Support the Guardian

Available for everyone, funded by readers

Boer War Memorial begins its move

Boer War Memorial begins its move

The relocation of the Boer War Memorial is underway.

It has stood in Baring Square East since 1903 but this week has been dissembled by a specialist stonemason for restoration before being relocated to Baring Square West.

The memorial was built in 1903 to honour those who served in the conflict and bears the names of six fallen soldiers and as part of a $2.45 million redevelopment of Baring Square East it will shift to Baring Square West alongside the other war memorials.

The memorial had previously been relocated, a few metres, in 1978 as part of a redesign of the square to mark the centenary of the Borough Council.

Council infrastructure and open spaces group manager Neil McCann said the stonemason had used special diamond cutting equipment to separate the memorial into four layers.

“Those layers were taken off site to be cleaned and restored, and then the memorial will be reassembled at Baring Square West and the layers joined together with carbon pins.

“The pins ensure the memorial can withstand earthquakes in the future.”

Work at the new site will begin next week, when the foundations for the new concrete plinth are poured.

The memorial will be placed on the new plinth, which will have a new bluestone base stone.

The work should be finished in time for Armistice Day celebrations on November 11.

The memorial relocation work is being funded by a $150,000 grant received by Council as part of the Three Waters Better Off funding package.

The original plans had the war memorial remaining in place but it was later determined its location could compromise the civic plaza area in front of Te Whare Whakatere, Ashburton Library and Civic Centre, where public events and general gatherings are proposed, and that there was a risk that the cenotaph could be damaged as a result of increased public use of the area.

The Baring Square East is retaining some original features of the space, like the whale bones, water feature, and the town’s iconic clock.

The statues of founding father John Grigg, unveiled in 1905, and the Frontiersman Memorial will remain in place.