|We will remember them
(Extracts from ANZAC Day presentation, 2008)
Miners at War
written for Quarrying & Mining magazine
A Tunneller's grandson tells his story
Committee member Mike Roycroft tells the story of his grandfather
The Caves of Arras
Thames Star 1917
Good War Service
Evening Post 1919
Most Frightful Fight Ever Seen
Wanganui Chronicle 1917
The New Zealand Tunnelling Company
Maori Television 2010
Unit War Diary, Arras
Nov 1916-April 1917
Most Frightful Fight Ever Seen.
Wanganui Chronicle, Volume LX, Issue 16960, 11 April 1917, Page 5
"MOST FRIGHTFUL FIGHT EVER SEEN."
LONDON, April 9.
Mr Philip Gibbs, continuing, says: 'I have seen fury. But this was the beginning of the most tragic and frightful sight men have ever seen. With infernal and indescribable splendour the preliminary bombardment for several days reached its height yesterday.
In Arras it was hell itself. The enemy was flinging high explosives into the city. Clouds of shrapnel were bursting overhead, and there were scattered shells exploding all round the country. Our bombardment swept Vimy from ridge to ridge. Above Arras to the Cambrai road was one continuous roar of death. Every battery was firing steadily. There was tragic irony in the remembrance that the eve of the new conflict was Easter Sunday. Church bells behind the battlefield were ringing out the message of the risen Christ. But there was no truce of God. As I went up the road towards the front trenches I saw fighting men stand in a hollow square with bowed heads while the chaplain was conducting Easter service. Peasants, within shelling distance, were ploughing the fields. Elsewhere the only preparation for the advance was the concentration of infantry. It was necessary to attack the great natural fortresses facing Arras, which were defended by the massed German guns.
Our artillery supply columns moved up in an endless tide. At the roadsides men could be seen, with stacked rifles, writing letters home. Before dawn they were in the midst of the battle."