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This memorial will be a piece of France in New Zealand. The monument will honour the longstanding bonds between our two countries, the shared values and aspirations that have shaped our history. It will also provide a legacy to the new memories we are creating today together. 

Florence Jeanblanc-Risler, French Ambassador in New Zealand

The horizontal tabula presents Chant de l’Honneur, by Guillaume Apollinaire. This poem is part of Calligrammes – Poems of Peace and War (1913-1916) published the year of Guillaume Apollinaire’s death. 


A calligramme is a word or piece of text where the design and layout of the letters create a visual image related to the meaning of the words themselves. Chant de l’Honneur tells us the story of a young soldier who fought in the trenches of the First World War.  It is a call for remembrance. 


Beyond the tabula, the same sculptural form stands tall: Haere whakamua, titiro whakamuri. This Māori phrase broadly translates as ‘walking into the future, with our eyes open to the past’. It reminds us that we cannot see into the future, but we can look to the past for guidance, thus echoing the poet’s call for future generations to remember the human sacrifice on the battle fields of the First World War.


The tabula and standing form are made of local stone and crushed French Combe Brune stone from the shell-marked landscape of the Western Front.



Architect: Patterson Associates with Paul Baragwanath and Suzanne Turley



The design of the French Memorial "Le Calligramme" was led by Auckland-based architectural firm Patterson Associates Ltd, comprising architect Andrew Patterson, architectural graduate Tom Dobson, artist Paul Baragwanath and landscape designer Suzanne Turley. The project was chosen from the 43 submissions received for the architectural contest, after the appraisal of a five-member jury. 


O poètes des temps à venir ô chanteurs

Je chante la beauté de toutes nos douleurs

J’en ai saisi des traits mais vous saurez bien mieux

Donner un sens sublime aux gestes glorieux

Et fixer la grandeur de ces trépas pieux


L’un qui détend son corps en jetant des grenades

L’autre ardent à tirer nourrit les fusillades

L’autre les bras ballants porte des seaux de vin

Et le prêtre-soldat dit le secret divin


J’interprète pour tous la douceur des trois notes

Que lance un loriot canon quand tu sanglotes


Qui donc saura jamais que de fois j’ai pleuré

Ma génération sur ton trépas sacré


Prends mes vers ô ma France Avenir Multitude

Chantez ce que je chante un chant pur le prélude

Des chants sacrés que la beauté de notre temps

Saura vous inspirer plus purs plus éclatants

Que ceux que je m’efforce à moduler ce soir

En l’honneur de l’Honneur la beauté du Devoir


17 décembre 1915

Guillaume Apollinaire



O poets O singers of times to come

I sing of the beauty of our many sorrows

Fleetingly have I caught it yet far better than I

Will you give sublime meaning to these acts of glory

And capture the greatness of death made holy


A man throws grenades his whole body poised

Another eager to shoot joins in the shooting

Another arms dangling bears buckets of wine

And the priest-soldier shares the secret divine


For ye all I will tell how sweet the three notes

The oriole canon sings while you sob


Who will ever know how often I have wept

My generation for your sacred gift


Take my verses O my France and you Multitudes to Come

Sing what I sing ‘tis a pure song a prelude

To the sacred songs that the beauty of our time

Will inspire you to sing still more pure and bright

Than those I strive for tonight

In honour of Honour the beauty of Duty


17 December 1915


Translated by Sophie Caroline de Margerie



E ngā kairuri e ngā kaiwaiata o anamata

E maire nei au i te rerehua o ō tātou tini mamae

He kapo noa iho tāku, ko tā koutou nā ka pai noa ake

te whakanui i te aho atua o ēnei mahi korōria

Me te whakaahua tika i te mana nui o ēnei mate rangatira


He tangata ka whiu pohū e takatū ana te tīnana

He tangata anō ka hīkaka te pupuhi

Ko tētahi atu he kāho waina kei ngā ringa e tautau ana

Me te toa-tohunga e whāki ana i te muna atua


Mō koutou katoa taku kōrero i te wainene o ngā oro e toru

e tangi nei te kānana oriora i a koutou e tangi ana.


Ko wai ka tohu, aku hia nei tangi roimata

Ko tō koutou raupanga tapu mō taku reanga


Nei rā aku kupu e taku Parani e ngā Manomano o Tua

Mairetia taku waiata horomata nei he whakataki

i ngā waiata puaroa ka hua mai i a koutou i te rerehua o tō tātou ao

ka rōreka ake ka toari ake i āku e whai nei i te pō nei

hei whakamānawa i a Manawanui i te taiea o te Tūtika


17 Hakihea 1915


Nā Karena Kelly te whakamāori



Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington was created as the Government’s key project to acknowledge the centenary of the First World War. This was completed in time to be the centrepiece of Anzac Day commemorations in 2015. WW100, the centenary of New Zealand's participation in the First World War, will be marked over several years through a variety of commemorative activities and projects.

Have a look to the memorial location and construction  ...

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