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Hunt on for lost bunkers in New Zealand

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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Mei 2013 21:32    Onderwerp: Hunt on for lost bunkers in New Zealand Reageer met quote

Kaikoura woman is on a quest to uncover the history and forgotten memories of bunkers built in Kaikoura during World War I.

Lorraine Diver often wondered as she walked past what the concrete semicircles were on the grassy waterfront area on the Esplanade, opposite Brighton St.
When a friend told her they were part of bunkers built during WWI she thought it would be the perfect time to excavate the site in time for the centenary commemorations beginning next year.

"It's a good time for the community to recognise the efforts of our soldiers who went off to fight in the war," she said.
"It would be fascinating. Who knows what we'll find down there."

Any photos of the area would help to locate the exact spot of the bunkers, if they still exist.
Mrs Diver hopes to gather enough information, including photographs and memorabilia, to create a display in the museum in time for the beginning of the four-year commemorations of the war.

"Come next year, we'll hopefully be in the process of excavating them," she said.

Kaikoura Mayor Winston Gray said the council would be fully supportive of excavating the bunkers, which he has memories of playing in when he was a child.
"We used to play cowboys and Indians in them," Mr Gray said.
"They were on the beachhead and the home guard used to train in them. I'd assumed they'd been destroyed but they must have just been covered up."

Excavating the site would not be too difficult, as they were probably only half-a-metre underground, if that, he said.
Any pictures of the bunkers would help locate their exact site, making them easier to uncover.

New Zealand Defence Force heritage senior adviser Matthew Buck said the Defence Force had no record of any "centrally-organised" defence works in Kaikoura.
Any bunkers may have been made by a territorial force or a Home Guard unit.

The government recently announced the centenary of World War I would be marked with international and domestic projects and ceremonies at the beginning of next year.
Among the projects were the completion of the National War Memorial Park; a family history research database; an updated guide to the Western Front, and a heritage trail at places where New Zealanders served during the war, such as Gallipoli and along the Western Front.
During the four-year centenary period from 2014 to 2018, the focus would be on Anzac Day 2015 and the centenary of the Armistice on November 11, 2018.

However, other anniversaries such as the battles of the Somme, Passchendaele, Messines and Le Quesnoy in Europe and the Sinai and Palestine campaigns in the Middle East would also be marked.

If anyone has photos or information about the bunkers please contact Lorraine on 03 319 5588 or 027 815 2174.
If any question why we died
Tell them, because our fathers lied
-Rudyard Kipling-
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