A publication telling the little-known story from the end of the war when New Zealand troops cut a giant Kiwi into the chalk hill behind Bulford camp, England. Published in 2018.
This is the little-known story from the end of the First World War when New Zealand troops waited months in Sling Camp in southern England for a ship to take them home. Rioting in the camp led to plans to keep troops busy by cutting a giant Kiwi into the chalk hill behind the camp.
Originally carved to keep troops busy, the kiwi became an emblem to be proud of and a cherished link to home. For many of those involved in its construction, and later its resurrection, the Bulford Kiwi came to represent all those servicemen who had passed through Sling Camp, especially those who would never go home. It was a memorial built by soldiers, not governments, for themselves and their mates.
The book also tells what happened to the Bulford Kiwi when the soldiers left for home, leaving the maintenance with the Kiwi Polish Company, its neglect after the Second World War and resurrection by UK troops, known as the ‘Arctic Warriors’.
The British Government made the Bulford Kiwi a scheduled monument in 2017 to honour the New Zealand soldiers who played a significant role in the Battle of Messines, fought in June 1917, in Belgium.
About the author
Colleen Brown is well known as a local body politician, serving on the Manukau City Council for nine years and is currently a Counties Manukau District Health Board member. She is an educationalist and disability advocate and was awarded the MNZM in 2000 for her contributions to education, community and disability. In this book she has used the investigative skills she developed writing her Masters’ thesis to research and write about this aspect of New Zealand’s history in 1919 that has largely been ignored. Colleen lives with her family in Hillpark, one of Auckland’s remaining urban forests.