Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial in France, surmounted with a bronze caribou, emblem of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment (Photo: Centenary News)

'Traces of the First World War' - Canadian War Museum focus on Newfoundland & Labrador

Date of Event: 01 August 2016
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A photographic exhibition at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa highlights the impact of the First World War on Newfoundland and Labrador.

It's a timely reminder of a disastrous episode for the peoples of what is now Canada's easternmost province.

Troops of the Newfoundland Regiment were almost wiped out on July 1st 1916, the opening day of the Allied offensive on the Somme.

Of the 801 men sent into action against heavily fortified German positions at Beaumont-Hamel, 233 were killed, 386 were wounded and 91 were reported missing. The attack was over in less than an hour.

 Traces of the First World War – Newfoundland and Labrador also aims to reflect the wider legacy of the Great War for Newfoundland, a self-governing dominion until it became a Canadian province in 1949. 

"This exhibition illustrates how profoundly the First World War, and especially the tragedy of war, affected people, communities, politics and culture in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador," explains Stephen Quick, Director General of the Canadian War Museum. 

12 Newfoundland stories

The focus is on a dozen Newfoundland stories, featuring personalities of the time. They include:

*Leonard Stick, the first man to join the newly-formed Newfoundland Regiment of volunteers in 1914

*John Shiwak, an Inuk trapper and hunter from Labrador who became the Regiment’s top marksman

*Armine Nutting Gosling, a Quebec-born teacher who helped to establish the basis for post-war women’s rights, and improved public health and child welfare in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Director-General Stephen Quick says: "Traces of the First World War – Newfoundland and Labrador reveals how pride, trauma and grief affected people at home and overseas, and how the war still influences ideas, opinions and reflections in so many ways, from literature and the arts to war memorials and family histories."

'Traces of the First World War – Newfoundland and Labrador' runs at the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, until January 1st 2017. The exhibition has been developed in partnership with The Rooms (Achives, Art Gallery & Museum) in St John's Newfoundland. 

Source: The Canadian War Museum, Ottawa

Posted by CN Editorial Team


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