A giant chalk carving of a kiwi has been granted protected status to honour “New Zealand’s valour”.
The 130m-tall Bulford kiwi, on Bulford Hill near Stonehenge, was carved by New Zealand troops who were stationed there at the end of the war. They did it to mark their presence and achievements in battles.
Britain’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport has made it a scheduled monument to honour the centenary of a World War One battle.
New Zealand soldiers played a significant role in the Battle of Messines, fought in June 1917 in Belgium.
Historic England spokesman Roger Bowdler said the monument paid tribute to the bravery of New Zealanders in the Great War.
“Like so much of our historic environment, these lasting reminders enable us to connect with lives and events from the past that made us who we are as a nation,” the BBC reported.
“One hundred years on, it is right to remember New Zealand’s valour.”
Another monument at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, marking the same battle, has also been granted protection.
The Terrain Model of Messines a scale model of the battlefield was made by German prisoners of war using soil, concrete, bricks and pebbles.
The model was a popular tourist attraction at the end of the war, but it became neglected and was lost until it was recently excavated.
It has now been covered over again to protect it from damage and erosion.
New Zealand High Commissioner Sir Jerry Mateparae said it was fantastic to see Historic England protect two sites of huge importance for New Zealand, the BBC reported.
“The special connections that were forged 100 years ago, with communities in the United Kingdom where New Zealanders trained, are still strong today and it’s moving to see these sites protected for generations to come.” NZME