Capture of the walls of Le Quesnoy, 1920

<em>Capture of the walls of Le Quesnoy</em>, 1920

Capture of the walls of Le Quesnoy by George Edmund Butler, 1920.

Butler’s painting shows how the men of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade liberated the fortified town of Le Quesnoy on 4 November 1918. Rather than risk civilian lives with an artillery bombardment, the New Zealanders used a ladder to scale the walls surrounding the town. Not only does this painting illustrate the qualities of courage and initiative that came to define the achievements of the New Zealand soldiers, it also manages to capture a sense of the teamwork, solidarity and mateship that became one of the trademarks of the life among the Anzacs.

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4 comments have been posted about Capture of the walls of Le Quesnoy, 1920

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Tymon Bernard

Posted: 29 Jan 2023

My Great, great uncle 2lt Victor R. Bernard died on this day of the liberation of Le Quesnoy. I have correspondence in the form of actual letters between him and hus brother, my great great grandfather who was a gunner on another front in france from a few days before his death. Sobering having the actual letters knowing if it was my great, great grandfather who fell, I wouldn’t be here. Lest we forget. I Also have a letter with a hand drawn map from a commanding officer most likely indicating the place he fell and was buried temporarily just outside the town walls.


Posted: 17 Dec 2019

My husbands grandfather was at Le quesnoy - is there anywhere that I can purchase a copy of this print?


Posted: 30 Jun 2014

Sancerre -there is a quote in Colonel Hugh Stewart, The New Zealand Division 1916-1919, Auckland, 1921, pp. 591–2 which suggests Harold Kerr was second on the ladder, followed by Barrowclough - you can find this quote here:


Posted: 29 Jun 2014

My grandfather was in involved in the liberation of Le Quesnoy. He told his family he was second on the ladder, and this has been part of our family history. Is there anyway I can find out who the men were who were with Leslie Averill on the ladder?