Battle of the Somme at Beaumont Hamel, 1916

The casualties sustained on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme totalled 57,470, of which 19,240 were fatal. The Newfoundland Regiment Battalion ration strength on June 30, 1916, was 1044 all ranks, including administrative staff and attached personnel. Actual fighting strength was about 929 all ranks, of whom twenty six officers and 772 other ranks deployed into the trenches. A further officer and 33 other ranks were attached to the Brigade Mortar and Machine Gun Companies while 14 officers and 83 other ranks were held back as reserve and for special duties.

So far as can be ascertained, 22 officers and 758 other ranks were directly involved in the advance. Of these, all the officers and slightly under 658 other ranks became casualties, but exact figures are not available as casualties were reported for the day as a whole. Of the approximately 800 men who went forward only about 110 survived unscathed, of whom only sixty-eight were available for roll call the following day. The Battalion’s War Diary on July 7 states that on July 1 the overall casualties for the Battalion were 14 officers and 296 other ranks killed, died of wounds or missing believed killed and that 12 officers and 362 other ranks were wounded, a total of 684 all ranks out of a fighting strength of about 929. About 14 of the wounded subsequently died from their wounds. Afterward, the Divisional Commander was to write of the Newfoundlanders effort: “It was a magnificent display of trained and disciplined valour, and its assault failed of success because dead men can advance no further.”


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Father: "He never amounted to anything". Mother: "Who the hell does he think he is"? Former Teacher: "Smart as a bag of hammers". Former Boss: "Condescending". Brother: "Mom loves me more".
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