15 Jun 2012

Wellington memorial for soliders killed in Kiribati

12:12 am on 15 June 2012

A monument is to be erected in Wellington for 22 men beheaded by Japanese soldiers during World War II.

New Zealand Post chief executive Brian Roche said on Thursday a memorial wall will be built in memory of 17 post and telegraph workers and unarmed coast watch soldiers executed in Kiribati on 15 October 1942.

Most of the victims were from New Zealand.

Mr Roche says the last surviving coast watcher, 91-year-old John Jones, told him he was saddened that the men had never been honoured in New Zealand.

Mr Roche says until recently, he was unaware there were any survivors and his meeting with Mr Jones has given the project a sense of urgency.

New Zealand Post will erect the wall in a year's time.