The Bulford Kiwi: The kiwi we left behind

on Thursday, 08 October 2020.

Book Review

The Bulford Kiwi: The kiwi we left behind by Colleen Brown, 2018
New Zealand: Bateman Publishing
ISBN 9781869539849
176 pages, paperback, includes index

The Bulford Kiwi Cover

The Kiwi story can be seen as a voyage of discovery, both for the author and for others who have been touched by the emblem and its place in history. Readers will be taken on a journey back to discover the causes for the emblem’s creation; political and personal.


The difficulties facing the New Zealand troops who were so very far from home during WWI and after are laid bare. There were also the practicalities of caring for the Kiwi as time passed. The role of the British Army, the New Zealand Government and the Kiwi Polishing Company are examined alongside the personal stories of the soldiers themselves, written home at the time. Disease, illness and an exacting military regime also had their part to play in the events that unfolded.


The Kiwi is an emblem forged of frustration and despair, cut into the landscape for the memory of those who had been lost. The author has shown that its future has been secured due to the respect and honour for those it stood for, who had already sacrificed so much.


The illustrations are interesting and well placed and the story is a good mix of factual data, interwoven with personal stories. It will prove particularly interesting to those who have seen the emblem and would like to find out more about its history and legacy, and to anyone interested in the history of the area and the part it played in WWI.

A captivating read.

Copies of The Bulford Kiwi (ref. BUR.353) are available to view at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre and Salisbury Library, or to loan via Wiltshire Libraries, with one copy kindly donated by Collen Brown herself.

Julie Davis
County Local Studies Librarian
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

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