Whatawhata Cemetery Free Space page

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1878
Location: Whatawhata, Waikato, New Zealandmap
Surnames/tags: Cemeteries New_Zealand
This page has been accessed 368 times.

Whatawhata Cemetery

Whatawhata Cemetery is west of Hamilton City on SH23 Hamilton Raglan Road. Whatawhata, previously also spelt Whata Whata, is a small township in the Waikato Region on the east bank of the Waipa River, at the junction of State Highways 23 and 39, 12 km from Hamilton. Before Europeans came to New Zealand it was a Ngāti Māhanga village.

In the cemetery is a prominent memorial to Imperial and Colonial troops who died during the New Zealand Wars. There was no fighting at Whatawhata, but it was an important military post for the British colonists. Troops stationed there helped keep open the supply route between Rangiriri and Pāterangi. There was a redoubt on the east bank of the Waipā River near the existing township which has long since disappeared.


As noted above, there is a memorial in the cemetery, which has 7 names. Very little is known about these men and the wording of the memorial’s inscription is ambiguous. It is not clear whether these men died at Whatawhata or were brought here for burial. Nor is it clear whether the remains of these men now rest in the cemetery in which this memorial stands. However, it seems that the original Whatawhata burial ground was not on this site, but closer to the Waipa River and that the remains of the British were exhumed and reinterred here when land was allocated for this cemetery in 1878. More information on the memorial can be read on the NZ History website HERE.

The current memorial dates from 1914 and its inscription reads:

Lest we forget / in memoriam / J. [P] Coughlin, / C. P. S. Gunson, / J. Clarkson, / J. Collins, / Jas Cornish, / John Clark, / Joshua Reynolds / and others who died in the execution / of their duty during the / Maori War.

On reaching Whatawhata from Hamilton bear right on to Cemetery Road and the cemetery is seen adjacent to the road about 100m on the right.


New Zealand Cemeteries Team

This page is maintained by the New Zealand Cemeteries Team, who are part of the Global Cemeteries Project (and the Oceania Cemeteries Team). The aim is is to document the final resting place of those buried in New Zealand, to ensure that each cemetery has its own free-space page, which is linked to the category structure for Global Cemeteries, and that those buried in them are also gathered in the correct category.

  • Currently there are 6 profiles listed on Wikitree for this cemetery, which is well short of the number of interments. Findagrave has 320 entries, and Billion Graves has 133. Irwin-2099 20:58, 19 January 2019 (UTC)

The overall progress of this endeavour will be found on the NZ Cemeteries Team Progress page.

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