National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand : Military History & Army War Museum

The Unknown Warrior’s Headstone

Known Unto God

Unknown Warrior's HeadstoneWhen it comes to portraying the grief and loss of war there are few objects that have as much impact as the Unknown Warrior’s headstone.

For some 90 years the headstone stood as a marker over the remains of an unnamed New Zealand soldier in a French cemetery, until that soldier was selected as the nation’s Unknown Warrior.

The Unknown Warrior, an unidentified soldier who died in World War I, symbolises every New Zealand serviceman and woman who have lost their lives during war.

When the remains of the soldier returned home in 2004 so too did the headstone that had marked his resting place. Since returning to New Zealand the headstone has often been on display in the National Army Museum with its beautiful but stark engraving; “A New Zealand Soldier of the Great War, Known unto God”.

The headstone commemorates those New Zealanders who died so far from home and signifies our responsibility to honour and remember their sacrifice.

Read more stories about Kiwis at War.