Plans for a drill hall in Thames pre-date World War I but the outbreak of the war in Europe would have given them some urgency. By the time the hall opened in May 1915 it was also needed as a recruitment office.
Thames has a long history of military volunteers and was the birthplace of Sir Keith Park [1892-1975] and TM Wilkes [1888-1958], both of whom were to achieve distinction in the aviation field. Wilkes attended Thames High School and has been hailed as the Father of the New Zealand Air Force.
After its re-re-establishment in 1963, the Air Training Corps was headquartered in the drill hall. Today the No. 37 (ATC) Squadron parades at the Thames Airfield and the Thames-Hauraki Rail trail is headquartered in the old drill hall.
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