Despatches
Read our archival newsletters on line (PDF)

Descendants Gather in Waihi
We are on line
Tunnelling Company Memorial
First On, Last Off, First Death
Arras Visit 2012
We Need Your Help
People behind the Scenes
September 2011

ANZAC Day 2010
News from Arras
Tunnelling Coy graves
Tunnellers' memorial at Givenchy
March 2010

Arras Commemoration
Kiwi Connections
A Fortunate Company
Letter from a descendant
November 2009

Hauraki Mayor to visit Arras
Duisans, Faubourg & Roclincourt cemeteries
July 2009

Descendants gather in Waihi
NZ Pioneer Battalion
Books you can find in your local library
Plans for the Future
How You Can help
March 2009

This website went live 25 April 2011
Last updated May 2016

Regular updates are available on our Facebook page.

Follow progress on the construction of the Tunnelling Company Memorial in Reflections, our monthly newsletter, which we will publish until the completion of the project.

February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015

September 2015
August 2015
July 2015

Updates

July 2015
Memorial dedication date announced; Friday 22 January 2016. We are planning a weekend of activities. More details to follow.

June 2015
Fundraising for the Tunnellers' Memorial completed. Memorial foundation stone in place (dedicated at a public ceremony 22 April) Work on memorial has begun. Dedication date in early 2016 yet to be determined. Sue Baker Wilson receives QSM for her work with heritage research and war commemorations.

March 2013
Presentation to Hauraki District Council requesting approval in principle for Tunnelling Company Memorial to be sited at Gilmour Park, Waihi. Approval granted. Go to the Memorial page and also Click here for more (0.5MB PDF).

October 2012
A slideshow of descendants and supporters of the Tunnelling Company on their trip to France. Click here to view.

October 2012
Read Mike Roycroft's account of the April 2012 trip to Arras. Click here.

October 2012
Follow photographer Brett Killington as he takes photographs underground and documents the April 2012 trip Click here.

5 October 2012
Auckland War Memorial Museum Display
On 30 September we participated in Auckland Heritage Festival by joining a number of display and talks provided by the New Zealand Military History Society. We set up a display in the foyer of the Auckland Museum as well as giving a presentation on the Tunnelling Company. Click here for more.

April 2012
Descendant Jeff Tobin writes after visiting the grave of his Great Uncle Sapper Michael Tobin, the first NZEF enlistment to die on the Western Front.

April 2012
TV3 features the New Zealand Tunnelling Company during their ANZAC Day coverage

As part of the National ANZAC Day Commemorative Service held in Wellington the Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. John Key read a letter from Tunnelling Company Sapper J.E. MacManus to the widow of Sergeant Sam Vernon.
Click here to view the video.

April 2012
Descendants and supporters trip to Arras, April 2012
Photos

December 2011
La Compagnie des Tunneliers Neo-Zealandais a Arras
A very brief story in French of the New Zealand Tunnelling Company, plus details of what we are planning to remember these men.
Click here for more.

July 2011
Sapper Michael Tobin
Tauranga miner and Public Works Department employee Michael Tobin joined the New Zealand Tunnelling Company in October 1915. He was the first NZEF enlistment to die on the Western Front.

25 April 2011
Website goes live
'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'.

Reported in the Wanganui Chronicle 11 April 1917

The 'tragic irony' was that the battle was at Easter. In 2011, Easter and Anzac day coincided, and this is the day we chose to launch this website, dedicated to the tunnellers, their descendants, and those who remember.

Thanks to all of the following for their assistance:

New Zealand Tunnelling Company descendants
Newmont Waihi Gold (Glen Grindlay, Kelvyn Eglinton, Sefton Darby)
Robert & Carol Pike, European liaison & research
Royal British Legion; Anne Campbell & REME Colonel (Rtd) Jeremy Towler
Howard (Clas) Chamberlain
Royal New Zealand Returned Services Association
New Zealand Defence Force
Hauraki District Council
Go Waihi
Waihi Heritage Vision
Waihi Arts Centre & Museum
Harriet Taylor
New Zealand Sappers Association
New Zealand Military Historical Society
Noel W Taylor
Herb Farrant
Arras Tourism Office
John Reading & Donna Baldey, Australian Tunnelling Company researchers
Ross Thomas, Executive Producer, Beneath Hill 60
Anthony Byledbal
Ministry of Culture & Heritage
Ian McGibbon
Coromandel Heritage Trust, The Treasury


above: Ross Thomas, Executive Producer of Beneath Hill 60, with Tunnelling Company descendant Olive MacMillan in Thames for the 'provincial premiere' of the film on 22 August 2010 prior to it opening in main centres.