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Recording the work of the New Zealand Engineering Tunnelling Company on the WWI tunnels in Arras

Under the northern French city of Arras, there’s a network of caves and tunnels that hold huge significance for New Zealanders. They represent a permanent but unseen memorial to the brave and industrious actions of the New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company during WWI.

The Ronville network under Arras extends over approximately 2.3km with quarries named after towns and cities of New Zealand; it was capable of accommodating about 10,000 men and included its own light rail, a hospital, a shop and living quarters safe from the heavy German bombardment above ground.

In order to bring this underground city alive and preserve it for future generations, the LiDARRAS project is surveying and scanning as much of the network as possible, creating 3D images and virtual environments of the interior so that distance, time and decay don’t rob us of this memorial.