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Writing in the Arras tunnels


These images show examples of writing on the walls of the Arras tunnel system.

  • Top left – directions to the Wellington, Nelson and Blenheim tunnels (see map). 
  • Top right – during a visit to the Arras caverns in 1999, the Governor-General of New Zealand, Sir Michael Hardie Boys, laid this wreath beneath a large 'Kia Ora NZ' sign, flanked by fern leaves. 
  • Bottom – the name of a New Zealand soldier, Solomon Issacs, carved in the chalk. Private Issacs, one of three brothers who served in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, was a Cook Islander who left New Zealand in February 1916. After serving with the Tunnelling Company for several months, he joined the Pioneer Battalion in February 1917. Nearly a year later he was sent, with other Cook Islanders, to Egypt, where he contracted pneumonia. He was repatriated to New Zealand, but his health remained poor, and he died in the Cook Islands in September 1923. 

Ian McGibbon, 1999

How to cite this page

Writing in the Arras tunnels, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated