Friday, 28 October 2011 9:21 AM

New Zealand Soldiers Honoured

The New Zealand defence force vessel HMNZS Resolution yesterday travelled to Vella La Vella in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands to repair and rededicate a World War Two memorial.

The memorial on Vella La Vella was erected in memory of New Zealand soldiers who died hwne their unit was bombed as they landed during a battle in the Solomon Islands campaign.

"It's certainly well-etched in a number of people's minds, what actually happened there. Even for myself, it's not until you don't truly know how big it is until you get there and see how big a a deal they place on the actual day itself. It's very humbling."

Prior to the visit to Vella La Vella, the soldiers also participated in a moving ceremony to honour fallen New Zealand soldiers in the Mono Islands. Almost two hundred New Zealand troops were killed in a month long fight to wrest the island from the Japanese in Mono.

Lieutenant Commander Matt Wray stated that islanders who are still alive remember hiding in caves as the battle raged on the tough terrains.