Latest News & Public Notices

World War One's last battle remembered in Whangamata

25 October 2018

More than 18,000km separate Le Quesnoy in France and Whangamata on the Coromandel, but they are connected through our World War 1 Memorial Forest in Whangamata, which is dedicated to the New Zealand soldiers who were killed in the battle to liberate the town in the closing days of the war.

Photo above: Le Quesnoy World War 1 Memorial Forest in Whangamata.

Photo above: Le Quesnoy World War 1 Memorial Forest in Whangamata.

The Whangamata RSA and our Mayor Sandra Goudie would like to invite the community to attend a short ceremony to commemorate the 100th year since the battle of Le Quesnoy by planting a tree of remembrance on 4 November, followed by a light lunch.

The Le Quesnoy Memorial Forest is located in Whangamata at the north entrance of the town and 122 trees have been planted there to remember the 122 Kiwi troops killed in the Battle of Le Quesnoy on 4 November 1918.

In February last year, Le Quesnoy Deputy Mayor Marie José Burlion and the previous Mayor of Le Quesnoy, Paul Raoult, along with 28 other French delegates visited the Le Quesnoy WW1 Memorial Forest in Whangamata and were welcomed by some of our Community Board members, Councillors, Council staff and members of the Whangamata community.

“This is about honouring our soldiers and acknowledging sacrifices made, but on days like this it is also about celebrating the special relationship that has grown between the people of Le Quesnoy and the people of New Zealand,” says our Mayor Sandra Goudie.

Battle pins (pictured above) can be purchased and worn on the day, then handed down to generations to come. Those who have already bought a memorial tree are able to purchase a battle pin engraved with their tree reference number. These are available for $10 each from the Whangamata RSA Office. Email: rsamanager@outlook.com or phone 07 865 9419 for further details.

The eight WWI Memorial Forest sites pay tribute to the New Zealand soldiers who fell in a particular battle or to the men from a particular Coromandel Peninsula town who were killed in the war. Over the years, these groves of trees will mature into forests, providing quiet places for people to visit and remember the soldiers.

For more information on the New Zealand World War 1 Memorial Forests project across the Coromandel see www.tcdc.govt.nz/ww1memorialforest.