ANZAC Day – Commemoration

Australian and New Zealand aircrew who were stationed in and around Harrogate and lost their lives during the Second World War are remembered at ANZAC Day which is on the 25th of April each year.

For 2023, the commemoration in Harrogate will be on Sunday 23rd April 2023 at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Stonefall in Harrogate.

Also, in Valley Gardens, the New Zealand Garden which was first opened in 1954 is being redeveloped and will be formally re-opened on 22nd April 2023.

New features will include a sculpture commissioned for Yorkshire sculptor, Jennifer Tetlow, with the majority funded by a generous private donation, and the balance kindly funded by North Yorkshire County Council. Also a new oak bench has been donated by Wellington City Council, and this is being crafted locally by Richard Taylor of Joblings, West Tanfield in North Yorkshire.

The redevelopment of the Garden is supported by other generous private donations, and contributions made by both The Friends of Valley Gardens and Harrogate International Partnerships (HIP) in support of the Garden’s management by Harrogate Borough Council.

Harrogate Runners in Mountain Challenge

Harrogate International Partnerships has entered a team of eight fell-runners into the prestigious Aneto Trail races which will take place over the weekend of 9th-10th July in our twin town of Bagnères de Luchon.

The Aneto Trail is the highlight of the local trail running calendar and takes its name from the highest mountain in the Pyrenees. There are many trails that criss-cross the mountains above Luchon set against a background of stunning scenery. As one tourist site for the area says, “the spectacular views are just as likely as the steep climbs to take your breath away.”

Members of the Harrogate team have entered most of the races which range from 10km to a challenging 85km. The latter is appropriately called the ‘Ultra’ and starts at 5am!

Harrogate will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its partnership with Luchon in 2023.


Harrogate International Partnerships, kindly hosted by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission held the very first ANZAC ceremony at Stonefall Cemetery on Sunday 24th April just as our friends on the other side of the world were gathering in preparation for the traditional 5am Dawn Parades on 25th April.

The ceremony started with the Parade of Harrogate Air Cadets bearing the flags of Australia and New Zealand. This was followed by The Airmen’s Hymn led by Tewit Band. Addresses by Commander Matthew Radford of the Royal Australian Navy and Sub Lieutenant Andrew Chisholm (in both English and Maori) of the Royal New Zealand Navy were interspersed with songs led by Harrogate Grammar School student Lucy Hargreaves, again in both English and Maori. Harrogate Grammar School has entered a twinning arrangement with Scots College in Wellington and another HGS student, Sam Featherstone, read Wilfred Owen’s ‘The Send Off’. Gareth Gibbs led the remembrance part of the ceremony during which Cllr Trevor Chapman, the Mayor of Harrogate, and civilian and military representatives laid wreaths. Before the national anthems were sung HIP representative Kate Spencer read out a message from Andy Foster, the Mayor of Wellington. At the end of the afternoon’s proceedings attendees were treated to ANZAC biscuits.

There are 97 Royal Australian Air Force and 23 Royal New Zealand Air Force servicemen buried at Stonefall, four of whom came from Wellington. They are Charles Agnew, Alfred Churchill Lockyer, Terence McKinley and John Matthew Stack.

Photographs by R.Pearce

Sir Robert Barrie Day

The City Council of Barrie, Ontario, Canada is set to establish the 7th June as Sir Robert Barrie Day.

This is to honour the anniversary date of the signing of the Twinning Certifcate with Harrogate, which was completed at Ripley Castle on that date in 2013, and the 180th anniversary of Sir Robert’s death.

Sir Thomas Ingilby was instrumental in the formation of the twinning relationship with Harrogate, and with a strong family connection. Sir Robert married Sir Thomas’s ancestor, Julia Wharton Ingilby, on 24 October 1816, and Sir Robert is buried at Ripley Church.

“In early 1824, Commodore Barrie took up the post of commissioner of the Naval Dockyard in Kingston, Upper Canada. He was instrumental in developing the facilities at Kingston, as well as supporting the building of the Rideau and Welland canals.

He came to the Barrie area to inspect the Nine Mile Portage, a key trading route from Kempenfelt Bay to the Nottawasaga River and Georgian Bay. Lady Julia Wharton-Ingilby, Barrie’s wife, thought the area at the end of Kempenfelt Bay one of most beautiful places on Earth and suggested they settle there.

In 1833, that area was named Barrie in his honour.

In mid-1834, Barrie returned to England and King William IV made him a knight commander of the Royal Guelphic Order. He was promoted to rear-admiral in 1837 and knight commander of the Order of the Bath in 1840. 

Barrie lived in retirement in Swarthdale, Lancashire and died on June 7, 1841.”

Deputy Mayor Barry Ward, who was a guest of Harrogate for the 2019 World Cycling Championships, stated,

“It is always a good idea to celebrate our heritage and teach residents about the person our city is named after. Sir Robert Barrie had quite an interesting life, both as a military commander and administrator in what later became Canada. June the 7th marks both the anniversary of his death and the anniversary of the signing of the city’s agreement to make Harrogate (North Yorkshire, England), where he is buried, a twin city of Barrie.”

A full and intersting biography of Sir Robert can be found on Wikipedia, and can be accessed with this link:

Robert Barrie – Wikipedia

Vandalism to the New Zealand Garden

It is very upsetting to report the recent damage to the wooden carvings donated to Harrogate by the City of Wellington, our ‘twin town’ in New Zealand.


The age and condition of the timber made it easier to deface the carvings, and  to the extent that HIP will be supporting Harrogate Borough Council to replace these works of art with new, more durable pieces, and most likely in metal. This to maintain our strong links with Wellington, which were forged through the heroic support of their air force during World War ll, and with many service personnel stationed in and around Harrogate.

Sadly many lives were lost, and and it is even more poignant that the thoughtless damage should occur close to the 75th anniversary of the end of World War ll, and the remembrance of the brave men who gave their lives to help bring the relative peace of recent times.

It is also sad that the impact of the Covid 19 epidemic has significantly restricted our ability to focus and reflect on all those who sacrificed ‘their tomorrow for our today’. Restoring the New Zealand garden will help in a small way to show that they are not forgotten.

Details of the Restoration Fund will be announced shortly.