Cemetery & Princess Range

Orepuki cemetery where many of my ancestors are buried

The New Zealand poet, Vincent O’Sullivan, wrote a poem* about a visit to this place. Maybe the inscription (for there is no body to be buried there) he was referring to in the poem, is the one that has been added to one of the headstones where my great, great grandparents were buried.

I mentioned the poem to him not so long ago, and told him of my associations with the cemetery and town he has described in said poem. He said that standing at that graveside, he was struck by how far away the soldiers had gone to fight in a war on the other side of the world. It was for him a moment of vivid realisation; a deep appreciation of the distance this kiwi soldier had travelled, all for the so-called glory of war and in order just to ‘do his best’.

*’Nowhere Farther From Belguim’ from ‘Being Here’ by Vincent O’Sullivan

 

 

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