PHO2007_266.jpg "Kiwi 600 ft x 335 ft, erected by New Zealanders at Sling Camp" (about 1919). Collection of Puke Ariki (PHO2007-266).

Kiwi pride took on a whole new meaning in June 1919 when a giant chalk kiwi took up position on Beacon Hill, overlooking the Salisbury Plain, in wartime England. Constructed from solid white chalk, the sprawling memento to the presence of New Zealand troops at Sling Camp was designed by Sergeant major Blenkarne of the army's education staff. 

The design was drawn from a true-to-life sketch of a kiwi based on a specimen held in the British Museum in London. Measuring a total of 600 by 335 feet (approximately 183 by 102 metres), it still stands as a lasting monument to the contribution of Kiwi soldiers to World War One.

This photo postcard of Sling Camp and the chalk kiwi returned to New Zealand unwritten, perhaps serving as a reminder to the soldier who purchased it of military life a long way from home.

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