Premier Furey to Lead Provincial Delegation to Bring Home the Remains of an Unknown First World War Soldier - News Releases (2024)

A delegation of representatives from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Royal Canadian Legion – NL Command and the Government of Canada, as well as other related organizations, will travel to the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial in France today (May 22) to bring home an unknown First World War soldier from this province.

The Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, will lead the provincial delegation. Premier Furey will be joined by the Honourable Steve Crocker, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation; the Honourable John G. Abbott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure; and Lloyd Parrott, Member of the House of Assembly for the District of Terra Nova.

The Government of Canada is also leading a delegation to France. Together, both governments will participate in a transfer ceremony, officially repatriating the remains from the Government of France. Premier Furey, as the head of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, holds a very special role as the next of kin for the unknown, representing all those who lost loved ones during the First World War.

The delegation will return from France on Saturday, May 25, at approximately 7:00 p.m. A hearse will take the remains of the unknown to a secure location, passing several points of historical significance on its way: the former Camp Pleasantville (where First World War soldiers trained), the 5 CDSG Garrison along The Boulevard, the National War Memorial, the Sergeant’s Memorial and the CLB Armoury.

From June 28-June 30, the unknown will lie in state in the East Block Lobby of Confederation Building. The public are encouraged to attend to pay their respects.

On Memorial Day, July 1, at 10:30 a.m. the unknown will be reinterred. A funeral procession of Canadian Armed Forces members representing all services will escort the casket of the unknown to the National War Memorial site where it will be lowered into its final resting place, the tomb, which so poignantly overlooks St. John’s harbour.

The military service will be followed by a Royal Canadian Legion – NL Command and Government of Newfoundland and Labrador led Memorial Day ceremony commemorating the centennial of the Memorial.

Completed under the leadership of Lt.-Col. Padre Thomas Nangle, the padre of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the National War Memorial in St. John’s represents the collective sacrifice and service of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who have served in all branches of service, during wars, conflicts, engagements, and peacekeeping efforts.

More information on the National War Memorial and the commemorative events can be found here.

“As we begin the emotional journey to bring one of ‘ours’ home, I find myself reflecting on the significant contributions and sacrifices made by a relatively small regiment of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. It speaks volumes to who we are as a people: strong, resilient and passionate. It is my distinct honour to serve as Next of Kin for the unknown during this poignant moment in our province’s history.”
Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“2024 marks the centennial of the National War Memorial in St. John’s. While we stand together to commemorate this special milestone, we will also bury this unknown soldier, finally putting him to rest where he belongs – here in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Honourable Steve Crocker
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation

“The repatriation of these remains is a historical day for our province. It recognizes the collective contribution and sacrifice of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who served, fought, and died in all branches of the military and respective support services, especially those who have no known graves. I am honoured to be part of the delegation.”
Honourable John G. Abbott
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure

“As a proud Newfoundlander and Labradorian, and as a veteran, I am deeply honoured to participate in the repatriation of the unknown soldier in France. This repatriation is a heartfelt tribute to the courage and sacrifice of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the Royal Naval Reserve (Newfoundland), the British Air Services, Newfoundland Mercantile Marine, the Newfoundland Forestry Companies, and the Volunteer Aid Detachment. It underscores the enduring commitment and dedication of all who have served our nation. We will always remember and pay tribute to those like our unknown soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice and did extraordinary things to allow us the great freedoms we have today. Lest we forget.”
MHA Lloyd Parrott
District of Terra Nova

“The Royal Canadian Legion Newfoundland and Labrador Command is extremely proud of its role, over the past five years, in this historic Centennial Remembrance Project and in the completion of Lt.-Col. Thomas Nangle’s dream. It would be remiss of me if I didn’t publicly acknowledge the unwavering crucial support of Premier Dr. Andrew Furey and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. I also want to sincerely thank the Government of Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and the very hard-working Centennial Project Steering Committee. I assure our proud Veterans, their families and loved ones, and the serving men and women of our renowned Canadian Armed Forces that, ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning – We Will Remember Them!’”
Gerald Budden
President, Royal Canadian Legion – NL Command


Learn more
2024 Marks the Centennial of the Newfoundland National War Memorial; Commemoration to Include the Repatriation of an Unknown Newfoundland First World War Soldier

Progress Continues on the National War Memorial Refurbishment

Follow us on X @GovNL and @TCAR_GovNL

2024 05 2210:00 am

Premier Furey to Lead Provincial Delegation to Bring Home the Remains of an Unknown First World War Soldier - News Releases (2024)


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