Significant New Zealand presence on the territory during the conflict
During World War II, New Zealand joined forces with the United States and Australia with the Allies to fight Nazi Germany. New Caledonia and its advantageous geographical location therefore becomes an important rear base for the forces of the three countries involved in the battle of the Pacific.
A first battalion of Australians arrived on the Rock in 1941, followed by the Americans the following year and finally a New Zealand contingent settled in Bourail on November 11, 1942.
The installation of these different communities brings a modern edge to the country since the military engage in the construction of top modern infrastructure to address the needs of their soldiers. In Bourail for example, New Zealanders erected a 600-bed hospital, a bakery, a gas station and a transmission base, in addition to training camps for their troops.
Unfortunately many soldiers were killed during the South Pacific battles, especially against the Japanese. The New Zealand Military Cemetery was created in 1943 to honor their memory on a land donated by Charles Goussard, located along the route RT1, 9 kilometers from Bourail, in Boghen. Not far away, there is another memorial site: the cemetery of the Arabs.
Tribute to veterans of World War II
The cemetery is part of the "Commonwealth War Graves Commission" and that's the General Consulate of New Zealand in charge of the cemetery who is responsible for its impeccable maintenance. In this peaceful place covered with grass and white graves, 242 New Zealand soldiers are buried. A bit further the cemetery, facing the mountain, stands a memorial bearing the names of the 451 fallen men.
A commemoration is celebrated annually on 25 April on the ANZAC Day ( "Australian and New Zealand Army Corps," in homage to the gathering of Australian and New Zealand troops).
The entry of the New Zealand military cemetery is free to the visitors and tourists who can come and pray on this place full of history in the memory of those who fought and gave their lives for our freedoms.