The Royal Canadian Mint officially presented the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the Newfoundland and Labrador Command of the Royal Canadian Legion with framed silver coins to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel in a ceremony on Aug. 16.
“Every July 1st, Canadians celebrate the founding of their country and the democratic values for which it stands, but it is also a time to remember that on that day in 1916, the brave men of the Newfoundland Regiment fought and gave their lives for the same ideals at the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel. Beaumont-Hamel is a name that represents courage, sacrifice, and sorrow and the Government of Canada is proud that the Royal Canadian Mint has created a permanent reminder of this unforgettable chapter in the First World War and in the building of our nation through a beautiful silver collector coin,” said Seamus O’Regan, Member of Parliament for St. John’s South – Mount Pearl.
The coin was designed by Canadian artist Silvia Pecota and is 99.99 per cent pure silver. Pecota captures both the bravery and tragedy of the Battle of the Beaumont-Hamel.
The coin depicts the trials and triumph of the Newfoundland Regiment, who participated in the first ground attack of the Somme Offensive on July 1, 1916, and suffered massive casualties.
One side of the coin features a young soldier courageously advancing towards enemy lines across the ‘No Man’s Land.’ It also features engravings of the “Danger Tree” that represents the heavy machine gun fire that the Newfoundlanders were faced with, and a gold plating showcases the winged figure of “Victory” as it appeared on the Victory Medal.
The other side of the coin features the gold-platted effigy of King George V, the reigning monarch during the First World War. King George V also granted the “Royal” designation to the Newfoundland Regiment in 1917 for its achievements on the battlefield.
“The Mint has a long history of honouring Canada’s veterans and their sacrifices through coins which share their incredible, inspiring stories with Canadians from coast to coast to coast and collectors around the world. As Canada marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel, the Mint is proud that we can play a role in honouring the memory of the men of the Newfoundland Regiment by crafting this very special coin,” said Sandra Hanington, President, and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.
The coin will also be featured at the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial Visitors Centre in France.
“We are proud to accept this special commemorative coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint to honour the service and sacrifice of Newfoundland’s native sons on the battlefield near Beaumont-Hamel, France,” said Frank Sullivan, President of The Royal Canadian Legion, Newfoundland and Labrador Command. “It is through initiatives like these that our heroes are remembered and kept in the public eye in recognition of their bravery for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
The 2016 $20 Fine Silver Coin – First World War Battlefront Series: The Battle of Beaumont-Hamel has a limited mintage of 10,000 and retails for $109.95.
The coin is available for purchase by contacting the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the US, or online
The coin can also be found at the Royal Canadian Mint’s boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Vancouver, as well as through the Mint’s global network of dealers and distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets.