soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in that horrific First World War.
When the war ended in 1918, the NZ Government requisitioned land for returning servicemen and as Crownthorpe Station was one such property, Blanche and her family moved to Havelock North. Two of Herbert’s sons later became farmers, while the youngest, a decorated RAF bomber pilot, was killed during the Second World War.
With the death of Herbert, James Coleman was devastated and commissioned a memorial church to be built to honour his son’s memory.
St George’s Chapel is that church and it was consecrated on April 10 1921 and gifted to the Waiapu Anglican Diocese some years later.
It is a building typical of early 20th century church architecture, characterized by a steep-pitched gable roof soaring over the rectangular plan form of the nave.
Designed by renowned architect Charles Natusch, St George’s is just one of a number of local church projects he created including Te Aute College Chapel, St John’s Cathedral Chapel in Napier and St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Hastings. He also designed a number of fine rural homesteads including Matapiro Station, also on Matapiro Road and 6km east of this Chapel.
St George’s has a strong Romanesque or Norman character, especially in the square tower, the round-headed window openings and in the layered semi-circular mouldings over the main doors. In its original form, with a crenelated top of the tower, the Norman origins of the design were