Rendez-vous au Newfoundland Memorial
On 1st July, at 9am, men from the Newfoundland Regiment left their trenches and were immediately trapped under German machine gun fire. Half an hour later, only 68 remained unscathed and all of the officers had been killed or wounded. They suffered one of the highest casualty rates of 1st July, making this one of the bloodiest actions of the Somme.
The Newfoundland Memorial at Beaumont-Hamel gives a very moving and visual image of the battle through a remarkably well-preserved network of trenches. Designed by the landscape- rchitect Rodolphe Cochius, it covers 30 hectares and was inaugurated in 1925.
The Memorial to the 29th Division, to which the Newfoundland Regiment belonged, stands at the entrance of the park. A path leads to the orientation table at the top of the Caribou mound – named after its crowning bronze statue of a caribou, emblem of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and designed by the English sculptor Basil Gotto.
The memorial looks towards the German lines and gives a clear, panoramic view of the battlefield and trench systems.Three bronze plaques at the base of the memorial commemorate 820 men from the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve and the Mercantile Marine who gave their lives during the Great War and whose bodies have never been found or identified. One single tree survived the devastation in the area: this is the skeleton of the "Danger Tree", thus named because it was situated at a particularly exposed area.