Buttes New British Cemetery (N.Z.) Polygon Wood Memorial
New Zealand Forces Memorial to the Missing, Buttes New Cemetery, Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke. The memorial lists 378 officers and men of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force killed in action between September 1917 and May 1918 with no known grave, who were killed whilst in the Polygon Wood Sector and in the Battle of Polygon Wood. The Polygon Wood Sector was part of the Ypres Salient, and many of the deaths were non combatant and due to the horrific conditions in the trenches during the terrible winter of 1917 to 1918. The memorial was designed by the English architect Charles Holden and is one of seven such memorials on the Western Front to the missing dead from New Zealand. The memorials are all in cemeteries chosen as appropriate to the fighting in which the men died.
Also in this area is the NZ Messines Ridge Memorial (Belgium), erected for the Battle of Messines in June 1917. The names of 828 soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who fell in or near Messines in 1917 and 1918 are recorded here.
The WW1 Tyne Cot cemetery (the largest in France) is approximately 4 miles from Ypres near Passchendaele (Passendale) in Belgium, and includes the names of 1,166 New Zealanders among the 34,857 missing Commonwealth casualties it records, while the cemetery contains 520 New Zealand graves. (Note. The Menin Gate which lists the missing of WW1 does not include NZ missing. These names are recorded at the Tyne Cot cemetery.)
The Caterpillar Valley Memorial to the Missing also is a New Zealand designated cemetery located about half a mile north-west of the village of Montauban in the Somme district in France and was known as Caterpillar Wood. Fifteen thousand members of the NZ Corps went into action. Over 6000 were wounded and 2000 were killed. They are commemorated on the New Zealand Memorial to the Missing in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery near Longueval. One warrior returned home to New Zealand in November 2004 and his remains lie in the tomb of the Unknown Warrior outside New Zealand's National War Memorial.
A large cemetery, it contains 5,197 U.K., 214 New Zealand, 98 Australian, 19 South African, 6 Canadian and 2 Newfoundland burials, most of which are unknown. The cemetery also contains 38 special memorials. The left-hand wall of the cemetery comprises one of the New Zealand Memorial to the Missing panels. It lists 1,205 names. It is located in an area seized by the 12th Royal Scots and 9th Scottish Rifles on 14 July 1916 as part of the 1916 Somme Offensive, the Longueval Ride. It remained in Allied hands until it was captured by the Germans during the 1918 Spring offensive and was retaken by the 38th (Welsh) on 28 August 1918.
North east of this on a rise between High Wood on the left and Delville Wood on the right, is the large New Zealand National Memorial at Longueval in France. Similar in design to the national memorial at Messines it marks the actual position that the New Zealand Division took as their original objective in the first Battle of the Somme, and from which they launched the successful attack on Flers on 15 September.
The Cité Bonjean Memorial to the Missing in the Cité Bonjean Military Cemetery is west of the town of Armentieres in France. It shows the names of 47 casualties of the New Zealand Division lost in 1916-17 in the neighbourhood of Armentieres who have no known grave as well as containing 452 New Zealand graves.
The Grévillers Memorial to the Missing in Grévillers British Cemetery north of the Grévillers-Bapaume road in France and shows the names of men caught up in the fierce defensive fighting of the New Zealand Division in the Battles of the Somme over the the period March-August 1918, and the advance to victory between 8 August - 11 November 1918. 446 men who have no known grave are named on the memorial and 151 New Zealand graves are located in the cemetery.
Colin camps Cemetery
Colincamps village in the Somme district in France) and "Euston", a road junction a little east of the village, were behind the Allied lines before the Somme offensive of July 1916. The cemetery was originally set up as a front line burial ground for the Somme offensive but hardly used until April and May 1918 when it was recaptured from the Germans by New Zealand troops. The cemetery is particularly associated with three dates and engagements; the attack on Serre on 1 July 1916; the capture of Beaumont-Hamel on 13 November 1916; and the German attack on the 3rd New Zealand (Rifle) Brigade trenches before Colincamps on 5 April 1918. After the Armistice more than 750 other grave remains were consolidated into the cemetery from other small cemeteries in nearby battlefields and regions.
In 1916 the New Zealand Tunnelling Company started tunnelling in Arras using the natural cave systems under the town and extending them into 'no-man's land'. This was to allow troops to surface virtually right on the German lines and immediately attack the enemy trenches without having to cross no-mans land. The work took nearly a year and in 1917, the tunnels were completed right up to the German lines, and in April that year 20,000 British, NZ and other Commonwealth troops streamed out of the new tunnel exits - taking the Germans by complete suprise and thus beginning the Battle of Arras.
The tunnels were rediscovered in 1996 and it was discovered that the New Zealand tunnellers had matched the location of the caves with New Zealand towns: from North to South, from Russell through Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin and finally to Bluff with the names still carved into the chalk walls. The Carrière Wellington Museum in Arras now includes tours into the cave system itself.
A memorial to the 41 New Zealand tunnellers who lost their lives was unveiled at Arras on 8 April 2007 and an underground museum, Carrière Wellington, which incorporates parts of the tunnel system, was opened in February 2008 and represents an extraordinary time capsule that is visited by many thousands ever year. * Its a must visit for New Zealanders. Contact Us for further information on this amazing tour.
Marfaux Memorial to the Missing. Marfaux is a village in the Marne area in France, on the north-east bank of the river Ardre, 18 kilometres from Reins and 16 kilometres from Epernay. Marfaux British Cemetery - about a kilometre from the village holds 15 New Zealand graves, and the memorial records the names of one sergeant and nine privates of the New Zealand Cyclist Battalion who died in battle in July 1918 and whose graves are lost.
Le Quesnoy is 18 kilometres south-east of Valenciennes in France and was for four years a highly fortified German garrison town. On 5 November 1918 (1 week before the armistice) it was attacked by men of the New Zealand Division who scaled the high walls of the outer ramparts and captured the German commander and his garrison of over 1,000 men with a loss of 90 men. On the face of the walls is Le Quesnoy National Memorial which commemorates their amazing success. New Zealand and New Zealanders are still today a major influence in this medieval town with streets, shops and schools named after New Zealand and the town twinned with Cambridge in NZ. Le Quesnoy remains forever a small part of far off New Zealand.