Memorial Oaks

In 1919 locals planted 400 oak trees in North Otago, one for every  serviceman from the district killed during the war.

They radiated from a hub in Oamaru to the countryside, planted where possible close to the home of the men they honour.

Many of the trees, or a replacement, still grow, providing a living memorial to the young men from out district, who went to war and didn’t return.

The trees are growing older as the men they commemorate didn’t.

 

3 Responses to Memorial Oaks

  1. Richard says:

    It’s a reminder of the sacrifice every time I pass through Oamaru on SH1. I did not realise the trees are spread so widely- thank you

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  2. homepaddock says:

    Rob Douglas wrote a book, Mighty Oaks From Tiny Acorns Grow, which tells the story, lists all who died, and includes a map locating the trees: http://www.odt.co.nz/the-regions/north-otago/83031/award-recognises-work-memorial-oaks-scheme

    I remember wooden crosses under the trees when I was a child. Many had rotted and were replaced by concrete ones. Some complained the concrete was too stark, but given the horrors of war deaths I think stark is appropriate.

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  3. Peter says:

    As a child these commemorative trees each had a wreath laid on them. Today there is just (sadly) a Chinese manufactured poppy.

    Like

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