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Poppy Places

Image of Elliot Crescent street signPoppy Places is a national project which invites the community to tell us about streets, buildings, trees, memorials and monuments. This will allow us to paint a clearer picture of those sites which have a connection to overseas military history A poppy will then be attached to signage for quicker recognition by the community.

Find out more about the National Poppy Places Project.

The following streets have been recognised as Poppy Places.

  • Elliott Crescent and Upham Street, Havelock North
  • Nigel Street,Havelock North
  • Crichton Place and Ngarimu Street,Havelock North
  • Russell Street,Hastings
  • Selwyn Road, Havelock North
  • Kain Place, Hastings
  • Memorial Park Avenue, Haumoana
    Memorial Park Avenue, Haumoana comes off Haumoana Road and leads into the main entrance to Haumoana Memorial Park (where the memorial arch is located, and also where Haumoana Memorial Pavilion can be found). The idea to establish a Park as a permanent memorial to soldiers lost in WWII began in 1947, and the memorial avenue, park, pavilion and arch followed with strong support from the local community.
Crichton Place Russell Street Selwyn Road

Other Poppy Places Streets

Further streets identified, which the stories are being prepared for, are:

  • Freyberg Street, Hastings. Sir Bernard (Tiny) Cyril Freyberg (WWI) was born in London in 1889, immigrating to New Zealand with his parents James and Julia and other siblings when he was two years old. He had a distinguished war service and was a New Zealand Governor General.
  • Whakatomo Place, Havelock North. A family member is preparing the story on Thomas Whakatomo Ellison, who was killed in action in WWI. His mother’s grief inspired the song E Pari Ra.

Battleships and Naval Commanders

Mayfair School and Riverslea School are working on projects to write some of the poppy place stories for their local streets shown below, named for naval commanders and battleships. About 7000 New Zealand officers and ratings served with the Royal Navy for varying periods during the Second World War. New Zealanders saw active service in ships of every type from battleships and aircraft-carriers to submarines, motor-launches, and landing craft and in every sea from Spitzbergen in the Arctic to Cape Horn and from Iceland to the shores of Japan. They took part in every major naval engagement or operation and in countless minor actions, as well as in the ceaseless patrols and sea drudgery that make up so great a part of naval warfare.

  • Anson Street - HMS Anson was a King George V-class battleship of the Royal Navy, one of several ships named after Admiral George Anson (from the 1700s). New Zealanders are known to have served on the HMS Anson during WWII. The ship’s name also has a link to Cunningham Crescent.
  • Beatty Street and Beatty Place were named for Admiral Beatty, Commander Chief of the Royal Fleet in WW1. The New Zealand battlecruiser first wartime action came at the Battle of Heligoland Bight on 28 August 1914, as part of the battlecruiser force under the command of Admiral David Beatty.
  • Cunningham Crescent is believed to have been named for Admiral Andrew Browne Cunningham (WWII), Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet, who led British naval forces to victory in several critical Mediterranean naval battles. He also responded a the urging of then Prime Minister Peter Fraser to send an extra ship to evacuate New Zealanders about to be trapped on Crete in May 1941 by invading German forces. The HMS Rodney was Admiral Cunningham’s first major command. The HMS Hood was his flagship at one point shortly before WWII.
  • Hood Street – this street was was first proposed in 1916 but not built until some time later. It was probably named for Rear-Admiral Sir  Horace Hood – who was with Beatty and Jellicoe at, and died in, the Battle of Jutland in WWI. There was also an HMS Hood British battlecruiser in WWII, it had been the “pride of the Navy” until sunk by the Bismarck - which was then pursued by the Home Fleet and sunk (scuttled by its crew after being disabled).  The HMS Hood was one of the major combatant ships in Force H of the Royal Navy.
  • Jellicoe Street was named for Sir John Rushworth Jellicoe (WWI), 1859-1935, and born in Southampton. He helped design “Dreadnaught” and in WWI commanded the Grand Fleet 1914-1916. He was New Zealand’s second Governor General, 1920-1924.
  • Norfolk Crescent: The HMS Norfolk was part of the fleet that sank the Bismarck. It was one of the major combatant ships in Force H of the Royal Navy.
  • Sussex Street: The HMS Sussex was one of the major combatant ships in Force H of the Royal Navy in 1939, then deployed elsewhere. This was the fourth HMS Sussex. The surrender of the Japanese forces in Singapore was accepted on board the HMS Sussex, and this ship was present at the formal surrender in September 1945.

Other military-related street names (relevant to the Poppy Places focus)

  • Allenby Street, Akina, Hastings - Named for Field Marshal Sir Edmund Allenby (WWI and Boer War).
  • French Street, Field Marshal John Denton Pinkstone French, 1st Earl of Ypres.
  • Haig Street - (Terrace Lane renamed as Haig Street 17 August 1922.) After the end of WW1 Field Marshall the Earl Haig set up the Haig Fund to help all servicemen who were either financially hard up or were incapacitated due to being wounded, becoming the Poppy appeal in time.
  • Kitchener Street – was named for Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, Boer War and WWI. In 1910 between the Boer War and WWI, Lord Herbert Kitchener was invited by the New Zealand government to visit and advise on the country's defence arrangements. At the conclusion of his visit he made a number of recommendations, one of which was the establishment of a New Zealand Staff Corps. Later, in 1915, it was Kitchener who, after visiting the troops and seeing the conditions they were dealing with, recommended the evacuation from Gallipoli.
  • Lovat Street, Havelock North was named by Murdo John Kelt on land he subdivided, having served with Colonel Lovat (WWI).
  • Montgomery Street / Place was named for Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, known as Monty, who was in command of all Allied ground forces during Operation Overlord from the initial landings until after the Battle of Normandy. Monty and Lord Freyberg were on good terms and served together.
  • Roberts Street, is named after Field Marshal Lord Roberts who was appointed to take over as commander-in-chief in South Africa In charge of a force that included the New Zealand Mounted Rifles. Telegrams from the time reflect how highly he thought of the New Zealanders under his command.
  • Wavell Street / Place, Akina, Hastings - after Field Marshal Archibald Percival Wavell. in the Second World War, he served for a time as Commander-in-Chief Middle East.

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