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Webmatters : The Wellington Quarry Arras: Battle of Arras Dawn Ceremony 2011
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Battle of Arras Dawn Ceremony 2012

To commemorate the Battle of Arras of the 9th April 1917 the town of Arras organises a commemorative ceremony at the Wellington Quarry (Battle of Arras Memorial).

The ceremony begins at 0630 hours (0530 British Time) to coincide with the launching of the battle.

Thousands of soldiers had spent the night in the tunnel systems under the town waiting for Zero.

This year we were honoured by a party of relatives of some of the New Zealand tunnellers who had been responsible for digging the tunnels.

They read letters from home and newspaper articles before laying a wreath in the presence of their Ambassador to France HE Rosemary Banks and Brigadier Lofty Hayward the Head of Defence Staff, New Zealand High Commission.

Following the dawn ceremonies in Arras the group of Descendants continued out to Beauval Communal Cemetery where they honoured the first New Zealander to die on the Western Front : Michael Tobin.


Some photos from the 95th Anniversary’s ceremony

The Memorial of the Battle of Arras

Brigadier Lofty Hayward and the New Zealand party Descendants of the NZETC : A final read through At 0630 hours it is still dark Stuart Park great great nephew of Sergeant Vernon reads a letter to his widow Each family member added a personal moment to the ceremony As always the French veterans' associations were in evidence Listening to the accounts which were translated into French Richard Mashiter reads an article from a war correspondent The first wreaths are laid HE Rosemary Banks lays a wreath for New Zealand The 9th April is also a major commemoration for Canadians M Jules Laude; Maire of Bullecourt On behalf of the Tunnellers And then, the anthems Following the silence the piper plays a lament Dawn has at last broken Honouriing the dead A tradition is to thank the standard bearers Raina would be calling the lost spirits to return home From the descendants The NZETC party Enjoying the after ceremony breakfast M le Senateur takes an interest in one of the badges Jules Laude and Alain Jacques with the Australian Ambassador

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