Royal Newfoundland Regiment

The Royal Newfoundland Regiment

In the battles of the Somme in the summer of 1916, the 1st Newfoundland Regiment was annihilated at Beaumont Hamel on the disastrous first day of 1 July. When Canadians entered the battle on 30 August, the Newfoundlanders hard earned experience helped toward additional limited gains, though at a high cost. By the end of the battle, the Canadian Corps had reached its full strength of four divisions.

(York Sunbury Historical Society, Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)


During the First World War the battalion-sized Newfoundland Regiment was part of the 88th Brigade, 29th British Division. The regiment was the only North American unit to fight in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915. Later in the war the regiment was virtually wiped out at Beaumont Hamel on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The regiment was rebuilt and continued to serve throughout France and Belgium. On 13 September 1918 the regiment joined 28th Infantry Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division, serving with this organization until the armistice. It then served as part of the British Army of the Rhine, until it was disbanded on 26 August 1919.

In December 1917, King George V bestowed the regiment with the right to use the prefix "Royal" before its name. It was the only military unit to receive this honour during the First World War.

During the Second World War, the Newfoundland Militia was raised for defence and renamed the Newfoundland Regiment in 1943. The regiment remained in a home-defence role and also trained recruits for the two regiments of the Royal Artillery that were recruited in Newfoundland for overseas service. In 1949, Newfoundland joined Canada as the nation's 10th province. Part of the Terms of Union required the re-creation of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment as the primary militia unit for the province.

(York Sunbury Historical Society, Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)


The Royal Newfoundland Regiment

The Royal Newfoundland Regiment (R NFLD R) is a Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Army. It is part of the 5th Canadian Division's 37 Canadian Brigade Group. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment has been a unit of the Canadian Army since 1949.

The Royal Newfoundland Regiment traces its existence to 1795 and the establishment of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Foot, its origins are based in the existence of numerous local militia units raised in the colony in the eighteenth century. Prominent Newfoundland militias include Michael Gill's militia in the 1704 defence of Bonavista, the St. Mary's Militia that captured an American privateer during the American Revolution, and the 150 Newfoundland militiamen who served with the Royal Highland Emigrants during the Battle of Quebec.

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