Executive Council
June 28, 2018

Premier Ball to Join Trail of the Caribou Pilgrimage to Beaumont-Hamel, France

The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, along with a delegation of over 100 Royal Canadian Legion members, veterans and students, and the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band, is travelling on an annual pilgrimage to Beaumont-Hamel, France, June 27 to July 4.

As part of this year’s journey, a special ceremony is being held on June 30 near the town of Ledegem, Belgium, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the brave actions by Private Thomas Ricketts. For his gallantry, Private Ricketts earned the Victoria Cross, and was the youngest solider in the British Empire to do so during the First World War.

For almost 20 years, the Provincial Government has supported the Royal Canadian Legion Newfoundland and Labrador Command's annual pilgrimage of students, veterans and legionnaires to memorials in France and Belgium. The eight-day trip is organized around the Trail of the Caribou, involving remembrance ceremonies at: Beaumont-Hamel, Masnières, Gueudecourt, Monchy-le-Preux, and Courtrai (Kortrijk), Belgium.

Thirty-five students are participating in the trip, including 19 students taking part in the Provincial Government's Ambassador Program, an award that recognizes excellence in student projects commemorating the men and women who served in the First World War.

The 2018 pilgrimage is part of the Honour 100 initiative to commemorate Newfoundland and Labrador's First World War story. The Provincial Government has invested over $3 million in Honour 100 initiatives, including funding for multiple community-based activities and enhancing the Royal Canadian Legion's annual pilgrimage to Beaumont-Hamel, as well as creating the Ambassador Program.


"Our military history and heritage is strong, and I am fiercely proud of the role members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment played in the First World War. It is an honour to represent the province on this pilgrimage of the Trail of the Caribou, and recognize the valor of Private Ricketts. The hallowed grounds of France will forever be a reminder of the sacrifices made during the First World War, and will always be enshrined in the hearts of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.” Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

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Media contact
Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier

2018 06 28                              3:35 p.m.