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Time Required : 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

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National War Museum, Wellington Overview

The National War Memorial is dedicated to the several soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country during the first and the second World War. It is also committed to the men, women and children who died during those wars and conflicts. The National War Memorial consists of two buildings from two different eras – the National War Memorial Carillon (1932) and the Hall of Memories (1964) and, in front of these buildings, the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior (2004). In addition, four Rolls of Honour consist of the names and ranks of 28,654 men and women of New Zealand.

The National War Memorial Carillon

In 1922, a Wellington jeweller P. N. Denton suggested building a Carillion with bells of remembrance. In 1929, the government competed to find the best and unique designs for these important buildings. The competition was won by an Auckland architectural firm of Gummer and Ford. As a result, the National War Memorial Carillon was opened by Governor-General Lord Bledisloe on Anzac Day, 25 April 1932, in front of more than 50,000 people. The carillon is the largest instrument, 51 metres in height, in the world, which consists of 53 bells which produce a melody when played.

Hall of Memories

The Hall of Memories was a part of the original design of the National War Memorial, but it was not completed until 1964. The construction of the hall of memories was put on hold due to economic depression and World War II. The government again hired Gummer and Ford to design this part of the memorial. The sculpture of Lyndon Smith's statue Mother and Children lies within this building. The figure represents a family consoling and providing comfort to each other during wartimes.

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