Tourism, Culture and Recreation
June 30, 2009
First World War Servicemen with No
Known Graves to be Honoured
Tomorrow (Wednesday, July 1) will mark the 93rd
anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel, and the Honourable Clyde
Jackman, on behalf of the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of
Newfoundland and Labrador, will take part in a special ceremony to
honour all Newfoundland and Labrador servicemen who died during the
First World War, but particularly those who have no known graves.
The event will take place at the Caribou Memorial in
Bowring Park in St. John’s, and involves the unveiling of three bronze
plaques, exact replicas of those located at Beaumont Hamel in France,
bearing the names of 820 fallen members of the Royal Newfoundland
Regiment, the Royal Naval Reserve, and the Mercantile Marine, who have
no known resting place. The ceremony begins at 2:00 p.m.
"A few years ago I had the honour and privilege of
travelling to Beaumont Hamel for the 90th anniversary of the Battle of
the Somme," said Premier Williams. "During the First World War, many
young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians made the ultimate sacrifice in
the name of freedom and these brave souls are most deserving of a
fitting and lasting memorial right here at home. Most Newfoundlanders
and Labradorians will never have the honour of visiting the memorial at
Beaumont Hamel personally and I am very pleased that we have been able
to replicate the name plaques and to incorporate them into our own
Caribou Memorial in Bowring Park. Many people and families have loved
ones whose names are listed on those plaques and I am proud that the
names of our brave fallen will now be prominently displayed for all the
people of the province to see."
"In addition to Beaumont Hamel, there were several
First World War battles which resulted in the loss of some of the best
and brightest of an entire generation of young men – some of whose
bodies were never recovered," said Minister Jackman. "By placing the
names of these particular 820 men on a memorial here in Newfoundland and
Labrador, we are, in a symbolic way, bringing these soldiers, sailors
and servicemen back home."
Minister Jackman will be joined by his Honour
Lieutenant-Governor John Crosbie; His Excellency François Delattre,
Ambassador of France to Canada; St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe;
Lieutenant-Colonel Kevin Hutchings, Honorary Colonel of the First
Battalion, Royal Newfoundland Regiment; and Comrade Joseph Kennedy,
Chairman of the Provincial Command, Royal Canadian Legion.
The Provincial Government invested $400,000 to fully
fund the replication of the bronze plaques, with a project team led by
the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, the City of St.
John’s, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, and the Royal Canadian Legion.
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