Beaumont Hamel, the Newfoundland Memorial

The first day of the Battle of the Somme was the Newfoundland Regiment’s first major engagement; on the first of July 1916, an assault was launched near the village of Beaumont Hamel which lasted less than thirty minutes, but in those thirty minutes the regiment was virtually wiped out. The following day at roll call, out of 780 men, there were only 68 present.

After the battle, the regiment was sent back to the front, and with reinforcements bringing it up to full strength, it continued to fight in most of the major engagements. In 1917, King George V honoured them by bestowing the title ‘Royal’ to the regiment which is only one of three times when this has happened during a war.

The Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial is a preserved battlefield park which includes grounds over which the Newfoundland Regiment made their ill-fated  attack on 1 July 1916. We were fortunate enough to visit it and pay our respects earlier this year, and today on Rembrance Sunday it seems fitting to remember the men of this regiment.

Beaumont Hamel (7)

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