Bulford Kiwi – 100 years
ADCW was proud to support the commemoration of the Bulford Kiwi centenary
Many of you will know that Bulford has its own version of the White Horse at Westbury and the Cerne Abbas Giant: a 130-meter-tall Kiwi carved into the chalk at Beacon Hill dating from 1919.
As the centenary of the Kiwi approached, the Army and representatives from the New Zealand High Commission contacted KBR and Lovell, to see could be done to mark this special occasion. Tasks were shared across the businesses, with ADSL providing graphics for new signs and information boards and ADCW installing directional signage. Lovell provided bases for the information boards and landscaping.
An unveiling ceremony took place on Friday 28 June – 100 years to the day the Kiwi was established.
Over 50 guests gathered to mark this important monument and milestone, including: the High Commissioner for New Zealand, Sir Jerry Mateparae; Maj Gen Neil Sexton, Army Director of Engagement & Communications; relatives of former New Zealand soldiers who created the Kiwi in 1919; former members of 249 Signal Squadron, who until 2003 were the custodians of the Kiwi and maintained its upkeep, and their new counterparts from 3rd Division Signals Regiment, who have taken over.
Representatives from the Army, Navy & Air Force of the New Zealand Defence Force were also in attendance, alongside pupils from Kiwi Primary School in Bulford, local residents and the press. In the background and making sure everything went as planned were Paul Taylor, Senior Planner, ADCW, and John Leary, Major Projects Director, Lovell.
The ceremony was an outstanding success, and everyone commented on the new signs and information boards, for which recognition should go to Darren Bourne, Graphic Designer, and the team at Aspire Media Services, Warminster Garrison (ADSL), who pulled these together.
Did you know?
- The Kiwi was created by soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force waiting to return home after the Great War. Due to a lack of troop ships to transport them, the commanding officers decided to keep the men busy (and leave a lasting reminder that the New Zealanders had been on Salisbury Plain), and they dug out and formed the Kiwi.
- Over the next 100 years, it was maintained by the Kiwi Polish Company with help from local villagers.
- During World War II the Kiwi was camouflaged so it could not be used by the Germans as a marker during night-time bombing raids. After the war, its maintenance and upkeep were transferred to the Army.
- Over time the site fell into dis-repair, until the late 70s/early 80s when commanding officers again decided to keep their men busy before a deployment, by sending them up the hill to refurbish the Kiwi.
- In 2017 the Kiwi was designated a scheduled monument.