Bulford Kiwi: 100 Years Of Monument Commemorated

Carved in 1919, the Bulford Kiwi now represents the New Zealand troops that served in the First World War.

A special ceremony has taken place to mark 100 years of the Bulford Kiwi.

The 'Ngā Tapuwae, In Their Footsteps' sign commemorates the New Zealanders and the local community who were in Bulford during the First World War.

The sign now leads the path to the Bulford Kiwi.

Carved in 1919, the Bulford Kiwi now represents the New Zealand troops that served in the First World War.

"The Kiwi was built initially as something to occupy the troops," said Sir Jerry Mateparae, the New Zealand High Commissioner.

"Later, it became more of an imperative as the men became restless about not being able to go home."

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New Zealand's High Commissioner attended the event in Bulford.

The new sign tells the unique story behind the monument that was carved by New Zealand troops 100 years ago.

Soldiers from the 3rd Division Signals Regiment paraded in support of the occasion.

The Kiwi now sits under the watchful eye of the British Army.

"Informally, we use it as our emblem," said Lieutenant Colonel Tim Cooper.

However, the site nearly did not make it to its centenary after it was left to fend for itself.

That was until, in 1980, a Lieutenant Colonel told British troops to clean the Kiwi up.

"We were going to deploy to Turkey in the summer operations and we sent the vehicles off by sea and we were flying out a couple of weeks later," recalled Retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Fisher.

"We had a bit of spare time, so I suggested it to the boys. If we cleaned up the Kiwi... they could have a long weekend and a few beers."

Bulford Kiwi works in 1980 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
In 1980, a Lieutenant Colonel told British troops to clean the Kiwi up.

Residents from the UK and New Zealand remembered those that were here in 1919 at sling camp.

National anthems were sung and the New Zealand High Commissioner gave a speech as the Ngā Tapuwae sign was unveiled.

Attending the ceremony was one of the great nieces of a serviceman who lost his life in the First World War.

The Kiwi symbol reminds her of home and she welcomes the efforts by the British troops.

"To know that the British Army looked after it... gives me enormous satisfaction."