Memorial Day (NL)

Memorial Day Quick Facts

2021 DateJuly 1, 2021
2022 DateJuly 1, 2022
Memorial Day (NL)

Memorial Day History

Memorial Day seeks to remember and honor the soldiers of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment. During World War I, Newfoundland and Labrador was still under Britain’s control. Despite its small population of about 240,000, the dominion sent 1,000 men to form a battle regiment to aid Britain in the war. 1 July, 1916, at the Beaumont-Hamel in northern France, about 800 men were injured or killed. Known as the battle of Somme, it was a costly loss for the regiment. This day aims to commemorate those soldiers who fought bravely.

Memorial Day was established in 1917, one year after the battle. It is observed annually on 1 July.

Memorial Day Facts

  • On 1 July, 1924, a National War Memorial was unveiled in St. John’s. A memorial park was also established in Beaumont-Hamel in France the following year as a tribute to the fallen soldiers of the Newfoundland regiment.
  • The Newfoundland Regiment went into battle with close to 800 soldiers. Of that number, It is estimated that more than 200 were killed or died of wounds, 400 were wounded, and 90 went missing.
  • A caribou statue serves as the monument for those soldiers of the Newfoundland regiment who lost their lives during World War I. It honours the soldiers for their bravery. It also honours other Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who sacrificed their lives for freedom.

Memorial Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Visit the caribou monument at Bowring Park in St. John's. The monument pays respect and honours those of the Newfoundland regiment who lost their lives.
  • Visit the caribou monument at Beaumont Hamel Park in France. The monument pays respect and honours those fallen soldiers of the Newfoundland regiment. Their names are engraved on it for all to see and remember.
  • Watch a historical documentary about the Battle of the Somme to learn more about the tragic conflict.

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