Makara is a rural area at the western edge of Wellington, New Zealand, between the city and Cook Strait. There is winding road access from Karori or Johnsonville/Ohariu, leading to a rocky and stoney foreshore which provides beautiful views across Cook Strait to the South Island when the weather is good, and a dramatically stormy outlook the rest of the time. There are small settlements at both Makara Beach, and a few kilometers inland towards Karori, a small village with a primary school and a Catholic and an Anglican church. Both churches are registered with Heritage New Zealand, as is the War Memorial.
The Memorial is sited on the corner of Makara and South Makara Roads, on the boundary of the graveyards of St Mathias Church. The setting is picturesque, with the well-tended grass slope around the graves and church forming a restful backdrop. It was unveiled by Brigadier General Richardson on 23 May 1921.
The four-sided obelisk form used was one of the most popular forms used for war memorials, with over 30 percent of World War One memorials in New Zealand being of this style. Makara’s War Memorial uses military iconography of a crossed sword and rifle surmounted by a ‘lemon squeezer’ hat, a typical symbol of New Zealand identity. The symbolism of the hat is a rare example of reference to national identity rather than to identification with "Empire", which was more typical for memorials being constructed throughout the country at the time.
There are seven names of men from the Makara area killed in World War 1 on the front of the memorial. One more name was added at the foot of the plinth after World War 2. One of the men, J. H. JERVIS, is also commemorated in the church, where there is a stained glass window in his memory. John Howard Jervis was the first of Makara’s men to be killed in the war during the Gallipoli campaign. Two other men from the district named on the memorial - Louis SIEVERS, and Harry MONAGHAN - are commemorated in stained glass windows in St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 100 metres distant on the other side of Makara Road.
The community at Makara has always been small and the stories of the men named reveal many links between their families.
ANZAC Day commemorations continue to be held on the 25th April every year at the Memorial.
(Some of the above information has been provided on New Zealand Heritage Pouhere Taonga's website http://www.heritage.org.nz/the-list/details/1442)