Rachel Reese cuts the ribbon to open the new WW1 memorial. Photo: Jonty Dine.

New names honoured on remembrance wall


A small team of dedicated members has ensured the sacrifices made by all Nelson WW1 veterans will be remembered.

Years of research has resulted in a further 1200 names added to the WW1 Wall of Remembrance at Founders Heritage Park.


The new tribute to our fallen was unveiled in a ceremony attended by members of the RSA, Nelson City Council and families of lost veterans.

The wall, originally a project by the Nelson Provincial Museum to commemorate the WWI centenary in 2014, spent three years at the museum before it was moved to Founders Heritage Park in 2017.

Peter Millward, who was director of the museum when the wall went up, said people were encouraged to mark the names of their relatives who served, and note any names missing from the wall.

This led to hundreds of new names being added and a project for Peter, who retired from the museum in 2015.

Peter and historian Mike Carnahan spent the past five years checking all the additional names and after a final full cross check during the Covid-19 lockdown, another 1200 were confirmed for the wall, bringing the total number to 3700 names.

The addition of the missing names reunited six sets of brothers who were not commemorated together because they had enlisted from different towns.

“Imagine how that would have been for their families, to have one son remembered and not the other,” says Peter.

Councillor and community services committee chair Matt Lawrey says Peter, Mike and the other historians who worked on the project have done something special for the city.

“It’s vital that we remember our war dead but it’s also important we honour all those who served alongside them and supported them. They all made huge sacrifices and it’s certain that they all suffered in one way or another.”