Nfld. & Labrador

IceCaps wear jerseys commemorating Beaumont-Hamel

Nearly one hundred years after the tragedy at Beaumont-Hamel, the St. John’s IceCaps are taking to the ice wearing jerseys honouring the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.
The new St. John's IceCaps jersey, designed by artist Troy Birmingham, commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel. (CBC)

Nearly one hundred years after the tragedy at Beaumont-Hamel, the St. John's IceCaps are taking to the ice wearing jerseys honouring the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

The team will appear in the new jerseys this weekend as they face off against the Utica Comets at Mile One Stadium. 

Local graphic designer Troy Birmingham designed the new jersey, which replaces the IceCaps logo with a silhouette of a Royal Newfoundland Regiment soldier kneeling before a ridge.

The jersey keeps the team's colour palette, which is a reference to its parent club, the Montreal Canadiens.

Rob McCarthy, the manager of the team's merchandise shop, IceCaps Alley, said he can't keep the jerseys in stock. 

He said after the store's initial order of 300 jerseys sold out, and it had to order 200 more.

"It's a special moment in history ... and so people want to celebrate it this summer when they have the bigger event." 

In the run up to the weekend, McCarthy said he spoke with several people involved with the military who dropped by to check out the jerseys. 

Lt.-Col. Paul Furlong says he is very proud that the IceCaps are honouring the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

"A lot of military people come in here and regale stories of what happened and grandfathers that served in it," he said. 

During Friday's game, the Shallaway Youth Choir performed the Ode to Newfoundland, and a special version of the video for the Ennis Sisters song Sing You Home was shown.

Videos played throughout the game showed IceCaps players learning about the history of the Regiment and making commemorative forget-me-nots in honour of the fallen soldiers. 

Although the tragedy occurred long ago, it's had a lasting affect on people in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Lt.-Col. Paul Furlong of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment said he's pleased to see the IceCaps honour the troops. 

"I've been a member of the regiment for over 30 years and it's become like a second family to me," he said. 

"I'm very, very proud of the IceCaps, that they've took the initiative, and their team is wearing the commemorative jerseys."

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