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The Newfoundland Memorial in the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Park pays tribute to the Newfoundland Regiment and its part on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme, July 1, 1916.

The Newfoundland Memorial in the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Park pays tribute to the Newfoundland Regiment and its part on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme, July 1, 1916. © 2013, John M. Shea

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Saturday, April 14, 1917

"At 5.30 a.m. [April 14, 1917], following a weak and scrappy barrage, the little force advanced. It was just daylight. The morning was misty and the ground soggy with the recent snow and rain. Over the first 200 yards some casualties were caused by machine-gun fire, but the Newfoundlanders on the right flank quickly surrounded and captured a troublesome strongpoint at Monchy windmill. With that secured they advanced on the Bois-du-Vert, the Essex moving in on the other wood to the left. The Germans were seen running back from their first trench and both this and a second trench further on were found practically deserted. After a pause, the two battalions went on in high spirits, meeting little opposition. At 7.20 a.m. the Essex telepohoned to Brigade HQ that the objective was taken. Observers in Monchy could see the Newfoundlanders digging in near some burning huts on the edge of a small copse — but that is the last that is known of them. The battalion never returned."

Quotation Context

The Newfoundland and Essex Battalions had advanced into a German trap, were surrounded, and killed or captured on April 14, 1917 in the Battle of Arras, begun with significant success on April 9, and continued at great cost until May 17. The Newfoundland Regiment was among the few Dominion troops fighting with the British on July 1, 1916, the first day of Battle of the Somme. The unit had nearly been destroyed: Of the 752 Newfoundlanders who advanced, 26 officers and 658 men were casualties.

Source

Cheerful Sacrifice: The Battle of Arras, 1917 by Jonathan Nicholls, page 165, copyright © Jonathan Nicholls [1990 repeatedly renewed through] 2011, publisher: Pen and Sword, publication date: 2010

Tags

1917-04-14, 1917, April, Newfoundland, Battle of Arras, Arras