Gallery 2 - The Western Front
The Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial is a memorial site dedicated to the commemoration of the Dominion of Newfoundland forces members who were killed during World War I.
The 74-acre preserved battlefield park encompasses the grounds over which the Newfoundland Regiment made their unsuccessful attack on 1 July 1916 during the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
In 1921, Newfoundland purchased the ground over which the Newfoundland Regiment made its unsuccessful attack.
The memorial is a bronze caribou, the emblem of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, standing atop a cairn of Newfoundland granite facing the former foe with head thrown high in defiance.
At the base of the Memorial mound, three bronze tablets carry the names of 820 members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve, and the Mercantile Marines who gave their lives in the First World War and have no known grave.
Close to the entrance to the Newfoundland Memorial Park, there is a bronze cast with the following words inscribed on it:
'Tread softly here! Go reverently and slow!
Yea, let your soul go down upon its knees,
And with bowed head and heart abased strive hard
To grasp the future gain in this sore loss!
For not one foot of this dank sod but drank
Its surfeit of the blood of gallant men.
Who, for their faith, their hope,—for Life and Liberty,
Here made the sacrifice,—here gave their lives.
And gave right willingly—for you and me.
From this vast altar—pile the souls of men
Sped up to God in countless multitudes:
On this grim cratered ridge they gave their all.
And, giving, won
The peace of Heaven and Immortality.
Our hearts go out to them in boundless gratitude:
If ours—then God's: for His vast charity
All sees, all knows, all comprehends—save bounds.
He has repaid their sacrifice:—and we—?
God help us if we fail to pay our debt
In fullest full and unstintingly!'
John Oxenham (1852-1941)