I once visited the WW1 battleground, Beaumont-Hamel in France where the Newfoundland Regiment fought in a battle that was supposed to take the Germans by surprise, but the Germans knew the attack was coming. In addition, the initial Allied bombardment failed to damage most of the German defences. As a result, of the some 800 Newfoundlanders who went into battle that morning, only 68 were able to answer the roll call the next day, with more than 700 killed, wounded or missing. The dead included 14 sets of brothers, including four lieutenants from the Ayre family of St. John's.
When I took this image during a snowstorm in Ottawa that day I was reminded of what I had read at the battleground in France, "As they walked into the hail of machine gun and artillery fire, it was said that many of them tucked their chins in, almost like they were walking into the teeth of a blizzard back home. But this time it was not snow flying all around them—the Newfoundland Regiment would be practically decimated in less than half an hour of intense German fire.
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