Most Newfoundland and Labradorians recognize the Caribou as a symbol of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, and know of the Trail of the Caribou. In 2021 the journey was completed.
Bronze caribou monuments were built in France and Belgium in honor of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment who fought during the First World War.
Since then, many Newfoundlanders have made the journey to visit the five monuments at Courtrai Memorial, Monchy-le-Preux Memorial, Masnières Memorial, Gueudecourt Memorial, and the most famous one, the Beaumont-Hamel Memorial. This site also has a visitors’ centre and interpretive elements to accompany the bronze Caribou.
What people may not know is that the sixth and final Caribou was completed in Gallipoli, Turkey in 2021… this very year.
Many may be unaware of its creation since the formal unveiling of the last Caribou statue was postponed due to COVID-19.
Although the official commemoration ceremony has yet to happen, the finished monument is an important milestone of the Honour 100 initiative that began in 2012.
The bronze Caribou was commissioned to honour the Royal Newfoundland Regiment’s involvement in the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915-16.
The Royal Newfoundland Regiment was the only regiment from North America to take part in the Gallipoli Campaign during the First World War.
The bronze Caribou is stationed 25 metres northwest of the Hill 10 Cemetery in Gallipoli.
That cemetery is the resting place of eight Royal Newfoundland Regiment soldiers. One of these soldiers happens to be the first causality at Gallipoli — Private Hugh McWhirter of Humbermouth, Bay of Islands.
With the sixth in place, the Trail of the Caribou is complete and stands in honour of the contributions and sacrifices of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.
The Trail of the Caribou is an important landmark to Newfoundland and Labrador. Learn more about it here
Melissa Wong is a videographer, writer, poet and Digital and Sustainability Co-ordinator for Guide to the Good. She prepared this blog in honour of Remembrance Day, and all those who have fought for freedom.
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