Dedication of Featherston Camp Sculpture

The $650,000 Paul Dibble sculpture commemorating the WWI Featherston Military Camp — New Zealand’s largest military camp — will be dedicated on Saturday 10 November.

The sculpture highlights the significance of the camp in local and national history. Featherston Military Training Camp was built by the Public Works Department in 1915 following the outbreak of the First World War. Situated near the small town of Featherston, gateway to the Wairarapa, it was opened on 24 January 1916. The camp depended on Featherston and its residents for essential supply and support services.

Nearly two-thirds of the 103,000 New Zealand servicemen who served overseas in World War 1 went through the Camp.

The camp had its own Post Office, railway link, hospital, bakery, butchery, kitchen messes, shops, clubs and places of worship.

This project has been completely community run and is a tribute to those who have been determined to see the project through to its unveiling in November. A small group of Featherston residents have raised this large amount of money to remember the 60,000 men, including the captain of the 1905 All Blacks, Dave Gallaher (killed in Belgium in 1917), who went through the Camp and then left New Zealand for service overseas.

The sculpture will be a companion piece to Paul Dibble’s New Zealand memorial, ‘Southern Stand’, in Hyde Park in London — so, the Featherston sculpture will be both nationally and internationally significant.

Over the weekend of 10–11 November (the centenary of the Armistice), Featherston will be alive with events built around the dedication and unveiling of the sculpture on Saturday 10 November at 4pm.

You can learn more about the Featherston Camp Memorial Sculpture by going to the website: featherstoncampsculpture.org/