GIF: Armistice, The Bulford Kiwi

The Bulford Kiwi

‘The Bulford Kiwi is a large depiction of a Kiwi, carved in the chalk on Beacon Hill above the military town of Bulford on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England. It was created in 1919 by soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who were awaiting repatriation following the end of First World War.

Sling Camp (now gone), part of Bulford Camp, was established in June 1916 for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF). Soldiers of the NZEF underwent training here when arriving in England before being transferred to New Zealand units serving on the Western Front. The Kiwi was constructed on Beacon Hill overlooking the camp.

After the war was over, the New Zealand soldiers were eager to return home, but no troop ships were available. In the wake of riots by disaffected soldiers, their commanding officers decided that the troops should be kept busy carving an enormous kiwi into the chalk of the hill. This was done in February and March 1919, by the Canterbury and Otago Engineers Battalions. The emblem is cut out of the chalk hillside, and stands out in contrast from the surrounding vegetation’[i].

While the infamous Sling Camp has gone, the Kiwi remains.  This Gif has been created to symbolise the urgent desire of all of the New Zealand troops to return home after the Armistice was signed.  The war was over and the New Zealanders were wholly sick of the affair, all they wanted was peace, homeland and loved ones.

The original image of the Camp and Kiwi are a from a 1919 Postcard.  A series of slides were created in Adobe Photoshop to depict the movement of the Kiwi. The file was then imported into Adobe Premiere and the edges of the frame roughened, the slides given a dirty/rusty patina, green tinted and the first two slides animated, to give an old projector style or newsreel feel.



[i] Wikipedia: The Bulford Kiwi. Accessed 26/08/18


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