The Royal Newfoundland Regiment

The Beaumont-Hamel commemorative Dinner

Beaumont-Hamel

At 7:30 a.m., on July 1, thousands of British and French troops began their advance across No Man’s Land in broad daylight toward the German positions to open the Battle of the Somme. The result would be slaughter—more than 57,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were killed, wounded or missing—the heaviest combat losses ever suffered by the British Army in a single day.

At about 9:15 a.m., the Newfoundlanders—forming part of the 29th British Division—attacked from a support trench nicknamed St. John’s Road. They advanced from this trench, which was actually behind the front line, because of the sheer number of soldiers involved in earlier attacks who were dead or wounded and clogging the front trenches. This meant that the Newfoundlanders had to traverse more than 200 metres before they even made it to the Allies’ own front line. Once they made it to No Man’s Land, they were then expected to cross through tangles of barbed wire to reach the enemy trenches more than 500 metres away.

The losses sustained by the Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont-Hamel on July 1, 1916, were staggering. Of the some 800 Newfoundlanders who went into battle that morning, only 68 were able to answer the roll call the next day, with more than 700 killed, wounded or missing. The dead included 14 sets of brothers.

Every year, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment hosts the Beaumont-Hamel dinner on the eve of July 1st, to commemorate the last dinner that officers and senior members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment had before the fateful day. 

LOCATION

This year’s Beaumont Hamel commemorative dinner will be held within the historic walls of the Colonial Building, surrounded by Bannerman park and within close proximity of Government house. 

Home to the Newfoundland and Labrador Legislative Assembly from 1850 until 1959, the Colonial Building witnessed our unique political evolution from colony to self-governing Dominion to province of Canada. It was here that representatives gathered to make laws that shaped our economy, society and culture; it was also where they made tough choices. Once again, this building is a gathering place for people to explore, contemplate, challenge, commemorate, and debate our story of governance.

contact

Should you have any concerns regarding the Beaumont-Hamel commemorative dinner, including dietary restrictions please contact Major Sutherland:

Dustin.Sutherland@forces.gc.ca

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