The Bridge of Remembrance
The Bridge of Remembrance which links Oxford and Cambridge Terraces over the Avon River at Cashel Street was opened on Armistice Day, 11 November 1924 by the Governor-General, Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Jellicoe, who had previously laid the foundation stone on Anzac Day, 25 April 1923. It was reopened as a pedestrian precinct on Anzac Day 1977 by Capt. C H Upham, VC and bar. The Bridge was designed by architects Prouse and Gummer, who won the architectural competition out of 24 entries.
The Bridge and its Arch of Remembrance serve as a memorial to service men and women of two World Wars and subsequent conflicts in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, and Vietnam. It replaces an earlier bridge over which many thousands of soldiers marched en route from the barracks to the railway station and overseas service.
In the central frame of the arch is the inscription "Quid non pro patria" (What will a man not do for his country). The Bridge also features a number of unit memorials and a memorial plaque to Charles Upham VC.
In 1989, Stage 1 of the Bridge refurbishment was completed with Stage 2 commencing in September 1991. It was completed in April 1992. A commemorative plaque dedication ceremony was held on 21 June 1992.
The Bridge of Remembrance was structurally damaged in the 22 February 2011 earthquake. Inspections suggested it was stable and a decision has been made to permanently repair the bridge.
"Plans to repair the Arch involve inserting steel reinforcement into cavities inside the columns. The arches will be tied together (post-tensioned) horizontally to reinforce the structure. The foundations will be improved to allow the structure to rock in a controlled manner. Rocking will act like base isolation and dissipate energy created by any future earthquakes.
The stone work on both the Arch and the Bridge will be reinstated and repaired using methods sympathetic to the heritage nature of the structure." Christchurch City Council media release 22 March, 2013
Repair work was begun in the last week of April 2013 with the aim of having a least some part of the bridge available for commerations of the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of World War 1 in August 2014. The Council expects to fully complete repairs by April 2015.
Christchurch City Council media release 24 April, 2013.
- Christchurch War Memorial: Bridge of Remembrance
- A digitised publication on the history and symbolic features of the Bridge of Remembrance opened by Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa, on Armistice Day, November 11, 1924. Extracts from the address of J. Wyn Irwin, of the Bridge of Remembrance Committee.
- Image collection: Bridge of Remembrance
- A sample of photographs of the Bridge of Remembrance in our collection.
- Public Art in Central Christchurch: Bridge of Remembrance
- Information on the Bridge and its history from this publication locating and documenting publicly owned works of art in central Christchurch.
- The Bridge of Remembrance
- Information from the Christchurch City Council, including a short history.
- Bridge of Remembrance
- Photographs of the bridge since the 2011 earthquakes. From Christchurch City Libraries' Flickr.
This was originally derived from the Christchurch City Council handbook of 1998.