Sunday, 26 April 2015


Hon Jerry Brownlee New Zealand  Minister for Defence
 It was an early start on ANZAC Day in Polygon Wood. About 1500 people attended the Dawn Service.

Every year the crowd is growing. The ceremony is, since last year, with more emotion because of the presence of the Defence Forces with a Catafalque Party and a Cultural Group. Soprano Carleen Ebbs from New Zealand  buit resident in the UK was also performing during the ceremony.
RADM Jack Steer New Zealand Chief of Navy

Just before the start there was a light drizzling rain, but after the ceremony started the sky was very open. the sun was raising from the East over the butte during the ceremony and the birds were singing in the sky.

After the ceremony, public and dignitaries could place flax crosses from the Dolores Project on the graves of the New Zealand victims during the Winter of 1917-1918 on this cemetery. this area has been defended by New Zealand Force during this cold winter. It was called a quiet winter but the New Zealand losses were about 3,000 men!
New Zealand Defence Cultural Group
It was also in this area on 3 December 1917, there was an attack on Polderhoek Chateau were Sergeant Henry James Nicholas VC, MM earned his VC.
Wreath Laying on behalf of the NZ Defence Forces
 On the other side of Polygon Wood, a memorial is erected for Sgt Nicholas. On the other site of the road, there is Polygon Cemetery. A small cemetery with almost all New Zealanders. Amongst them is also George Charles Lee Wilson, a very well know cricketer in his time. Private Wilson was in the Canterbury Infantry Batalion. He died here on 14 December 1917 (aged 30). for more information, see this blog .

The Alderperson for Tourism on behalf of Waimakariri
 In Polygon Wood, you have also 2 concrete shelters build by the Kiwies during this winter.
During the NZ Hymn

A visit to New Zealand headstones on Butte's

(c) Photos: Willy Roets
the same contingent was performing also in Mesen/Messines and under the Mening Gate.
Click on this link to see the Haka under the Menin Gate

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