The Battle of Transloy
The Newfoundland Regiment arrived from the Ypres Sector, where it had spent 10 weeks reforming and training following the opening battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916. Serving with the 88th Brigade, the battalion was temporarily attached to the 12th Division, which was holding Gueudecourt. The troops arrived at their positions, on the northern outskirts of the village, on 10th October 1916.
In the afternoon of the 12th, with the 1st Essex Battalion on their left, all four companies of the Newfoundland Regiment launched their attack. Within 25 minutes their initial objective of Hilt Trench, located on the German front line, had been captured. Advancing to their final objective, heavy machine-gun fire fell upon them, pushing them back to Hilt Trench. The 1st Essex’s were pushed right back to the outskirts of Gueudecourt, leaving the Newfoundlanders with an open flank. The battalion’s line had suddenly doubled, but the men fought hard to maintain their positions driving off a counter-attack and further assaults until relief arrived.
During the 55 hours since their arrival in the area, the Newfoundland Regiment had suffered 239 casualties, including 120 killed, but they were one of the few units that day to have captured and held on to their objectives.
The Gueudecourt Newfoundland Memorial
After the war, the Newfoundland Government erected five bronze caribous across the battlefields of France and Belgium in remembrance of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. One was placed upon the positions captured by the Newfoundlanders at Gueudecourt. It is located one kilometre north-east of Gueudecourt, just off the D574 road.