In February the publishers of Legion Magazine produced a stunning online tribute to The Newfoundland Regiment. Blood in the Mud is easily one of the most innovative and beautifully designed First World War web experiences to come out of Canada this centenary.
From it’s haunting soundtrack to its clever use of multimedia Blood in the Mud tells the story of The Newfoundland Regiment during the First World War and in particular its role in the assault at Beaumont-Hamel and the larger conflict known infamously as The Battle of the Somme.
The story is presented in six sections including a statistical overview of the war, Newfoundland’s beginnings as a British colony, the formation of The First Five Hundred in 1914 and their deployment to Gallipoli and the Western Front. As one would expect two entire sections are devoted to the assault at Beaumont-Hamel on July 1st, 1916. Newfoundland fought as a unit in the British Army and not the Canadian Corps however Canada’s role in the last two months of The Battle of the Somme is not forgotten.
In my opinion the most outstanding aspect of this production is its potential to engage a wide audience, one that may not normally have an interest in military history. The losses at the Somme were mind-numbing a century ago but are evener harder for Canadians to comprehend today. Surely one of the most important questions to answer during this First World War centenary is how do we ensure the next generation of Canadians will remember, in a meaningful way, the sacrifices made by their great-great grandparents? Remembrance is not something we can afford to take for granted. Canada has fallen behind and faces a long march ahead; Blood in the Mud is a step in the right direction.
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