The Battle of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel

July 1, 2017 marks the 101st anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme and the tragedy at Beaumont-Hamel.

One of the most well-known of the Canadian battles during the Somme is the disastrous attack by the Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont-Hamel on the opening day of the offensive. The Newfoundland Regiment was one battalion out of over 150 that attacked on 1 July. As the Newfoundlanders climbed out of their trenches they made perfectly-silhouetted targets for the German machine gunners who had escaped the opening British artillery barrage. Almost the entire regiment was killed or wounded in the attack, barely making it more than 200 yards from their front line trench. Out of a total of 801 men, 710 were either killed or wounded. The disaster of the Newfoundlanders is emblematic of the entire day for the British army who lost 60,000 men in a single day of fighting, one of the worst single days in all the history of warfare.

Featured Image: credit: Library and Archives Canada /

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