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Bay Roberts pays respect with Memorial Day ceremony

BAY ROBERTS, NL — A solemn crowd gathered in Bay Roberts Saturday afternoon to honour the sacrifice of those who engaged enemy forces as part of the most costly battle in Newfoundland's history.

On July 1, 1916, the Newfoundland Regiment was almost wiped out during a tragic advance in Beaumont Hamel, France. There were 68 soldiers available to answer roll call following the battle, with 324 killed or presumed dead and 386 wounded.

Following a parade proceeding along Water Street to the community's Cenotaph, members of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 32 and others guest, along with the general public came together for a service to honour that sacrifice.

"Two people from our community and many others participated in the battle of Beaumont Hamel — Maxwell J. Mercer and Graham Crosby paid the supreme sacrifice," said Mayor Philip Wood. "While we remember those today and others who participated in the battle, we also remember the 37 others from our community who paid the supreme sacrifice in war, along with those who returned still bearing the scares from what they had seen."

This ceremony in front of the Cenotaph was the first since the name of Thomas Copley, killed in 1915 when a ship he was serving on sunk, was added to the war memorial. Gordon Mercer, a great-nephew of Copley, brought his name to the town's attention earlier this year.


'Bay Roberts adding new name to war memorial'

A reception took place inside the local Legion building following the ceremony.

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