Sunday, 22 September 2013

St Mary's Church, Walton on Thames

St Mary's Church, Walton on Thames, England.
Postcard published by Jno. Edwards, Walton-on-Thames c.1918. R.A. Series.

The ancient 12th century St Mary's Church at Walton-on-Thames in England has a New Zealand connection. Beside the west door of St Mary's hangs a brass plaque unveiled in about 1932 that bears the names of the New Zealanders who died at Walton on Thames. It reads;

"1914 - 1918
In Memory Of
New Zealanders Buried
At Walton-On-Thames.

Colonel C.M. Begg
Private M.A. Baker
Private F.R. Black
Rifleman R.G. Blinko
Private J.L. Boyd
Sergeant J.B. Dalton
Sapper J. Fleming
Private W. Fox
Driver A.H. Hall
Private K. Hamana
Corporal T.H. Hudson
Private W.O. McDiarmid
Corporal T.W. Phillips
Private J.L. Porter
Private W.H. Rishworth
Rifleman E. Rout
Driver W.H. Russell
Private Taura
Private R. Wairau
Captain C.K. Ward
Miss W.A. Bennett

The Isles Saw....They Drew Near
And Came....And Everyone Said
To His Brother, Be Of Good Cheer."

Some of the New Zealanders buried at the Walton-on-Thames cemetery. 
From left; Col C.M. Begg, Pte M.A. Baker, Rflmn R.G. Blinko, Corp J.B. Dalton, Corp T.W. Phillips, and Pte J.L. Porter.

A satin cloth memorial banner commemorating the names of these New Zealanders preceeded the brass plaque in the church. It was handmade by patients of No.2 New Zealand General Hospital, Walton on Thames. The banner was brought out to the New Zealand graves each year on April 25th to mark Anzac Day Services. In 1961 the banner returned to New Zealand.
These New Zealanders who passed through the nearby New Zealand hospital are now buried in the cemetery at Terrace road adjacent to St Mary's Church.

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