A short history of the Regiment

The First Newfoundland Regiment was organized shortly after the outbreak of the war in August, 1914, following a preliminary meeting of City Brigade and Musketry Officers in the Prime Minister’s Office, and a Public Meeting in the C.L.B Armoury to confirm the Government’s offer of a small Land Force and increased numbers in the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve.

 540 men went aboard the S.S. Florizel on Oct. 3rd, 1914, and sailed on the following night for England, joining a large convoy with which they proceeded, and reached Devonport on the 15th. They spent the last Autumn on “Pond Farm Camp,” Salisbury Plains, and early in December went to “Fort George,” Invernesshire, Scotland, where they trained until Feb. 19th, 1915, when they were transferred to garrison the Castle at Edinburgh; here they were joined by “C”, “D” and “E” Companies.

 The whole Battalion moved to Stobs Camp, near Hawick, on the 11th May, and continued training, receiving another Company “F”. Early in August, the first Battalion moved to Aldershot, en route to active service. The balance was detailed to form the Depot, which was later established at Ayr, afterwards Carnoustie, and, finally, Hazeley Down Camp, near Winchester.

 The First Battalion left in August for Egypt, and from thence entered actively in strenuous service, including periods at Sulva Bay and Cape Helles, where they participated in the famous evacuations.

 From Egypt, the Regiment moved to Marseilles; thence into action at Beaumont Hamel; to Ypres, back to the Somme for Gueudecourt, LeTransloy, Sailly-Sallisel, Monchy-le-Preux; trench up to the Steenbek, Broombeek River, Marcoing and Masnieres. 

 In January, 1918, His Majesty the King approved of the title “Royal” to the Regiment.

 Forced to withdraw from the 29th Division, with whom they had been associated from Gallipoli, in April, the Regiment furnished the personal guards for Sir Douglas Haig, Commander –in-Chief, while awaiting re-enforcements, owing to their severe casualties.

 On Sept. 12th of that year the Regiment was attached to the 28th Brigade, of the 9th (Scottish) Division, and went into action on the 28th in the neighbourhood of Zonnebeke. In October they took part in the several days heavy fighting around Ledgehem, on which occasion twenty eight awards for decorations were made, including the Victoria Cross to Thos. Ricketts.

 In December the Royal Newfoundland Regiment formed part of the Victorious Army of occupation, crossing the Rhine and taking up quarters at Hilden and Cologne.


Victoria Cross                                      1
C.M.G.                                                2
C.B.E.                                                  3
D.S.O.                                                 4
O.B.E                                                  7
R.V.O                                                  1
M.B.E                                                  8
M.C                                                     30
Bar to M.C                                          6
D.C.M.                                                31
Bar to D.C.M                                       1
M.M                                                    106
Bar to M.M.                                         8
M.S.M.                                                17
Allied Decorations                                23                                        248

Mentioned in dispatches by
Commander-in-Chief in the field                                 24

Mentioned in dispatches by
Secretary of State for War ( services at home)              8                    32 
                                                                                280                                    280

Source: MG 439, Box 1, File 3, The Rooms, Provincial Archives, St. John's, NL


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