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