In honour of Anzac Day, I thought it would be useful to collate all the stories we have written on the soldiers who are memorialised in Old St Paul’s, and our other ‘war stories’. Please follow the hyperlinks to see more.
New Zealand Wars:
The West window was erected by the members of the Wellington Rifles, the Porirua and Patea Rifle Companies, in memory of Captain George Buck and Lieut. Henry Charles Holland Hastings of the Wellington Veteran Corps who fell while serving with the Colonial Forces in the attack on Ngutu-o-te-manu on 7 September 1868. We have written a number of stories about this window: one about the men who were memorialised there, and one about our discovery of how rare the memorial is.
World War One:
Given the 100-year anniversary of the war going on at present, we have been completing a series on the 14 men who have brasses in the church. We have completed most of them, with a few more to come:
– William Balcombe-Brown, who died at Flanders on 29 June 1915: known by his professors at Oxford University as ‘a joyous instance of a man’
– Ian Calcutt Findlay, who died at Flanders on 10 August 1915, at only 18 years old
– Gascoyne Greenwood, who died at Gallipoli on 2 December 1915
– W R Richardson, died at Gallipoli on 5 December 1915
– Sidney O’Carrol Smith, who died on the Somme on 25 August 1916
– John Allman-Marchant who died on 15 September 1916 – a story about falsifying his name and age so that he could serve in the war
– Tom Higginson who died at Ginchy on 15 September 1916
– H T Norton who died at the Somme on 15 September 1916
– William Beyman Austin Quick, a noted Wellington architect, who died at the Somme on 10 December 1916
– William Henry Dillon Bell who died at Ypres on 31 July 1917
– Rainsford Balcombe-Brown who died in France on 2 May 1918, the highest ranking New Zealand man to lose his life while flying in WWI
– Richard John Spotswood Seddon who died at Bapaume France on 21 August 1918 – a story discussing his mother’s desperate attempt to have his body returned to New Zealand
– Charles Raymond Brown who died in France on 1 October 1918
– E P Greenwood who died at Le Quesnoy on 4 November 1918
We have also written about the use of the St Paul’s parish hall, the Sydney Street Hall, as the Wellington Soldier’s Club during World War One.
We also wrote about how the people of St Paul’s went about celebrating Christmas in 1915, during the misery of the depths of World War One.
World War Two:
We also wrote about the Dean of Wellington, Dean Walter Hurst, who worked at St Paul’s during the time when the church was closing, and his experiences as a Prisoner of War as a young man in World War Two.
We even have one story on a non-existent war, the ‘Russian Scare’ of the 1880s – 1910s.