National War Memorial in St. John's this morning. Telegram photos
Many people in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador today took time out of their Canada Day celebrations to commemorate the 94th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel - one of the bloodiest actions of the First World War involving the Newfoundland Regiment.
War veterans, peace officers, soldiers, legionaires and citizens gathered around war memorials to remember the soldiers who fought and died, and to honour those who survived that battle and lived with the physical and mental wounds of war.
Also remembered and honoured during the service were those who fought and made the ultimate sacrifice in the Second World War, and other conflicts such as the Korean Conflict, peacekeeping missions and the current war in Afghanistan.
At Beaumont Hamel all those years ago on July 1, in less than a half hour, the Newfoundland Regiment was nearly wiped out while bravely advancing toward the German trenches on an open field in daylight, under intense, blistering gunfire. The 801-strong regiment had nearly 300 killed, hundreds wounded and many listed as missing. At role call the next day, only 68 answered their names.
The British divisional commander wrote of the Newfoundland soldiers, "It was a magnificent display of trained and disciplined valor, and its assault failed of success because dead men can advance no further."