The father in this letter blamed the doctor's that completed the medical exam on his son for his ultimate death as he thought that his son was not fit for duty and it would seem that the son himself thought that he would not pass the exam but felt obligated to offer himself for service anyways. This once again shows the sense of patriotism that Newfoundlanders had towards their King and Country during the First World War, that even though he was not well he felt obliged to offer himself. A lot of the men that did not come forward at first to join the Regiment were often tormented and peer pressured into joining the Regiment.


Delbyís Cove
June 21st 1918

To the Colonial Secretary

Dear Sir

I am in receipt of your letter of the 14th of June I am very thankful of such remembrance from you it was more than kind of you.

Dear Sir

When my boy told me he was going to offer him-self for his King and Country I told him he would not be accepted owing to ill health and he told me he did not think he would be accepted but it was his duty to offer him-self more over two doctors told me he was consumption  he was a very sickly boy that we was taken great care of donít know how the doctors came to pass him if, there is a right & just law. The doctors that passed him should pay a penalty for so doing his mother his very ill now on the thoughts of her sick boy that was taken from her he told me on his death that he felt a lot of his side and he told the doctor about it and the doctor did not examined him only told a officer to put him on duty he just reached home on leave taken very ill to his bed & died a few days after I know it is every able body mans duty to do his duty for his king and country I myself is not able to do any hard work although he was all the help I had I know that God will judge the doctors according to these deeds with a righteous judgment.

May the God give you the riches desire of heaven

Yours truly

John McGrath

Delby's Cove

Source: GN 2.14.134 The Rooms, Provincial Archives, St. John's, NL



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