Clutha commemorates Armistice Day centenary

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Clutha district people gathered at cenotaphs, local monuments and war graves on Armistice Day to remember those who had served and those who had paid the ultimate price during World War 1.

In Milton, the Milton Bruce RSA organised a street march to commemorate the route taken by the young soldiers over 100 years ago as they walked to war.

About 300 people attended and watched as a large group of RSA members, old soldiers, service men and women from the New Zealand army and navy, police, fire and emergency and corrections workers, St John’s staff and local schools walked along the state highway to the town’s cenotaph where wreaths were laid.

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan spoke about the brutality of war, the waste of young lives and the impact it had on the many small rural towns in New Zealand.

In Clinton, the Clinton Lions organised a small memorial service to honour their fallen soldiers.

About 80 people turned up to the small and intimate service, which remembered the 40 soldiers from their rural community who had fallen in the conflict.

In Balclutha, about 200 people gathered at the Balclutha Town Hall to remember the fallen.

Clutha deputy mayor Stewart Cowie spoke about the positive things that had happened to the community since the end of the war.

The memorial was organised by the Clutha District RSA.

In Tapanui, the local RSA held a small service at Cookston Cemetery, followed by a colourful street parade put on by the town residents.

More than 500 people joined in the festivities.

Many were in town for the district high school reunion, and a number of tourists also stopped and joined in the celebrations.

Additional reporting Megan Pope.