The Royal Newfoundland Regiment has a long and distinguished history having been officially commissioned in 1795 and though they have had various name changes over the years their commitment, spirit and tenacity has always remained the same, dedicated to the cause and willing to serve their role in any part of the world whether it be in battle or in peace keeping.
The Battle of the Somme is the one that is most recognized and remembered as having the heaviest impact on the Regiment for loss of life. However, it is not the only battle that the Regiment was involved with during the First World War and that should never be forgotten.
Despite the numerous men that died at Beaumont Hamel on July 1,1916, new recruits were still joining up to go overseas to fight for their King and Country. This goes to show the dedication that the men in Newfoundland felt to the Empire and the need to assist in defending it. This dedication should be remembered and never forgotten as it was due to these young men sacrificing themselves for the cause that today we have our freedom.
The Regiment was disbanded shortly after they returned home in 1919 and during World War II the Regiment was not reformed as a military unit to fight overseas but as a militia unit for home defense. It also became a training unit for the 59th Newfoundland Heavy and the 166th Newfoundland Field Artillery Regiments of the Royal Artillery. The last order to the militia was at war’s end to disband, which was issued on April 25, 1946, nearly a year after the war had ended.
It was in October 1949 that the Regiment was once again re-formed, this time under the authority of King George VI, as a militia unit. The re-forming of the Regiment was part of the Terms of Union for joining Canada. The clause stated, “to provide for the maintenance, in the Province of Newfoundland, an appropriate reserve unit of the Canadian Defense Forces which will include the Newfoundland Regiment.” The Regiment has been in existence ever since and has participated in various conflicts and peacekeeping duties in various parts of the world.
This section of the website will give an overview and short synopsis of the history of the Regiment up to the end of the First World War.
For more information on the Regiment please consult our list of additional sources of books and websites as found in the Links section.