Newfoundland and Remembrance Day

The Royal Newfoundland Regiment 

Image via Wikipedia

When called the country of Newfoundland answered. Regarding the ratio of wealth and population, Newfoundland’s contribution in the First World War was unparrelled . Approximately 8,500 men were enrolled, nearly 7,000 in the Newfoundland Regiment and Forestry Corps, the remainder in the Royal Navy. Casualties were extremely high. In the Newfoundland Regiment about 1,300 were killed and over 2,300 wounded; of those who enlisted in the Royal Navy about 180 lost their lives and 125 were invalided home.

Of the men in the Naval Service, the Cambridge History of the British Empire says: –

The seamen of Newfoundland had long been known in the Navy as efficient and resourceful, but the end of the War left them with a greatly enhanced reputation. They readily undertook almost impossible boarding operations in wild seas which others would not face. Nothing but praise was accorded by the Fleet.

The great test of the Newfoundland Regiment came at Beaumont-Hamel in the Battle of the Somme, on July 1, 1916. They went into action 753 strong; only 68 answered the roll call next day. A memorial to the fallen stands on the field of Beaumont-Hamel and on Commemoration Day the people of Newfoundland gather at their war memorials in remembrance.

Newfoundlanders have always understood duty and obligation. The british government agreed to cover the war debt but later reneged as outline in the adlee report, a foreshadowing of Mr. Chamberlain.The disregard of the british parlianment led to Newfoundland being forced to abandon country status.   The public debt was increased by $10,000,000 and provision for war pensions proved to be a continuing burden. There can be little doubt that the british government decesion to abandon Newfoundland was an important factor in bringing about the financial crisis after 1930.

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~ by vwbora25 on 11/08/2008.

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