlisted for military service in the war was first suggested by the correspondent of the 'Riccarton Whispers' column of the Star newspaper on 7 August 1915. When the school committee met later that month they resolved to procure a Roll of Honour board for the school.

Wharenui School Roll of Honour BoardA social and dance evening was held in September 1915 to raise funds for a board. The Star correspondent noted that

   "the following ex-scholars are either at the front or in camp: - (Clarence) Roy Harris, William Lodge, George Stokes, Leo and Ralph Richardson, Leslie and Victor Tregonnning, Clarence Palmer and Ray Cook".

When the Roll of Honour board was unveiled William Lodge would not appear on it. There is no record of a Ray Cook in the school register although this could be an incorrect reference to Robert Gray Cooke who did attend the school (but is also not on the Roll).

In November 1915 a flag was procured by Mr George Witty, MP for Riccarton, who put it up for auction to raise funds for the Belgian and Red Cross funds. My Witty won the bidding then gifted the flag to Wharenui School. It would be hung over the Roll of Honour board when this was unveiled.



 The Roll of Honour unveiled

The board was unveiled at Wharenui School on Saturday 24 November 1917 by Mr G. Witty, M.P.  Among those present at the ceremony were Messrs G. Witty, M.P., R. Fletcher, M.P., C. H. Opie, Chairman of the Canterbury Education Board, J. Jamieson, E. H. Andrews, and A. Peverill, members of the Board. Mr S. A. Staples, chairman of the Waimairi County Council, was present, also several members and ex-members of the Riccarton Borough Council.

The money for the purchase of the Board was raised by the Wharenui School Boys' Hockey Club. According to The Press (26 November 1917) the Roll of Honour contains the following names:

"R. Harris, V. Tregonning (returned), L. Richardson, G. Stokes (returned), C. Palmer, R. Richardson, R. Calvert, H. Palmer. P. Lummis, R. Coates (returned), N. Fraser, A. Henery (killed in action), R. Hodder, P. Lowe, A. Blackburn, H. Manson, H. Lane, L. Harris, L. Tregonning, R. Alley, E. Fine, O. Colling(s), H. Eaton, and Harry Palmer*. Further names are to be inscribed, and three of the school staff, Messrs Hutton, Williams, and Maxwell, are also with the New Zealand forces."

* Harry Palmer already appears sixth on the list, so this should read 'Arthur Palmer'


More names added

Further names were to be inscribed and even though the three staff, Messrs (William Barrie) Hutton, (Owen William) Williams and (James Ernest) Maxwell were mentioned in the newspapers, their names would not appear on the Roll. The other names not yet inscribed when the board was unveiled in November 1917 were:

R. Vincent, J. Archibald, C. McSeveney, R. Graveston, H. Johnston and H. Ormandy.

Reginald Vincent had enlisted on 20 October 1914, James Archibald was killed in action in France on 1 October 1916, Cyril McSeveney had just enlisted on 3 May 1917 and Herbert Johnston had enlisted on 14 March 1917 yet none of them had made it onto the Roll at that point in time. Richard Graveston and Harry Ormandy enlisted in 1918.

A correspondent for the Star reporting about the school committee meeting of April 1918 noted that Harold Eaton, Reginald Vincent and James Archibald were added to the Roll of Honour board. The correspondent may have been misinformed as Harold Eaton was already on the Roll at it's unveiling. There is no report indicating when the final names were added:

C. McSeveney, R. Graveston and H. Ormandy

The means by which the list of former students of the school who had enlisted for military service was compiled can be guessed at. It would seem that the school solicited information from parents and relatives who still had connections with the school. Rewi Alley who enlisted in March 1917 was not mentioned in any newspaper reports perhaps because his father, the school headmaster would not have wanted to be seen to be favouring his son. The school register must have been checked to verify names because the names of those who had died in the War are underlined in red.

