Imperial (Commonwealth) War Graves Commission memorial tablet in Amiens Cathedral
Imperial (Commonwealth) War Graves Commission memorial tablet in Soissons Cathedral
Imperial (Commonwealth) War Graves Commission memorial tablet in Beauvais Cathedral
Imperial (Commonwealth) War Graves Commission memorial tablet in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
Starting in 1923 and through to 1936, the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission erected memorial tablets in several French and Belgian cathedrals, in memory of the British Empire dead of WW1.
The first of these was placed in Amiens Cathedral, bearing the Royal Coat of Arms and dedicated to the 600,000 men of the armies of Great Britain and Ireland. Subsequent tablets incorporated the arms or insignia of Australia, Canada, India, Newfoundland, New Zealand and South Africa. Continue reading →
Plaque honouring Royal Newfoundland Regiment in Amiens Cathedral
Weeping Angel of Amiens, a popular postcard image in WW1
Plaque marking the Newfoundland flag in Amiens Cathedral
Yesterday, July 1, was Memorial Day in Newfoundland and Labrador, a solemn day of remembrance of the single greatest disaster in Newfoundland history. At Beaumont-Hamel, the Newfoundland Regiment was virtually wiped out in half an hour on the first morning of the Somme Offensive, July 1, 1916. Of the 780 men who went forward, 233 were dead, 386 wounded and 91 reported missing (later assumed dead). While the casualty rate for many battalions was over 50%, for the Newfoundland Regiment it was 90%. All the officers were killed or wounded. On one of the bloodiest days of the war, only one other battalion had a higher casualty rate.
The City of Amiens was a key Allied base in WW1. Located just behind the lines, many soldiers visited the city. After the war, Notre-Dame d’Amiens Cathedral soon became a site of remembrance, with memorials from several Allied countries, battalions, communities and individuals. Continue reading →