Nfld. & Labrador

'It's who they were': Premier Dwight Ball lays wreath honouring Royal Newfoundland Regiment

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball laid a wreath during Remembrance Day services in Ottawa on Friday to honour troops that served "with courage, honour and distinction."

2016 marks 100th anniversary of Beaumont-Hamel

Dwight Ball in Ottawa for Remembrance Day

5 years ago
1:36
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball speaks with the CBC's Hannah Thibedeau at the National War Memorial in Ottawa about the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel. 1:36

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball laid a wreath during Remembrance Day services in Ottawa on Friday to honour troops that served "with courage, honour and distinction."

This year marks the centennial of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel on July 1, 1916.

That battle saw hundreds of soldiers killed and wounded, all but wiping out the Newfoundland Regiment on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball attends Remembrance Day services in Ottawa to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel. (CBC)

Ball noted that the troops of the Newfoundland Regiment were, in some cases, the only North American soldiers fighting in some early battles of the First World War.

"It's who they were. They were young soldiers from small communities across the province, and they went to places that they'd never heard of before," said Ball.

"But it's who Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are, and went on to shape the future of our province, with courage and honour and distinction."

The story of soldiers from the regiment didn't end at Beaumount Hamel, Ball added.

"Just a few months after that, they went on to fight courageously in other battles and had distinguished careers and made significant impacts,"

After Remembrance Day services, Ball was to co-host a screening of Trail of the Caribou, a documentary commemorating the hundredth anniversary of Beaumont-Hamel, featuring Mark Critch and Allan Hawco and produced by CBC St. John's.

You can watch the full documentary below, via the CBC Newfoundland and Labrador YouTube channel.

now