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Capture of the walls of Le Quesnoy, 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.


National Collection of War Art, Archives New Zealand
Reference: AAAC898 NCWA 535
Artist: George Edmund Butler
Permission of Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

How to cite this page

Capture of the walls of Le Quesnoy, 1920, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated