Repatriation of First World War soldier held in Beaumont-Hamel this morning 

Posted: May 25, 2024 8:24 am | Last Updated: May 25th, 2024 7:17 pm
By Ben Cleary

At the heart of the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial stands a great bronze caribou, the emblem of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, a tribute to all Newfoundlanders who served during the Great War. The caribou keeps watch over the fields that still lay claim to many men with no known final resting place.

Today, under the bronze caribou, a historic handoff took place between the French and Canadian governments. A repatriation ceremony has been held for an unknown Newfoundland soldier, who fought and died in Northern France more than 100 years ago. 

At Beaumont-Hamel today were dozens of active military members, federal and provincial politicians, and Indigenous leaders. Around 11 a.m., the French military escorted the sealed casket of the Unknown Soldier to the Memorial site, then the Canadian Armed Forces took possession of the Newfoundlander. The transfer followed an emotional ceremony at Beaumont-Hamel, where the Ode to Newfoundland was sung with hardly a dry-eye in the audience. 

On Saturday evening, around 7 p.m., the Newfoundland soldier will return home in St. John’s. From St. John’s International Airport a hearse will take the remains of the soldier to a secure location, but will first pass places like the National War Memorial, the 5 CDSG Garrison along the Boulevard, the Sergeants Memorial, and the former Camp Pleasantville, where the soldier would have trained.

Scroll to top