Several hundred people turned out for this morning’s Memorial Day ceremony at the National War Memorial in St. John’s.
Today marks 106 years since a young generation of Newfoundlanders were wiped out at Beaumont Hamel during World War I.
Of the roughly 800 soldiers of the Newfoundland Regiment who went over the top on July 1st, 1916, only 68 answered the roll call the next day.
This morning’s event began under warm, sunny skies, but was briefly interrupted by the shroud and chill of fog, before the sun prevailed again.
Patricia Turner-Petten, this year’s Silver Cross wife, laid a wreath on behalf of her late husband Donald Turner, who served in the first and second battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.
Turner retired after joining the military at the age of 17, but ultimately succumbed to the after-effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
This is a bittersweet day in Newfoundland and Labrador, with the solemn events of the morning giving way to Canada Day celebrations in the afternoon and evening.