Tears of pride as princess presents new colours to famed Newfoundland regiment

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Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Members of the 1st battalion of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment pose for a photo with Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, at Bowring Park Sunday, April 25, 2010. Princess Anne is the regiment's c

Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010


Published on April 24, 2010

Published on April 24, 2010

Linda Ryan wore her grandfather's war medal for bravery and was moved to tears Saturday as Princess Anne presented new colours to the famed Royal Newfoundland Regiment.
The silk colours or battle honours embody the unit's legendary feats at Beaumont Hamel in the First World War and other bloody campaigns.
"It was really important to be here today because it was a huge sacrifice that all these men made for their country," Ryan said of the full military ceremony in St. John's, N.L.
"Our freedom today is because of all that they did for us in Europe.
"It was very moving."
Ryan's maternal grandfather, Sgt. Matthew Collins of Placentia, N.L., was wounded six times in the First World War.
Several hundred people gathered to see Princess Anne present the new silk flags or colours that are replaced about every 25 years due to wear and tear.
The only daughter of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh is colonel-in-chief of the regiment - the only unit from North America to fight at Gallipoli starting in 1915.
It traces its history back to 1795 and is marking its 215th anniversary this year. King George V added the extraordinary prefix Royal to the regiment's title in 1917, in part for its valour at Ypres and Cambrai.
The pageantry and parade Saturday were part of Anne's two-day trip to the province with a special focus on those who served in the Great War. She made special reference to the carnage of Beaumont Hamel on July 1, 1916 when much of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment was killed or wounded.
Families across the province are still profoundly marked by the staggering losses of that day.
"The 801 men who went over the top that morning earned the glorious title of 'Better than the Best'," Princess Anne said.
"Only 68 of them were able to answer the roll call the next morning. We all live in hope that that sacrifice will never happen again."
She also paid homage to those who continue to serve in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
"I know that the men and women of today's regiment will honour the courage, sacrifice and devotion to Canada symbolized by these colours. I salute them, and I wish them Godspeed and a safe passage wherever their service for their country and their regiment may take them."
Ancestors of those who fought and died brought medals, photos, yellowed newspaper clippings and treasured letters to the ceremony.
Chief Warrant Officer Terry Hurley, regimental sergeant major of the unit's 1st Battalion, said the colours mean everything to the men and women who serve under them.
"At one time they were carried into battle and that's what the troops rallied around. You would sooner fall down, die, but never let your colours touch the dirt."
Losing sight of the flags was a catastrophic prospect, Hurley said.
"It's almost like saying: 'Oh my God, the King is dead' - no one to rally around. So they're quite, quite important to every member of the unit, and to any military unit that has them."
Princess Anne wraps up her visit to St. John's on Sunday with a wreath-laying ceremony for those who died in the First World War.

Organizations: Ryan's

Geographic location: Newfoundland, St. John's, Europe North America Cambrai Afghanistan Canada

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