On the morning of July 1, 1916, the 1st Newfoundland Regiment advanced upon enemy lines near the French village of Beaumont-Hamel; within a half-hour, all but 68 of the 801-man regiment were cut down by enemy fire during one of the costliest days of the First World War. This fine silver coin pays tribute to the brave soldiers who fought at the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel and honours the wartime contributions made by Newfoundland, which was then a Dominion of the British Empire.
Composition: 99.99% pure silver
Weight (g)*: 31.39
Diameter (mm): 38
Face Value: $20
Finish: Proof with selective gold plating
Artist: Silvia Pecota
Packaging: Maroon clamshell with custom beauty box
- The third coin in the Royal Canadian Mint’s First World War: Battlefront series, which commemorates the key battles of the First World War that helped shape and define Canada as we know it today.
- 99.99% fine silver with selective gold plating that recreates the winged figure of “Victory” from the Victory Medal; patterned after a 19th century French medal, this bronze-lacquered copper medal was awarded in 1919 to all ranks of the Allied forces who served in the First World War.
- Honours the valour and courage of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment, which suffered a devastating number of casualties during the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel – the first of the British-led Somme Offensive that would characterize the war in 1916.
- A poignant, heartfelt tribute to the wartime contributions and sacrifice made by the people of Newfoundland during the First World War.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Silvia Pecota poignantly conveys the bravery and tragedy of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel where on the morning of July 1, 1916, the soldiers of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment participated in the first ground attack of the Somme Offensive. In the foreground, a young soldier advances in formation across No Man’s Land toward enemy lines. The battle-scarred terrain provides little protective cover for the soldiers, who are in full view of the enemy as they contend with the tangle of barbed wire defenses. The intensity of the artillery and machine gun fire that awaited the Newfoundlanders is evident throughout this intricately engraved scene, particularly in the foreground where the soldier assumes a slightly crouched stance while he courageously moves forward with his rifle and bayonet. In the background, the gnarled appearance of the “Danger Tree” is particularly symbolic as its remnants marked the spot where the Newfoundlanders would face the most intense fire, and where so many of them would fall. Selective gold plating showcases the winged figure of “Victory” as it appeared on the Victory Medal, which was awarded to the allied soldiers of the First World War.