Getting into the trenches

Legion Magazine explores the losses of the Newfoundland Regiment.


The Newfoundland Regiment (later renamed the Royal Newfoundland Regiment by King George for reasons that will shortly be made clear) is famous for what it did during the First World War, but for all the wrong reasons. The Battle of the Somme left no participant unscathed, with over 623,000 allied soldiers and 660,000 German soldiers either killed or wounded over four months, but no other unit was as decimated as the Newfoundland Regiment. Of the 1,000 Regiment soldiers that sailed from the province to join the front lines, 801 made it to the battle. By the end of the battle’s first day, 710 were either killed or wounded, but the unit carried on in one of the greatest and most tragic stories to come out of the war.

With help from Windsor agency Spotvin, Canadian war history magazine¬†Legion¬†has created “Blood in the Mud,” an interactive website in which war and history buffs can trace the history of the Newfoundland Regiment from its formation right through to the end of the Battle of Somme. In addition to timelines, stats and descriptions of the battle, the site features things like interactive maps that chart the Regiment’s progression, first-hand photos and videos from its efforts and other images taken during the battle and placed side-by-side with same location sites of today. It’s a tragic reminder of the loss of war, yes, but it also brings it to life in a way we, safe at home, rarely get to experience.