Kiwi artist's work at centre of Battle of Messines centenary ceremony

Victory Medal was officially unveiled by Dame patsy Reddy the New Zealand Governor General. Dignitaries, including the ...
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Victory Medal was officially unveiled by Dame patsy Reddy the New Zealand Governor General. Dignitaries, including the New Zealand ambassador in Belgium Gregory Andrews, left, and Messines mayor Sandy Evrard laid roses around the sculpture by Helen Pollock, right.

Auckland artist Helen Pollock is in Belgium where her sculpture was at the centre of the centenary ceremony for the WWI Battle of Messines.

Pollock's interest was sparked by her father having fought in WWI.

Her work, Victory Medal, was unveiled at the June 7 commemoration by Dame patsy Reddy the New Zealand Governor General.

Victory Medal originally showed at Devonport's Fort Takapuna in 2010, then toured the country before being unveiled at ...
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Victory Medal originally showed at Devonport's Fort Takapuna in 2010, then toured the country before being unveiled at Arras, France in April.

Other dignitaries laid roses, the Messines symbol of peace, around Victory Medal.

READ MORE: Kiwi artist makes personal and public journey to WWI sites

The New Zealand Army chaplain, and the RNZ Navy Maori cultural advisor, Jack Rudolph blessed the work.

Helen Pollock's Victory Medal installed at Messines ready for celebrations, with a statue of a New Zealand soldier behind.
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Helen Pollock's Victory Medal installed at Messines ready for celebrations, with a statue of a New Zealand soldier behind.

In April, Pollock and fellow artist from Devonport on Auckland's North Shore Tony McNeight travelled to Arras where their shared installation, combining Victory Medal and Poppies of Peace, were at the heart of centenary celebrations for the Battle of Arras.

New Zealand soldiers had a significant role in both battles. In Messines, there were 3700 New Zealand casualties, of whom 700 died.

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The Belgian army arrives in Messines from Arras with a roar of machinery and delivers Devonport artist Helen Pollock's ...
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The Belgian army arrives in Messines from Arras with a roar of machinery and delivers Devonport artist Helen Pollock's sculpture with impressive efficiency.

 - Stuff

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