ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Le Quesnoy, France, and its moated fortifications: remembering New Zealander sacrifice in World War One

Updated on March 13, 2012
Flag of France
Flag of France | Source
Flag of New Zealand
Flag of New Zealand | Source
Ramparts at Le Quesnoy
Ramparts at Le Quesnoy | Source
Fauroeulx Gate, Le Quesnoy
Fauroeulx Gate, Le Quesnoy | Source

Hailing World War One liberators

This well-preserved, fortified town is located in France's Nord department. Le Quesnoy lies not far from the Belgian border. The town's fortifications actually date from various periods of history, some of them being Medieval in origin; the celebrated Vauban, King Louis XIV's military engineer built upon and strengthened earlier ramparts.

The town has been besieged many times in its history.

One of the most noted conflicts in modern times, during which the town's fortifications were scaled and overcome, occurred in World War One, when, in Novermber 1918, troops from New Zealand successfully sought to liberate Le Quesnoy from the occupying Imperial German Army. The walls were breached by soldiers of the New Zealand Division of the British army, and the town secured, though at a cost of the lives of 90 New Zealanders. The assault on the walls of the town was led by Lieutenant Leslie Averill, who had already been decorated with the Military Cross for earlier actions in battle (1). Subsequently, what was known as the Sambre Gap was opened up for the Allied armies to cross the Belgian frontier, with the Armistice following not long afterwards.

Shortly before the Armistice, which ended hostilities, French President Raymond Poincaré visited Le Quesnoy in celebration of the liberation effected by the New Zealander troops. After World War One, a memorial, which may still be seen, was erected in the town in honour of its New Zealander liberators.

Altogether, more than 12 000 New Zealanders perished on the Western Front in World War One.

The town's fortifications, with their moat, is thus very picturesque. but also of great historic importance, not least to New Zealand and to the history of the Commonwealth. The distinguished contribution of Canadian troops in World War One — particularly at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele — may justly be said to have made the case for Canada's subsequent status as an independent Dominion compelling. Similarly, the substantial contribution of New Zealanders in World War One at places such as Le Quesnoy,

In the town, various roads and buildings are named in reference the liberation of Le Quesnoy by New Zealanders; a restaurant was named for ANZAC (2).

Al Le Quesnoy, the belfry of the town hall (French: Hôtel de ville ) is a noted, Classical structure, originally built in the 16th century but destroyed and rebuilt several times since then.

Notes

(1) Lieutenant Leslie Averill (1897-1981) was later appointed an honorary citizen of Le Quesnoy and the French government made him a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour; he was also a distinguished medical doctor and medical administrator in New Zealand. (Source: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/le-quesnoy/battle-accounts-lt-averill )

(2) Arthur Eperon, Pas de Calais & North-West France , London, Pan Books, Ltd., p. 184

Also worth seeing

Mormal Forest (French: Forêt de Mormal ; distance: 4 kilometres) has many trails for hikers and visitors.

Valenciennes, France (distance: 19 kilometres) has a striking City Hall (French: Hôtel de ville ) and a remarkably tall basilica church.

Roisin, Belgium (distance: 16 kilometres) has a memorial to Emile Verhaeren, Belgium's national poet.

...

How to get there: Continental Airlines flies from New York Newark to Paris (Aéroport Paris-Charles de Gaulle), from where car rental is available (distance from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport to Le Quesnoy : 198 kilometres). Brussels Airlines flies from New York to Brussels Airport (Brussel Nationaal / Bruxelles-National ), from where car rental is available. Brussels is the nearest large airport to Le Quesnoy (distance: 122 kilometres). Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. You are advised to consult appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada

For your visit, these items may be of interest

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)