Monday, 14 November 2011

Belgian and New Zealand flags flying in Rangiora (Waimakariri)

Mayor David Ayers from Waimakariri send me this picture taken taken Friday 11/11 after a wreath-laying service at the Rangiora Cenotaph!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Belgian Consul in Christchurch awarded with Belgian Order of the Crown

Lieve Bierque, Belgian Consul in Christchurch , has been awarded with the Belgian Order of the Crown for her effort to help the Belgian Citizens in and around Christchurch  during the earthquake and the after shocks.
Despite the fact that her house was badly damaged and she and her husband Gavin had to reside at the home of their friends, she did whatever was possible to help them all.
We are very pleased Lieve has been awarded. As you can see, the Belgians have not forgotten!
Thanks Lieve for the good work you're doing!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Visitors from Christchurch

Today and yesterday I was on the Battlefield with Patrick and Ella Duggan.
Patrick is since years Parade Marshal at the ANZAC service in Christchurch. There we met for the first time in 2009.  He is also the author of "What have they done to the rain" (see ).
Patrick is a veteran who served in Vietnam.

He was here in the trail of his great-uncle MANN CHARLES ELDRICH, Charles was a New Zealand Lance Corporal in the Otago Regiment and he was missed in action on  27/11/1917, during the preparation of the attack on Polderhoek Chateau (03/12/1917). He is one of the 3.000 NZ soldiers that have been lost during the winter of 1917-1918 in the Polygon Wood sector.

We have been together for two days and have done everything we could in this short time to see all the places of interest.

Patrick and Ella at 's Graventafel Paschendaele 14/10/2011

Patrick sticking a RSA poppy next to the name of his great-uncle who's commemorated at the Memorial for the Missing New Zealanders at Butte's New Cemetery.
Patrick was giving two New Zealand WWI badges from Kevin Brown JP - President  of RSA Kaiapoi - as a gift for the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917. They will be on display from next year on in the museum extension.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The 94th anniversary of New Zealands bloodiest day

A tiny flax cross with  a RSA poppy at 's Graventafel near Belle Vue to commemorate today the ultimate sacrifice of those who came from the Uttermost Ends of the Earth
Today, I was there alone. I hope one day, we will be many to commemorate.
Rendez vous next year at 11 AM !

Lest it be forgot

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Passchendaele Society commemorate 94th anniversary Battle of Passchendaele in Auckland

The Passchendaele Society will commemorate the 94th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele in Auckland with

• A Commemoration Ceremony at the Auckland War memorial Museum Wednesday 12 October at 11am preceded by a performance by the Tongan Brass band from 10am. Details following.

• Daily screenings of

The New Zealanders on the Western Front: 3 Documentaries 6th to 12th October (see poster attached)
2pm at the Academy Theatre in Auckland City
10am at the Victoria Theatre in Devonport

There will be Questions and Answer sessions facilitated by the Passchendaele Society after every session.

The New Zealanders on the Western Front: 3 Documentaries were shown at the Victoria Theatre last ANZAC Day to a full house, so bookings are definitely recommended at

Actor Robyn Malcolm, sculptor Helen Pollock and film maker David Blyth have individually made the journey back to the WW1 battlefields of Northern France and Belgium to retrace the footsteps of their forefathers. Each has created a personal tribute to the sacrifices of the New Zealand Division on the Western Front.

The films contain interesting archival footage of the New Zealanders on the Western Front in WW1; and particularly around Passchendaele and Le Quesnoy.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Russel Briggs from Auckland War Memorial and Jo Kane on Battlefield Tour

visit of Ewen Taylor

Memorial for Sgt Nicholas VC

Polygon wood cemetery

the wreath from Waimakariri on Buttes New Cemetery

A Dolores cross for Ewen Taylor

Jo in action

Monday, 25 April 2011

Dawn Service Buttes New British Cemetery 25/04/2011 06.00 am

Early start, special place on the battlefield
Jo Kane on behalf of the People of Waimakariri

every year more people are coming to commemorate

more and more young people
The Tatty Tenors on Buttes, national hymnes from New Zealand, Australia and Belgium (in both languages Flemish and French). Congratulations to these beautiful voices!

from Australia and New Zealand together with Belgians and people from the UK

wreaths from the officials but also private wreaths

Sons of the British Empire project

H.E. Dr Brendan Nelson Australian Ambassador, patron of the project

Jo Kane and Ingrid Vandepitte, with a Tatty Tenor, Marc Verstraete  in the rum and coffee breakfast after the dawn service

John and Marianne Sutherland with the deputy of the Australian Embassy talking about the New Zealand Dolores project

Mr Don Rowe President, NSW Branch, Returned and Services League had a chat with the Australian Ambassador

Those two did the work for the Sons of the British Empire project on Buttes

ANZAC Tattoo in the Chateau Park

The Passchendaele Pipe & Drumband
the Tatty Tenors from Australia

panoramic view

modern times , even in tattoo

warming up Haka

London New Zealand Rugby Team with the Haka

a Scottish Band

Rugby in Passchendaele

The London New Zealand Rugby team was playing against the London Scottish

The coach drivers have their own "grandstand"

sometimes hard but always sportsmanlike

"coach" Jo Kane is giving a debriefing

The real ANZAC spirit thru the sport

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Jo Kane is Honorary Citizen in Zonnebeke 23/04/2011

Jo and the Council together in front of the Town Hall

panoramic view of the council room

1st Alderman Franky Bryon is giving a speech to welcome Jo.
She's only the third person to receive this honorary title and the first foreigner.

Jo thanks the Community for this honor, the twinning and the support

The gift presented to her  is a copper sculpture made by Rik Ryon. A Sunflower made from scrap from the battlefield! Zonne in the name Zonnebeke means Sun.

Signing of the Guest Book

Friday, 22 April 2011

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Unknown Kiwi Soldier

Some friends already did some research.

The cap badge worn by our mystery soldier looks very like that of the Royal Sussex Regiment.
He may very well have been a Kiwi serving in the British Army.
This is also a trail we can follow, of course.
Thank you Aaron and Buck for your contribution.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Special Request for ANZAC week

We believe this soldier is a Kiwi!
We don't know his name, rank or number. We only have a picture. His cap badge could be Signals Corps (NZ Engineers) badge. During WW1 the NZ Signals was part of the Corps of Engineers.
We are not sure but it’s quite reasonable that this man was killed here during WWI.
There is a special story about it, a love story between a Belgian Girl (Lia was her name) and the New Zealand Soldier. We would like to give that man a name....and perhaps a happy end after almost 100 years!
He seems to be the father of a Belgian boy during WWI, but the mother  never had contact with him again.
Her son was born on October 31st 1918 and registered in Somerset House,  Marylebone, London.

We suppose this soldier died or disappeared between February and November 1918.
Around the first 3 months of 1918 he should have been in London.
Roger married on April 11, 1942 and had also children who are still alive. Roger's son Patrick is in contact with me and he  also has children.

The boy's name was Roggie, later Roger.