July 1st is a day of celebration for most people in Canada, in honor of our nationís birthday and it is so here in Newfoundland and Labrador as well, however the day holds a double meaning for us as it is also a day of remembrance for those that lost their lives at Beaumont Hamel in 1916.

It was a concern that July 1st was starting to become more of a celebratory day than one of respect for those who died as part of the Regiment, however over the past few years there seems to be a renewed interest in the First World War. It has once again become a day of remembrance with more and more young people taking part in remembrance activities on that day.

This part of the exhibit will explore the various commemorative symbols that have been erected since 1916 to remember those that gave their lives that day. It will focus on the construction of the War Memorial in St. Johnís on Duckworth Street; the various memorials that have been erected around the rural communities of the province in remembrance of their fallen; stained glass windows in churches as well as other memorabilia; Memorial University of Newfoundland which was so named in honor of those that made the supreme sacrifice and the books and plays that have been written about the role of the Regiment on that day.

A special focus will be on the book and play No Manís Land by Kevin Major, the play was commissioned by Rising Tide Theatre in Trinity, and will be told through excerpts from the book and play as well as photographs of scenes from the play and an interview with the author.

Of course remembrance of this battle is not only kept in Newfoundland but in France as well, at Beaumont Hamel, where shortly after the war was over the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador purchased from 250 farmers, the land where the battle had taken place to put a lasting memorial to the soldiers that paid the supreme sacrifice. Newfoundland Memorial Park was opened in 1925 by Earl Haig and contains a number of memorials and cemeteries in memory of those who died in two principal attacks in that location, one on July 1 and the other towards the end of the battle in November 1916.


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