20 October 2006
Latest issue of Newfoundland and Labrador Studies
The latest issue of Newfoundland and Labrador Studies, volume 21, number 1 (Spring 2006) lists an article of interest for readers of this blog: Robert J. Harding's "Glorious Tragedy: Newfoundland's Cultural Memory of the Attack at Beaumont Hamel, 1916-1925." Presumably, this article is based on the same author's Master's thesis with Dalhousie University in 2004, "Newfoundland's Cultural Memory of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel, 1916-1949", the abstract for which reads: "On 1 July 1916, the Newfoundland Regiment was slaughtered at Beaumont Hamel, France in its bloodiest battle of the First World War. Today the battle is remembered by Newfoundlanders as the worst catastrophe in their island's history and as the single event which instigated a chain of events that led to the island's loss of responsible government in 1933 and Confederation with Canada in 1949. Beaumont Hamel was once proclaimed as Newfoundland's proudest national achievement. Between 1916 and 1949 an assortment of Newfoundland mythmakers utilized newspaper editorial columns, commemorative ceremonies, historical literature, and war memorials to generate a triumphant cultural memory of the conflict that was built almost entirely upon a mythologized interpretation of Beaumont Hamel. Similarly to Great Britain, Canada, and Australia, Newfoundland attempted to find a deeper meaning in a war which cost more than anyone imagined a war ever could."