Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Newfoundland Memorial Day - July 1st

Not only is it Canada Day tomorrow (July 1) in Newfoundland and Labrador, it is also their Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is held in memory of those Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that lost their lives in combat, especially during World War I.

Members of the Newfoundland Regiment fought and died at Beaumont-Hamel in France during the opening day of the Battle of the Somme on July 1, 1916.

Because Newfoundland and Labrador was not yet a part of Canada until 1949, they were still considered a British colony.

They went to war in August, 1914.

The first day of the Battle of the Somme was particularly hard for the Newfoundland Regiment because only 68 of 801 soldiers survived. All of the others were either killed, wounded, or went missing in action.

You can visit the trenches at Beaumont-Hamel and see the statue of a caribou - the Newfoundland Regiment's emblem.

For more on their history, visit the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial website at <www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=memorials/ww1mem/beaumonthamel>.

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