Articles - “A real record for all time”: - Newfoundland and Great War Official History

Articles

“A real record for all time”:

Newfoundland and Great War Official History

Melvin Baker
Memorial University
Peter Neary
University of Western Ontario

1 IN THE INTERWAR YEARS , 1918-39, the publishing of official history occupied many researchers and writers in the Allied countries that had prevailed in the Great War — a prolonged and savage conflict that had cost them dearly in blood and treasure. Great deeds and steadfast purpose, it was widely believed, would live on by being duly recorded and remembered — and the sacrifice of those who had served would be honoured thereby. Through scholarly effort and literary craft, as much as through the erection and maintenance of physical memorials and the beautification and perpetual care of cemeteries, their names would live for evermore. In the United Kingdom a comprehensive series of volumes on the Great War experience was published under the direction of official historian Brigadier-General Sir James Edmonds, who completed his work in 1947 at age 87. In Australia, Charles Bean produced a monumental 12-volume survey on the war period that changed the way his compatriots imagined themselves. New Zealand’s war effort was likewise dutifully recorded in a multi-volume set of which Major-General H.K. Kippenberger was senior editor. On a larger scale, official historians in the United States had an equally impressive output. In Canada, though, despite high purpose and the commitment of many resources, only one volume of a projected multi-volume history was produced in the interwar period by official historian A.F. Duguid; his 1938 volume was undoubtedly of high quality but covered only the period “From the Outbreak of War to the Formation of the Canadian Corps, August 1914-September 1915.” The history of this flawed Canadian initiative is masterfully told by Tim Cook in his 2006 Clio’s Warriors: Canadian Historians and the Writing of the World Wars (Vancouver: UBC Press). Understandably, his study does not cover events in Newfoundland, which did not become part of Canada until 1949. Newfoundland’s war effort in 1914-18 was separate from that of Canada, and the attempt of the government in St. John’s to record the history of that effort — part of the broader interest in official history among the victors — was likewise sui generis.

2 The first Newfoundlanders to go overseas after the outbreak of war in August 1914 were members of the Royal Naval Reserve. They were followed by members of the hastily formed Newfoundland Regiment (the first contingent, five hundred in number, was known as “The Blue Puttees”) and eventually by members of a forestry corps. Newfoundland soldiers served in the Gallipoli campaign, and Private Hugh H. McWhirter of Humbermouth, the first Newfoundlander to die (on 22 September 1915) as a result of Great War militaryoperations, is buried at Hill 10 Cemetery, Suvla Bay, Turkey. On 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the Newfoundland Regiment suffered devastating losses in an action that stands out as one of the war’s most blood-stained engagements. In recognition of its valour and sacrifice, from 1917 the unit was known as the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. As elsewhere, the war brought sweeping social change to Newfoundland. Prohibition was introduced in 1916 and conscription, which stirred deep controversy, in 1918.

3 An unusual feature of the Newfoundland war effort was the role played by the Patriotic Association of Newfoundland. Formed soon after the conflict started, it administered mobilization across a broad front and sought to place the conduct of the war above politics (a quest with deep roots in the island’s political culture). Following the war, Newfoundland erected monuments at home and overseas to the fallen. In 1924 a national war memorial was dedicated near the King’s Beach, St. John’s, in the presence of Field Marshal Earl Haig, the British military commander whose name was synonymous with the hard trench warfare that had cost so many lives and brought so much suffering in France and Belgium. And on 15 September 1925 Memorial University College, which traced its origins to a 1919 initiative by members of the Patriotic Association, was launched as a living tribute to wartime sacrifice. In a poignant inscription for the new institution (for many years printed in its calendar)1 the poet Robert Gear MacDonald wrote that the University College existed “Because they rest in grim Gallipoli; / Because they sleep on Beaumont Hamel’s plain; / Because beneath the ever-flowing main / their bodies find a grave eternally / Till the Last Call.” And so it was.

