The final instalment in the Trail of the Caribou will honour the valiant efforts of Newfoundlanders during the Gallipoli campaign of the First World War.
A dedication ceremony Friday held in the Gallipoli Peninsula of Turkey revealed the 2.5-meter tall “majestic” bronze caribou of the Gallipoli Newfoundland Memorial.
“107 years later, we’ve brought the story of the Newfoundland Regiment at Gallipoli, and all who fought and died here, into the present and the future – their memory and legacy are ours to carry forward. I am honoured to recognize their service and so proud the Gallipoli Newfoundland Memorial now stands here to forever mark their contributions and achievements all those years ago. We will remember them,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of Defence.
The Gallipoli Campaign
The Gallipoli Campaign was the first combat action the Newfoundland Regiment saw during the First World War. More than 1,000 Newfoundlanders fought in the campaign from Sept. 1915 to Jan. 1916. The campaign sought to weaken the Ottoman Empire and allow the Allied forces to gain control of the Suez Canal.
Forty members of the Regiment lost their lives during this campaign.
The Regiment then went on to serve in various First World War campaigns, including the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel.
The Royal Newfoundland Regiment, one of the oldest regiments in Canada, is a Reserve infantry regiment that consists of two battalions.
In 2018, the Republic of Turkey granted the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador permission to install a monument to commemorate the Newfoundland Regiment. It is located near the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Hill 10 Cemetery.
Trail of Caribou
To recognize the brave sacrifices of the Regiment during the war, Canada built six caribou monuments across Europe. In addition, a caribou’s head and neck are showcased on the Regimental badge.
- Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial (France)
- Gueudecourt Newfoundland Memorial (France)
- Masnieres Newfoundland Memorial (France)
- Monchy-le-Preux Newfoundland Memorial (France)
- Courtrai Newfoundland Memorial (Belgium)
- Gallipoli Newfoundland Memorial (Türkiye)
A final caribou monument rests in Bow-ring Park in St John’s, NL, facing east.
Officials in Turkey
Friday’s dedication ceremony was attended by not only the Minister of Veterans Affairs but also Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. Parliamentarians, representatives of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and other officials from Canada and Türkiye were also in attendance.
“Completing the Trail of the Caribou is an important milestone in Newfoundland and Labrador’s First World War story. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment was the only Regiment from North America to participate in the Gallipoli Campaign during the First World War, and this monument honors their selfless contributions. Thank you to the Government of Canada and the Republic of Türkiye for recognizing the significance of this monument for our province and working with us to properly pay tribute to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment for their years of service and sacrifice,” said Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
While in Turkey, Canadian officials will visit various sites in the Gallipoli Peninsula to recognize the heroic efforts of Canadians, other Allied soldiers, and Turkish soldiers.
To learn more about the Trail of the Caribou, visit here.
To watch the event, visit Canada Remembers Facebook page here.