Wellington Tunnels Monument Statue Unveiling
Wellington Tunnels monument – The Earth Remembers.
A bronze sculpture featuring the outline of a New Zealander wearing a ‘lemon squeezer’ hat, was unveiled at dawn on 9th April 2017, at Arras.
It’s located next to the entrance of Carrière Wellington Memorial ( Wellington Tunnels Memorial ) in Arras, France. The new Wellington tunnels statue is called “The Earth Remembers”. Wellington tunnels are also known as Wellington Quarry.
The ‘dug out’ shape of the New Zealand trooper statue represents a soldier who is “no longer there”.
9th April 2017 is the 100th anniversary of The Battle of Arras when 159,00 British and Commenwealth soldiers lost their lives.
64,000 Scottish soldiers died at The Battle of Arras
The Carrière Wellington statue commemorates an outstanding secret mining feat.
New Zealand miners dug tunnel systems enabling 24,000 allied troops to be hidden from The Germans.
The tunnels had electric lighting, and railways to carry troops to the front line.
On 9th April 1917 the tunnel entrances were detonated, and the 24,000 allies burst out into the unsuspecting German lines.
New Zealand miners dug a rabbit warren of tunnels under Arras; linking together ancient quarries. This created a secret underground troop shelter.
In 2008 a small part of the cave system; called Wellington Quarry; was re-opened as La Carrière Wellington museum.
This secret underground war is only now gaining the recognition it deserves.
Wellington Quarry Memorial to The Battle of Arras superimposed with battle flames.