Many generations at World War 1 ceremony

All generations were represented among the hundreds commemorating Newfoundland's entry into WW I. (CBC)

More than 500 people gathered at the Basilica in St. John's to mark the exact moment Newfoundland's governor received a telegram saying Britain had joined the First World War. 

Bells at the Basilica and other churches rang out at 9:25 p.m., the time 100 years ago when Newfoundland learned that it was at war with Germany.

Many people like Chris Facey had relatives who fought.

"My grandfather Christopher Burke was an officer in the First World War. He fought in Beaumont Hamel and Gallipoli. He actually went over the top on July 1. He was injured. He was shot in the leg and he crawled back over three days and got back behind the lines," says Facey.

He said that although the ceremony commemorated events that happened a century ago, it still stirs powerful emotions.

"Very moving because it honoured my father who fought in the Second World War. My grandfather and my uncle who fought in the First World War. Fortunately all of them came home and because of their sacrifices [so did] many other people," says Facey. 

"I've never had to go to war and hopefully my children will never have to go to war. So it's very moving to see the honouring of my grandparents and to remember that we should never forget,"

Richard Delahunty was there with granddaughter Sara.

"She has to remember too and give thanks for what all of those men and women have done for us … in giving us freedom," he said.

The St. John's ceremony was one of many that will be held over the next four years to mark Newfoundland's role in the First World War.