WWI Memorial Plaque
This Hidden Treasure is nicknamed ‘The Dead Man’s Penny’.
These bronze memorial plaques were issued to the next of kin of WWI deceased. These fallen soldiers never made it home for a proper burial and the plaques served to commemorate the soldier as a tangible memorial for their family.
The plaques were the result of a competition that took place while war was still raging across Europe. The winning plaque was designed by Edward Carter Preston. It features a figure of Britannia who is holding a laurel wreath above the inscribed name. In her right hand a trident represents the British naval power. Also featured are two dolphins and two lions, one of which is biting the German imperial eagle. On the edges are the words ‘He Died for Freedom and Honour’. Over 600 were made for the female fallen and read ‘She’. Their rank is not recorded as all are equal in death.
This plaque was for L/Cpl Ashley Charles Moore (Service No. 51660) of the Canterbury Infantry and is mounted along with his medals. Moore enlisted for service in March 1917. He was hospitalised with measles which delayed him joining his unit. He was finally posted to Passchendaele on 9 October 1917. He was reported missing, killed in action three days later, on 12 October 1917. He was only 21 years old.
12 October 1917 is known as New Zealand’s blackest day. Within the first four hours of fighting, over 800 New Zealand soldiers were killed.
Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou