NZ'S FIRST WORLD WAR CENTENARY 2014–2019

Collecting photos of NZ tunnellers who worked in Arras, France

For the centenary, the Wellington Quarry Museum in Arras is looking for photographs of the 450 New Zealand tunnellers who worked in the underground quarries during the First World War.

The Wellington Quarry Museum in Arras, northern France, showcases the extraordinary work of the New Zealand Tunnelling Company.  At the end of 1916 during the First World War, the NZ Tunnellers dug caverns under the city of Arras to create an underground town able to accommodate thousands of British soldiers ahead of the surprise attack of 9 April 1917 (Battle of Arras).

To highlight the specificity of the Wellington Quarry site and the monumental efforts of the New Zealand tunnellers, the museum is working to create an exhibition using photos of the New Zealand tunnellers.  However in spite of their extensive research, they have been unable to find photos of all of the 450 New Zealand men. If you have a photo of a tunneller, any other information that might help locate photos, or if you are a relative, the Wellington Quarry Museum would love to hear from you: wellington@explorearras.com or isabelle@explorearras.com.

For the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Arras, the museum is planning a reunion of descendants for the dawn ceremony at the Wellington Quarry on 9 April 2017. On this same day, a statue at the entrance of the Museum and designed by New Zealand sculptor Marian Fountain will be inaugurated. Descendants of the New Zealand Tunnelling Company are welcome to attend and can confirm their participation to wellington@explorearras.com or isabelle@explorearras.com.

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NZ Tunnellers - Collection Alain Jacques
Date added: 11 July 2013 | Last updated: 13 February 2017

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