Buttes New British Cemetery (New Zealand) Memorial

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Buttes New British Cemetery (New Zealand) Memorial
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Zonnebeke - Buttes New British Cemetery 2.jpg
Buttes New British Cemetery, with the New Zealand Memorial to the Missing in the background
For New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Location 50°51′20″N 02°59′29″E / 50.85556°N 2.99139°E / 50.85556; 2.99139Coordinates: 50°51′20″N 02°59′29″E / 50.85556°N 2.99139°E / 50.85556; 2.99139
Zonnebeke, Belgium
Designed by Charles Holden
Here are recorded the names of officers and men of New Zealand who fell in the Polygon Wood sector September 1917 to May 1918 and whose graves are known only to God.
Statistics source: Cemetery Details. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The Buttes New British Cemetery (New Zealand) Memorial is a World War I memorial, located in Buttes New British Cemetery, near the town of Zonnebeke, Belgium. It commemorates 378 officers and men of the New Zealand Division who were killed in the vicinity and have no known grave.

History[edit]

The Polygon Wood Sector was part of the Ypres Salient and the scene of heavy fighting for most of the war. It was originally held by the Allied forces but lost to the Germans in 1915. It was recaptured in September 1917 by the Australian 5th Division.[1] After the First Battle of Passchendaele (12 October), soldiers of the New Zealand Division wintered in the area until February 1918, when they were sent to a rest area, before being transferred to the Somme during the Spring Offensive.[2] Consequently, many of those killed in action or who died of their wounds during this period were buried in the vicinity. After the war, over 2,000 of the Allied soldiers buried around Polygon Wood in wartime graves were re-interred in Buttes New British Cemetery, located in the north-eastern corner of Polygon Wood.[3]

The Memorial[edit]

The New Zealand Memorial to the Missing, designed by the English architect Charles Holden, lists 378 officers and men of the New Zealand Division with no known grave who were killed between September 1917 and May 1918 while serving in the Polygon Wood Sector or in the Battle of Polygon Wood.[3] Most of those commemorated were from the Otago Regiment.[4]

It is one of seven such memorials on the Western Front to the missing dead from New Zealand. The others are located at Messines Ridge British Cemetery, Caterpillar Valley (Longueval), Grevillers, Tyne Cot, Cité Bonjean and Marfaux.[3]

Other memorials and cemeteries in the area, related to the Battle of Polygon Wood, are a memorial to the Australian 5th Division and the Polygon Wood Cemetery.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gray, 2010, pp. 170–171
  2. ^ McGibbon, 2001, p. 3
  3. ^ a b c Buttes New British Cemetery (New Zealand) Memorial, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 18 September 2014
  4. ^ Reed, Paul. "Polygon Wood". Old Front Line Battlefields of WW1. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Polygon Wood Cemetery. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 18 September 2014

References[edit]

  • Gray, John H. (2010). From the Uttermost Ends of the Earth: The New Zealand Division on the Western Front 1916–1918. Christchurch, New Zealand: Wilson Scott Publishing. ISBN 9781877427305. 
  • McGibbon, Ian (2001). New Zealand Battlefields and Memorials of the Western Front. Auckland, New Zealand: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-558444-9. 

External links[edit]