Albert Thomas Courtney Henery's entry in the Wharenui School Register of Admissions  


The names on the Roll of Honour

The final list of names added to the Roll of Honour board (in alphabetical order) is;

Surname First Name School Register # NZEF Personnel #
Alley Rewi  126  55386
Archibald James  209 & 250  25/302
Blackburn Albert Reid  159  39010
Calvert Reginald Arthur William  330  4/1901
Coates Randolph  302  25/312
Collings Oscar  170  55426
Eaton Harold Charles  233  39035
Fine Ernest Frank  8  55463
Fraser Norman Henry  100  27007
Graveston Richard  458  74519
Harris Leicester George  14  49537
Harris Clarence Roy  95  6/646
Albert Thomas Courtney  262 & 464  43976
Hodder Russell Nelson  42  34679
Herbert Haigh  159  51531
Lane Thomas Harold  20  35895
Percival John Sherbrook  2  27023
Lummis Philip Arthur  62  26/187
McSeveny Cyril Gordon  434  60977
Manson Heaton David Leslie  92  39073
Ormandy Harry James  435  80173
Palmer Clarence Victor  242 & 477  6/3124
Palmer Arthur George  208  39089
Palmer Henry  198 & 207  34719
Richardson Leo Clyde  86  7/1581
Richardson Ralph Gordon  76  2/2522
Stokes George  6  11/1979
Tregonning Herbert Victor  85 & 483  6/3184
Tregonning Leslie Hercules  77  11/1743
Vincent Reginald Cuthbert  291  8/1351

Denotes Killed in action or died as a result of wounds or sickness

Wharenui School Boys not on the Roll of Honour

The 1907 'Register of Admissions, Progress and Withdrawls' of Wharenui School contains the names of all the students who attended the school. Checking the names of all male students against the New Zealand Defence force personnel files of the 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force 1914 - 1919 on Cenotaph for matches reveals dozens of other Wharenui School Boys who served in the First World War but who were not listed on the school Roll of Honour. This was probably due to a lack of a family member or friend in the Wharenui community to speak up for them when the School was soliciting names for the Roll.

Surname First Name School Register # NZEF Personnel #
Batten Rawhiti Eric 129 79427
Buckhurst Wilfred Henry Blyth 26 179486
Candy Thomas George Benjamin 155 51246
Carver Spencer Franks 136 & 267 3/31383
Cassin Hugh James 81 77088
Cooke Robert Gray 433 7/1602
Craig Jack Basil 55 A.I.F. (Australian Army)
Eaglesome John Law 24 83324
Garlick George 165 29001
Gohns Charles James Joseph 104 87526
Griffin Walter Richard 116 2/1431
Hayhurst Theodore Castlereagh 457 39578
Holt Joseph Eric 19 78333
Hobbs Robert Knowle 46 24/179
Hutton Mr William Barry Staff 32568
Lodge William Henry 219 6/1903
McKnight William 171 68389
Marsden David 161 83880
Maxwell Mr James Ernest Staff 52631
Moorhead George 9 57322
Moorhead James 35 74815
Newnham Owen James 154 6/112
Nicholl Robin Harold 203 74797
Overend William Thomas 254 77051
Pocock Audley Harold William 113 70950
Reynolds Frederick John 273 44017
Sampson William Percy 428 36364
Speirs James Llewelyn 72 22499
Stanford Charles Ernest 79 10/2317
Vizer Alfred Joseph 13 55871
Wagstaff Frank 294 55871
Wakefield Timaru 200 82084
Williams Mr Owen William Staff 52399



  • RICCARTON WHISPERS. "Advisability of placing a Roll of Honour in the schoool". Star, Issue 11460, 7 August 1915, Page 11
  • RICCARTON WHISPERS. "The Wharenui School Committee have decided to place a Roll of Honour". Star, Issue 11472, 21 August 1915, Page 11
  • RICCARTON WHISPERS. "A very successful social and dance was held in the Wharenui Schoolroom". Star, Issue 11490, 11 September 1915, Page 11
  • RICCARTON WHISPERS. "The flag, purchased by Mr G Witty was presented". Star, Issue 11538, 6 November 1915, Page
  • THE FALLEN AND WOUNDED.  "The handsome Roll of Honour Board was unveiled by Mr G Witty, MP". Press, Volume LIII, Issue 16068, 26 November 1917, Page 8

  • RICCARTON WHISPERS. "Three names were added to the honours board". Star, Issue 12285, 6 April 1918, Page 7

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Roll of Honour, Wharenui School

Materials:Oak with gold lettering
City: Christchurch