Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

June 29, 2011 11:54 ET

Government of Canada Delegation Departs for France to Mark 95th Anniversary of the Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 29, 2011) - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, is leading an official delegation to France to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel. The delegation will be in France from June 29 to July 4, 2011.

"Newfoundlanders and Canadians served valiantly and with determination against overwhelming odds on July 1, 1916. The legacy of those who fought on the Somme is part of our proud Canadian heritage—a heritage that must be commemorated and preserved," said Minister Blaney. "Canada would not be the great nation it is today without the dedication and perseverance of those who served and those who continue to serve our country."

The delegation travelling overseas includes representatives of Veterans' organizations, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the Royal 22eRégiment, the Department of National Defence and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, youth delegates, parliamentarians, and media.

Key events will include commemorative ceremonies at the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial on July 1 and at the Courcelette Memorial on July 2. The delegation will also participate in wreath-laying ceremonies at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, the Adanac Cemetery and the Gueudecourt Memorial; and will visit the Notre-Dame de Lorette Memorial and the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery. On the morning of July 1, the Minister will attend a British ceremony at the Thiepval Memorial, organized by the British Embassy, the British Consulate-General in Lille and the Royal British Legion with the help of the French authorities.

The delegation's first experience after arriving in France will be a guided tour and wreath-laying ceremony at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. The majestic and inspiring monument is Canada's most impressive tribute overseas to those Canadians who fought and made the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War.

Commemorative ceremonies to mark the 95th anniversary will also be held in Ottawa and Newfoundland on July 1.

For more information on the Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel, including the overseas schedule of events, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at Share your thoughts at

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Veterans Affairs Canada

    Codie Taylor
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs