Shared remembrance

The students study a book about how a town in France remembers the New Zealand soldiers who saved it.

Le Quesnoy: The Story of the Town New Zealand Saved by Glyn Harper.(external link)

Le Quesnoy: The Story of the Town New Zealand Saved by Glyn Harper (Penguin NZ, 2012). This book is available from libraries and bookstores.


New Zealand’s last major act of the First World War was to capture a small, historic French town called Le Quesnoy (pronounced leck con wah), which had been held by Germany for four years. The New Zealanders recaptured Le Quesnoy in a dramatic battle, during which soldiers climbed long ladders to scale the historic walls surrounding the town. The people in Le Quesnoy were extremely pleased to see the New Zealanders and have continued to recognise a strong relationship with the people of our country. The town has a memorial and street names commemoratIng the events that took place there in 1918, as well as streets named after the All Black rugby team and former prime minister Helen Clark. New Zealanders often visit Les Quesnoy, which helps to keep the special relationship between the town and New Zealand alive.

Key questions

  • What can we observe?
  • What do we already know?
  • How might people view this story in different ways/

Possible discussion questions:

  • How does this story make you feel?
  • Why do you think it is important to the people living in Le Quesnoy today to remember what the New Zealanders did in 1918?
  • What do people mean by saying that some countries have special bonds between them?
  • What are some ways that we remember other countries?
  • CM
  • Print.
  • Share.