Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

New Zealand Memorial Polygon Wood


Tom Tulloch-Marshall

Recommended Posts

Does anybody know who maintains the New Zealand Memorial in Polygon Wood (Buttes New British Cemetery). I ask because I've just noticed that one of the CWGC notices about the cemetery specifically mentions that The Commission maintain the 5th Australian Division Memorial there, but doesn't mention the NZ structure. (Its in need of a bit of attention).

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The CWGC maintains the Australian Memorial, but under a maintenance arrangement with Australian Veterans Affairs (as it does, eg Villers B etc). I do know that the Commission did not take on Le Hamel when it was built, but maybe it has now that it has been completely re-ordered. Similarly the Irish one at Messines - originally nothing to do with the Commission because I do not think that that had been thought about; but I think it now does do so - presumably under an agency agreement with the Irish government. The same applies to the Canadian Memorials and doubtless it is the same for the NZ ones - ie it acts as an agency for them. Routine maintenance they do on an agreed budget; however, if there is a need for a major refurbishment, then the relevant government has to budget for that. Thus, although the Vimy Memorial was 'maintained', it became quite clear that very substantial work needed to be done some years back and the government had to find the dollars for such work - I gather Cdn$20 million, give or take. So, it is a matter for the NZ government. I do know that this particular NZ memorial provides its challenges - proximity to the wood means that keeping it clean is very difficult, for example. You might have noticed that the one up at Gravensafel has been cleaned up and the trees/vegetation largely cleared out as well; I am pretty sure that was done through the CWGC. Maybe Polygon Wood is on the list?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not strictly on centre but I was pleased to see a Red squirrel there about 6 weeks ago Just get the grey and the black round here (although I believe that there are still some Red over the border in Welsh Wales

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was there in July and noted that on the whole our (NZ) memorials I thought were in good nick, as you say Polygon needs a bit of a clean up. I guess that is just staining from the trees. Taking out the trees around the Somme memorial has in my view recaptured the original design - now you get a good 360 view. I would like to see the leytons go at Messines also. I planted heaps here in NZ now I am ripping them out.

The memorial I though was in poor condition was Le Quesnoy bits of herbage hanging over it and growing on it. I know it is half way up a wall so not the easiest job but needs a scrub up. At the time I meant to mention it to someone but now galvanised into action.

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The NZ graves and memorials within the boundaries all CWGC cemeteries are the responsibility of the CWGC. New Zealand is represented by the High Commissioner in London. As an aside we have a relative buried at the entrance to a CWGC area of responsibility but the immediate surrounds of the grave are in fact in the local Belgian council's land. We were concerned about some issues and the CWGC were fantastic. They took responsibility for contacting the council etc.

About 20 years ago a native tree was planted in the town square of Messines - just opposite a little museum. By 1997 it had died. My father contacted the NZ embassy in Brussells and they took up the case.

Regards

Andrew

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a recent image that I took in September...............

post-91995-0-15352500-1388025889_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Tom for raising the issue and thanks to Kitchener's Bulge for the photo. I've sent the photo and a covering email to the Minister in Wellington whose portfolio covers the CWGC. Hopefully that will get urgent action.

If anyone visiting can update I'd be grateful. Also any photos of the concerns at Le Quesnoy cemetery referred to by James would be great.

Regards

Andrew

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a picture of the Le Q Memorial.

Not detailed as I have compressed it - I really need master this posting pictures - however it needs a good clean and there were ferns growing on it along the ledge at the bottom. I think you can see a tinge of green. As well it is being over hung by the moss etc on the wall itself.post-51535-0-42665400-1389067704_thumb.j

post-51535-0-02081800-1389067702_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Tom for raising the issue and thanks to Kitchener's Bulge for the photo. I've sent the photo and a covering email to the Minister in Wellington whose portfolio covers the CWGC. Hopefully that will get urgent action.

If anyone visiting can update I'd be grateful. Also any photos of the concerns at Le Quesnoy cemetery referred to by James would be great.

Regards

Andrew

I was asked for comments on this, IIRC about a year or eighteen months ago, when someone - possibly the minister? - was due to visit PW. Whilst for sure memorials within CWGC cemeteries come under the CWGC, I am still almost certain that the major maintenance of such memorial structures is the responsibility of the relevant government to fund (as are the headstones of the contributing nations, on a headstone ratio basis). So, I assume that there is a 'per capita' amount of money available. A big job would require an injection of funding. Fairly straightforward horticultural jobs - such as work done around the free standing 'column' type memorials) would probably be funded quite easily: but Le Quesnoy obviously needs a fairly considerable makeover (the paved area could certainly do with it). At PW I think one of the problems has been the EU (and possibly beyond) ban on the use of certain types of anti 'greening' sprays. The major problems for PW seems to me to relate to its proximity to trees; though the names could do with being re-cut (as at Grevillers, when I was last there a few years ago - although passing by on several occasions over the months since there seems to have been a fair amount of CWGC maintenance activity going on there).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Nigel & James

The Minister did indeed visit PW in the last year or two. His reply over the photos of the PW memorial clearly indicated they caught his attention and he seems obviously keen to get some cleaning down. I'll forward on the Le Quesnoy photos as well. I'm not sure where the Government funding sits re additional funds for Belgium etc. but certainly a lot of Lotteries money is being spent in NZ on centennial projects including restoration of memorials so there may be various ways the money can flow.

Andrew

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...