Anne & Brian

From: Anne & Brian
To: le.quesnoy@wanadoo.fr
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2005 1:25 AM
Subject: visit.

Office de Tourisme, Le Quesnoy.
Salutations de Nouvelle Zelande. Bonjour! Earlier this year I wrote to your office and accepted information helpful to our planned trip to Le Quesnoy. We are about to leave New Zealand and will visit your town in late October.
We have been unable to determine railway timetables and hope you might send an answer to our question. Is there a train from LeQuesnoy to Lille on Saturday afternoons or even late evening? We will appreciate your reply. Sincerely, Brian &Anne .


I received this email, it was so far away, he had been sent by New Zealanders looking for information about Le Quesnoy.

I answered to them and after exchanging several emails we offered them to come home.

They came to Le Quesnoy October 29, 2005.

French version / Version française  

Their journey had started a few weeks ago and Le Quesnoy was an important step for them.

In our city, where is the monument of New Zealanders, these people have indeed lost a generation of young soldiers came from around the world to liberate the Quesnoy from the German invasion in 1918.

As they belonged to the Commonwealth troops, New Zealanders had come to the Quesnoy during this war.

Anne and Brian wanted to visit the military cemeteries of New Zealanders in Le Quesnoy, Vertigneul and Romeries where most of these young soldiers are currently buried.



At Le Quesnoy, the military cemetery of New Zealand is near the civilian cemetery.



Commonwealth soldiers are buried here, this site pays tribute to them.

God bless them all.
May they always remain in our memories.

  Le Quesnoy Communal Cimetery



Le Quesnoy



On the road to Vertigneul, we stop at the Place du Colonel Blyth in Beaudignies


Lieutenant Colonel Blyth is one of the liberators of Le Quesnoy.

died in 2001.

He returned several times in our city that he and his men released November 4, 1918 just a few days , before the end of this terrible war which ended November 11, 1918

Lieutenant Colonel






1896 - 2001



They scaled the city walls with ladders to liberate the town.



George Edmund Butler, The Walls of Le Quesnoy, c.1918 George Edmund Butler, Entry of New Zealand troops into Solesmes, 1919 George Edmund Butler, Capture of the walls of Le Quesnoy, 1920 Annie Elizabeth Kelly, Sergeant H J Nicholas, VC, 1920 George Edmund Butler, The Walls of Le Quesnoy, 9 November 1918

In St Andrew's church in Cambridge, in New Zealand, you can find the drawing in the war memorial windows.

Click on the picture to obtain some information


At the top of the wall, they saw this street. Baillon Street today.



The New Zealand soldiers

killed in these attacks are buried in

the military cemeteries of

Le Quesnoy, Romeries and


        Vertigneul Churchyard  
The churchyard of Vertigneul contains the graves of 20 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War, 19 of them from New Zealand units.
          Cimetière de Vertigneul    
        The tomb of Henry James Nicholas
who was awarded the Victoria Cross New Zealand is in Vertigneul
        The life of Henry James Nicholas    
Cimetière de Romeries


Vertigneul and Romeries were both taken by the 1st Otago Regiment, the 2nd Canterbury Regiment and the 8th Lancashire Fusiliers on 23 October 1918.


General Directions: Romeries is a village approximately 16 kilometres south of Valenciennes and 4 kilometres north-east of Solemes. The Communal Cemetery is on the west side of the village on the north side of the road to Solemes.

Part of the II Corps retired through this area during the Retreat from Mons in August 1914, and in October 1918, Commonwealth forces returned during the Advance to Victory. Briastre was captured on 10 October 1918, Belle Vue Farm on 20 October, Romeries itself and Beaudignies on 23 October and Englefontaine on 26 October.

The Battle of the Sambre, the last great action of the war, carried the front forward into Belgium and ended with the Armistice.

Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension is one of the burial grounds of those who died between these dates. The original extension is Plot I, made by the 3rd and New Zealand Divisions, and containing 128 graves.

The remaining plots were made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from small cemeteries and isolated positions on the battlefield, including (in Plot X) a few graves of 25 August 1914.


Near Oamaru, in New Zealand, to keep a memory of the young New Zealand soldiers who died far from home, for each dead soldier was planted a tree with a cross on her foot.

On the cross we can read in wich country the soldier died and in which year.

The trees are like graves and the names remain in the memory of New Zealand.

Here are two pictures taken at Duntroon, a village on the South Island.

In Oamaru, there are also many cross under the trees in the city.



            Romeries Communal Cimetery   Cimetière de Romeries    

Here is a link to the
New-Zealand history online


The ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), means the troops from Oceania who have participated in the Australian Army and New Zealand during the First World War.

The ANZAC Day is celebrated on April 25 of each year in Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Niue.

Anzac Day      
          The website of the Association "Le Quesnoy Nouvelle Zélande", with which we could visit the Town Hall with Anne and Brian.