Over 30,000 New Zealanders have died in wars since 1840. They have been remembered in the more than a thousand memorials put up in public places throughout New Zealand. Except on Anzac Day, most people pass by these monuments without really looking at them. Yet a huge amount of social energy and resources went into creating the memorials, which were the largest act of artistic patronage in the country’s history. This beautiful book, based on over 30 years of loving research by Jock Phillips, one of the nation’s leading historians, tells the fascinating story of who erected them and why, and the diverse forms chosen for the memorials tells us much about New Zealand identity and the tragedy of war. The story begins with the memorials to the New Zealand Wars, explores the sculpted monuments to the South African and First World wars, and then the ‘living memorials’ to the Second World War, and concludes with the many imaginative creations in the 2000s.
Illustrated with over 200 photographs, To the Memory will appeal to those whose relatives are named on memorials, those with an interest in war history, people who wish to discover the history of the creative arts, enthusiasts for New Zealand’s built heritage, along with anyone who cares about this country, for its story goes to the heart of New Zealand identity.