Newfoundland Memorial | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Newfoundland Memorial

Beaumont-Hamel, Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy, France

Luke Tomes

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Newfoundland Memorial

The Newfoundland Memorial, located in the town of Beaumont-Hamel in France’s Picardie region is a commemoration of the Canadian forces’ efforts during the First World War, particularly the Battle of the Somme.

Newfoundland Memorial history

The Battle of the Somme was made up of a series of battles in this region of France and, on 1 July 1916, the 1st Battalion of the Newfoundland Regiment, who formed part of the 29th British Division, took part in one of these battles at Beaumont-Hamel. This bloody battle took a terrible toll on the Canadian forces, who lost around two-thirds of their soldiers within the space of an hour.

After the War, Newfoundland purchased this land in 1921, and first it and then the Canadian government (after 1949) have maintained it ever since as a memorial. It was officially opened in 1925, by Earl Haig. Newfoundland Memorial is one of only two Canadian National Historic Sites outside Canada. The other National Historic Site is also in France at Vimy Ridge. The landscape architect for the design of the park was R H K Cochius.

Newfoundland Memorial today

Once the site of fierce fighting and destruction, the location of the Newfoundland Memorial is now peaceful parkland, indented with the remains of wartime trenches. In fact, the trenches at the site of the Newfoundland Memorial are some of the best preserved of their kind and offer visitors an invaluable insight into the conditions of the Great War.

The Newfoundland Memorial consists of a number of battle sites, each of which are signposted, several cemeteries, memorials to the Newfoundland Division and to the Highland Division. Information panels guide the way through each of the battle sites and remains. Finally, at the interpretation centre, visitors can learn more about the origins of the Canadian soldiers and about the Somme. Guided tours are available in French and English.

Getting to Newfoundland Memorial

Newfoundland Memorial is located 5 miles north of Albert, and the main entrance to the Park can be found on the D73 road between Hamel and Auchonvillers. The address of the site is Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial, Rue de l’église, 80300 Auchonvillers, France.

There is free parking on site.

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