Beaumont-Hamel

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On 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, troops from Newfoundland began fighting in France for the first time.

This commune includes the villages of Beaumont, Gare-de-Beaucourt and Hamel. These villages were situated just behind the German Lines. At the time, Newfoundland was a British colony and on this basis - as with all the countries of the Empire - it raised a volunteer army. On 1st July 1916, at 0900, the men of the first Newfoundland Regiment had scarcely left their trenches before coming under fire from German machine-guns. Half an hour later only 68 of them were left unscathed. All the officers were either killed or injured. Proportionally to the number of troops involved, this action was one of the most murderous of the entire the Somme offensive. The village was finally taken on 13th November 1916 by the 5th Scottish Highland Regiment.

  • Beaumont-Hamel

    Beaumont-Hamel. Photo : SGA/DMPA - JP Le Padellec

  • Newfoundland memorial

    Newfoundland memorial. Source: Philippe Feret

  • Beaumont-Hamel Memorial

    Beaumont-Hamel Memorial. Photo: SGA/DMPA - JP Le Padellec

  • Statue of a Caribou

    Statue of a Caribou. Photo: SGA/DMPA - JP Le Padellec

Source: Comité du tourisme de la Somme

Designed by landscape architect Rudolph Cochius, the park covers 16 hectares and was inaugurated in 1925. At the entrance there is a monument to the 29th Division to which the Newfoundland Regiment was attached. A path leads to a viewing table at the top of the Caribou mound - so called because it is surmounted by a bronze statue of a caribou, the symbol of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, which is the work of English sculptor Basil Gotto -, from where the overview of the battlefield enables the trench "system" to be understood. Three bronze tablets at the base of the mound serve as a national memorial to the fallen. A single petrified tree escaped the devastation: this is the skeleton of the "tree of danger", so-called because it was located at a particularly exposed observation point. The German front line passed through the bottom of the park, close to the statue of the Scotsman in the kilt of the 51st Highland Division, which seized the enemy position on 13th November 1916 ...
Young bilingual Canadian students lead guided tours from early April to the end of November. On-site Centre for Interpretation.
Newfoundland Memorial 80300 Beaumont-Hamel Tel.: +33 3 22 76 70 86 Fax: +33 3 22 76 70 89 e-mail: newfoundland_memorial@vac-acc.gc.ca Open every day from 15th January-15th December 9am-5pm (1st May-30th October, 10am-5pm). Comité du tourisme de la Somme 21 rue Ernest-Cauvin 80000 Amiens Tel. : +33 (0) 322 71 22 71 Fax : +33 (0) 322 71 22 69 e-mail : accueil@somme-tourisme.com The Comité du Tourisme de La Somme is at your disposal for all information relating to the Battlefields of the Somme and the Route of Remembrance: commemorations, access, transport, guided tours for groups and individuals, helicopter flights, accommodation, etc ... The CDT also publishes a range of brochures on Remembrance Tourism.

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