The people of Le Quesnoy have always remembered the freedom given to them by New Zealanders in WWI. The Kiwis’ courage and ingenuity won their deep respect and led to a remarkable friendship, alive to this day.
Now it’s New Zealand’s time to remember.
On 11 October 2023, we’re opening the New Zealand Liberation Museum – Te Arawhata in Le Quesnoy with the visitor experience created by Wētā Workshop. It will tell the unique story of a liberation by ladder and honour all New Zealanders who fought in Europe in WWI.
The Le Quesnoy Story
Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary decisions. Such is the story that led to freeing of the people of Le Quesnoy.
Capture of the walls of Le Quesnoy by George Edmund Butler, 1920.
Street scene during the arrival of French President Raymond Poincare at Le Quesnoy, France. 10 November 1918.Photographed by Captain H. A Sanders. H1311. NZ RSA Collection. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand
A crowd stand around a New Zealand regimental band playing in Le Quesnoy, the day after its capture. 5th Nov 1918.Photographed by Captain H. A Sanders. H1153. NZ RSA Collection. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
New Zealand stretcher bearers removing the wounded at Le Quesnoy, World War. Photographed by Captain H. A Sanders. H1148. NZ RSA Collection. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
Walls of Le Quesnoy. Photographed by Captain H. A Sanders. H1244. NZ RSA Collection. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
About the Project
Travelling to Le Quesnoy, like Gallipoli, will soon become a rite of passage for Kiwis.
While other allies in Australia, Canada and South Africa all built their own museums and visitor centres on the Western Front post WWI, New Zealand has not.
Now, over 100 year later, we are creating something immersive and emotive that not only honours our past but engages with the present and looks to the future. With the visitor experience created by Wētā Workshop, an amazing journey awaits in late 2023 in the heart of Le Quesnoy.
Kei roto i tō tātou hītori, he oranga mō tātou.
Within our history is our future wellbeing.
We have some truly amazing partners. These generous Kiwis have ensured New Zealand’s stories will finally have a place they can be told.
Join us! Friendship is at the very heart of this project, and we’d love your companionship on our journey to open the doors at Le Quesnoy. Being our friend is not about money, (although you are always welcome to donate). It’s about showing your support for this project of national importance and staying in touch with what’s happening.
Some of our friends you might recognise, others are everyday people who just want to show their love for the project.
I was proud to visit Le Quesnoy as New Zealand Prime Minister in 2003. The planned Memorial Museum there will continue to nurture the special bond between the town, France, and our country.
I am very pleased we will soon have a uniquely New Zealand place where all ages can go to reflect and appreciate the sacrifice so many of our young men made, so far from home.
The relationship between Quercetains and New Zealanders is truly unique and has only grown over the past century. We look forward to hosting Kiwis here as they make Le Quesnoy a must visit place.
My great great uncle fought at Le Quesnoy and survived. I have been there myself and the friendship you feel as a New Zealander is real. Le Quesnoy should be a bucket list travel destination for Kiwis.
Latest News, Project Updates & Media
Find out about the latest developments, catch up on the news, find some historical photographs of the event, and find some short videos and podcasts about the soldiers who were there.