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Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel

The First World War’s Battle of the Somme began in northern France on July 1, 1916, when waves of Allied soldiers began climbing out of their trenches to advance through a hail of enemy fire toward the German lines. It would be a tragic beginning to a costly battle where more than 57,000 Commonwealth soldiers would become casualties on the opening day of the fighting alone. The brave members of the Newfoundland Regiment who went into action near Beaumont-Hamel were hit especially hard, with only 68 of the more than 800 men who had taken part being able to answer the roll call the next morning.

The Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel would grind on for more than four and a half months and the Canadian Corps would see action there in the late summer and fall. Sadly, more than 24,000 Canadian soldiers became casualties before the fighting finally came to an end in November.

In 2016, special events will take place in Canada and France to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel. Event details will be posted on this page as they are confirmed.

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