The Five Caribou Monuments

After the war, the people and Government of Newfoundland proceeded to build memorials in France and Belgium where the Regiment fought significant engagements, some of which were successful and some which were not, but all exemplified the spirit and determination of its soldiers, many of which did not come home.

Of those that did return home, many undoubtedly continued to suffer the after-effects of  separation from family and friends, terrible living and health conditions, injuries, combat stress, separation and loss of support from their military ‘family’, and other terrible memories. But that is a story for another time.

Five monuments were constructed. The Government of Newfoundland acquired the land on which to build the memorials from grateful France and Belgium. It was decided that the memorials should be in the form of the caribou, an  animal indigenous and familiar to all in Newfoundland and Labrador, and which was the emblem used in the badge of the Regiment. (Material needed on designer and artists of the monuments, where they were cast, etc).

The five caribou were placed at the following locations:  (Click on titles below for photo)

Beaumont-Hamel

Gueudecourt

Monchy-le-Preux

Masnieres

Courtrai (Kortrik)

Newfoundland was the only British colony to place so many memorials to its fallen soldiers. Newfoundland was the only colony to purchase and preserve one of its battle sites in its original condition – Beaumont-Hamel. All the other Allied battle sites were subsequently reconditioned or reconstructed.

Later, a sixth Caribou was placed in Bowring Park (click to view), St. John’s.  In 2009 the plaques listing the names of Newfoundlanders who died without a known grave were reproduced from the originals at Beaumont-Hamel and placed near the Bowring Park Caribou Memorial.

An additional Caribou has been placed in Remembrance Square, Corner Brook (click to view).