SHARE
Monumental... Carpentry South's Andrew Smith (left) gives hand signals to tractor driver Paul Clement as Wendon Hall Committee chairman Neil Baird steadies the plinth during a working bee to assemble the new Wendon war memorial. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON.

The Wendon Memorial Presbyterian Church might be gone but a new monument to recognise the district’s war heroes will be unveiled on Anzac Day.

The church was demolished earlier this year after a decommissioning service was held in 2018 and ownership of the land and building returned to the community.

Previously the church had been part of the Riversdale Waikaia Presbyterian parish.

Wendon War Memorial sub-committee member Doug Wing said the church had been built in 1923.

“It had a marble plaque on the front of it honouring the dead of the district of the First World War.

“To honour the memory of those men, we decided if the church wasn’t going to be there we would replace it with a new war memorial,” Mr Wing said.

The new monument comprised a shaped concrete plinth with a Celtic cross mounted on top of it.

It was positioned at the front of the section where the church had been beside the Wendon Hall.

Carpentry South’s Andrew Smith, of Wendon, had cast the plinth which weighed over a tonne, and Brian Mahon made the cross in his Riversdale engineering workshop.

“The Celtic cross is a link back to the Scottish ancestry of the district plus a link to the Presbyterian church.”

The marble plaque from the church, which named 10 men who died in World War 1, was inset into the plinth.

Two other soldiers, who had died in the Boer War and World War 2, would also have their names added to the new monument.

Twelve trees in memory of the men who died would be planted in the newly grassed and fenced area around the memorial.

Relatives of the men who could be contacted had been invited to plant the trees and one was travelling from Canterbury to attend.

“They’re coming from far and wide to join in on the day.”

At 2.30pm a short ceremony would be held at the site so the memorial could be dedicated and unveiled and the trees planted for the men who lost their lives in the three wars.