Library display honours tragic battle
By Jeff Green
“I could see no one moving, but heaps of Khaki slumped on the ground.”
Anthony James Stacey, a Blue Puttee who fought
in Beaumont Hamel.
From the book Memoirs of a Blue Puttee
by A. J. Stacey and Jean Edwards Stacey
Two of the busiest research centres at Memorial have honoured the 90th anniversary of the destruction of the Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont Hamel in a very special way.
The Centre for Newfoundland Studies and the Archives and Manuscripts Division, both located in the Queen Elizabeth II Library in St. John’s, are showcasing a number of books and archival documents for a display titled Newfoundland Regiment in the Battle of the Somme at Beaumont Hamel July 1, 1916, which opened in the CNS on June 12 and will run until mid-September.
The display is part of the CNS’s 40th anniversary celebrations and is located in its reading room on the third floor of the QEII.
“People will see books about the engagement at Beaumont Hamel, the Newfoundland Regiment, poetry and letters, and much more,” said Debby Andrews, a library assistant with the Centre for Newfoundland Studies who helped organize the special display along with Bert Riggs, archivist with the Archives and Manuscripts Division.
“Some of the more interesting material is the diary of Owen Steele, a soldier in the Newfoundland Regiment who died of injuries received at Beaumont Hamel,” Ms. Andrews added. “As well, the display has a picture of Eric Ayre, one of the four officer grandsons of St. John’s businessman C.R. Ayre. All four were killed on July 1, 1916.”
Admission to the Beaumont Hamel display is free and all are welcome.
The Centre for Newfoundland Studies is open to the public Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-5:45 p.m. Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. and Sunday from 2-9 p.m.