Bot­wood re­mem­bers Beau­mont Hamel

Cit­i­zens gather for July 1 me­mo­rial cer­e­mony

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Editorial - BY DAR­REN MILLS

BOT­WOOD, N.L. — While most cit­i­zens of Canada were wak­ing up to the 151st birth­day of the na­tion, the cit­i­zens of Bot­wood were wak­ing up to a day marked the an­niver­sary of the July 1, 1916, Bat­tle of Beau­mont Hamel.

At mid-morn­ing, the sound of drums could be heard through the com­mu­nity as the Sea Cadets marched with Le­gion­naires and oth­ers to the town’s ceno­taph.

Mem­bers of RC Le­gion Branch 5, Civic, Provin­cial and Fed­eral mem­bers of gov­ern­ment, mem­bers of ser­vice groups and fire de­part­ments, marched along Wa­ter Street to the me­mo­rial grounds for the an­nual cer­e­mony to re­mem­ber the sol­diers of the New­found­land Reg­i­ment who were slain on that bat­tle­field in France 102 years ago.

Branch 5 sec­re­tary Gail Han­cock led the cer­e­mony and branch trea­surer Ja­nis Boone, who is also Dis­trict Com­man­der, read­ing the names of the fallen sol­diers from the me­mo­rial.

Padre Ce­cil Chay­tor of­fered a prayer as the fir­ing squad pre­pared to fire off sev­eral vol­leys.

Com­rade Randy Han­cock played the last post and rev­elry as the flag was pulled into place.

Fol­low­ing that wreaths were laid at the base of the war me­mo­rial by lo­cal ser­vice clubs, mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and fam­ily mem­bers of vet­er­ans.

Af­ter th­ese wreaths were laid, Branch Sec­re­tary Hand­cock asked if any­one else in the crowd wanted to place a wreath.

A hand went up.

The lady at the back of the crowd was waved to come for­ward, and was asked to give her name and who she was lay­ing a wreath for.

Chris­tine Steen­dam had come a long way to place this wreath.

She lives in the Nether­lands and said she to lay a wreath in me­mory of all the Cana­dian sol­diers who died help­ing to free the Nether­lands dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

Fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony she said she has been trav­el­ling around the province for the past three weeks and with one week left had heard about Bot­wood and its con­tri­bu­tions dur­ing the war. She had heard about the mu­rals around the town and wanted to see them for her­self.

Since she was in the town for Canada Day, she de­cided to at­tend the Me­mo­rial Day cer­e­mony as well.

Mrs. Steen­dam noted that her fam­ily was one of sev­eral in the Nether­land who had pro­tected Jews from the Nazi round-ups by hid­ing them on their farms and in other build­ings dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

Sev­eral pins were given to Mrs. Steen­dam to re­mem­ber her visit to Bot­wood. She was given a town crest pin, Canada flag pin, and a for­get me not flower pin along with a Beau­mont Hamel pin to keep as a to­ken of her visit to Bot­wood and the province.

To see more pho­tos of the Me­mo­rial Day cer­e­mony in Bot­wood, visit: www.gfwad­ver­tiser.ca

DAR­REN MILLS PHOTO

The fir­ing party await­ing com­mand to fire off the vol­leys. Front row (left to right): John Butler, Dave Rams­den, Arthur Lang­don; back row: Bill Flynn, Peter Chay­tor and Jerry Thomp­son.

DAR­REN MILLS PHOTO

PO1 Emily Ball es­corts Rachel and Heather Mills to lay a wreath for Wil­liam Doulas Jewer. Mr. Doug Jewer was a war vet­eran who served in the forestry units.

DAR­REN MILLS PHOTO

Chris­tine Steen­dam of the Nether­lands lays a wreath, with aid from es­cort PO1 Emily Ball, as a thank you to New­found­lan­ders and Cana­di­ans helped free the Nether­lands from Ger­man oc­cu­pa­tion dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

DAR­REN MILLS PHOTO

PO1 Emily Ball es­corts first Vice Pres­i­dent Barry Arch to lay a wreath for the mem­bers of Branch 5 Le­gion.

DAR­REN MILLS PHOTO

Es­corted by PO1 Emily Ball Harve Roberts pre­pares to lay a wreath for his fa­ther Gordon Roberts on be­half of the Roberts Fam­ily.

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