4 In this period also, the Newfoundland government sought to have the history of the country’s war experience set down in a narrative that would be a lasting memorial in its own right. A start in this direction was made in January 1917 when the Patriotic Association appointed a war history committee, initially as a subcommittee of its standing committee on organization. Subsequently, the new grouping was made a committee in its own right and named the “Committee for the Collection of Records,” but this was soon changed to “War History Committee.”2 In a circular letter dated 15 February 1917, the committee announced that its aim was “to gather together from every source all possible data dealing with the formation, history and work of the Newfoundland Regiment, the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve, and of the various associations which have been directly connected with our military and naval organizations.”3 The purpose of all this collecting would be to have published at “the close of the war . . . an authoritative work in book form” covering army and navy operations and “containing the stories of individual acts of gallantry.” The proposed work, of which Prime Minister E.P. Morris was named editor-in-chief, would feature both “photographs of general interest” and “diagrams of the battles.” To assist its effort, the committee invited members of the public to submit to it relevant “letters, newspaper clippings, photographs, or other documents or extracts therefrom.” These would “form the foundation” for “the official story of the work of Newfoundland and Newfoundlanders in the Great War.” In the same spirit, the committee gave consideration to the possibility “of compiling an individual record of every man who has been accepted into the Regiment and the Reserve.” This “would be entirely separate from the historical work and would form a kind of biographical register of each individual for future reference.”4

5 The chair of the War History Committee was Morris, who had been in office since 1909; the secretary was the talented (Lewis) Edward Emerson, then at the start of a career that would see him climb high on the political ladder and eventually become chief justice of the Supreme Court. Other committee members were drawn from the St. John’s prominenti and included Patrick T. McGrath, who played an especially important role in what followed. Born in St. John’s in 1868 and educated there by the Irish Christian Brothers, he was one of the country’s leading journalists and political fixers, despite being afflicted with a nervous tremor and partial paralysis.5 He was a close political ally of Morris and in 1912 was appointed to the Legislative Council (upper house), becoming president of that body in 1916. A man of wide reading and a gifted writer, he was the author of Newfoundland in 1911: being the coronation year of King George V and the opening of the second decade of the twentieth century, published in London by Whitehead, Morris & Co., Ltd. McGrath personified the reconciliation of the Newfoundland Roman Catholic elite of Irish descent with the causes of the British Empire, a metamorphosis that was cemented by the events of the Great War. He was an ardent imperialist with excellent international connections, a Newfoundland patriot, and a leading supporter of his country’s unstinting participation in the 1914-18 conflict. In 1918, for his loyal and faithful service, he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire ( KBE ).

6 In June 1917 a subcommittee of the War History Committee reported on an account of the Newfoundland Regiment by Henry Reeve, which had been referred to it by Governor Sir W.E. Davidson. Reeve, a former private secretary to the Governor of Newfoundland, was now honorary secretary of the Newfoundland War Contingent Association, which operated in London.6 His manuscript was in three parts. Part I (“Preliminary”) dealt with the history of the Newfoundland Regiment to the time of its departure overseas; Part II (“The Great Adventure”) with its participation in the Gallipoli campaign; and Part III (“The Regiment in France”) with its subsequent history to 20 August 1916.7 The parts were divided into chapters, some of which were incomplete, and Parts II and III were said to be based on records compiled by Captain Andrew Frew of the Royal Army Medical Corps, who was attached to the regiment from 17 August 1915 to 1 September 1916.8 Having examined the work, the subcommittee recommended that the War History Committee not undertake its publication. Part I covered familiar ground and contained “some passages which might not meet with general approval and which would almost certainly be associated in many minds with the Committee if it assumed the responsibility of publishing them.”9 By contrast, Parts II and III were “excellent” and “would be read with pleasure by all,” but the manuscript could not be published except in full without the author’s consent. The subcommittee had no objection, however, to the “publication of the History independently upon the responsibility of Mr. Reeve or of anyone else.”10

7 In February 1918 Governor Sir Charles Alexander Harris forwarded to London an account of “Newfoundland’s Part in the Great War” written by McGrath himself.11 This ran to 43 typewritten, double-spaced pages, was supplemented with photographs, and took the same comprehensive approach as the well-researched chapter on “Newfoundland and the War,” published the same year in volume 14 (181-216) of The Times History of the War.12 Following a brief introduction to the history of Newfoundland, McGrath’s narrative was divided into 20 sections: “Royal Naval Reserve,” “Organizing a Military Contingent,” “On the Western Front,” “The Forestry Battalion,” “Recruiting,” “Non-Combatant Helpers,” “A Memorial Day,” “Militia Department Formed,” “Newfoundland’s War Finance,” “Pensions,” “Giving up Sealing Ships,” “Shipbuilding Activities,” “Prohibition Enforced,” “Production Campaign,” “Food Control,” “Patriotic Fund,” “Other War Funds,” “Women’s Work in the War,” “Newfoundland War Contingent Association in London,” and “War History Committee.” His account was lively and comprehensive and reflected both his deep patriotism and his intimate knowledge of the local scene. According to Harris, though, it needed “a certain amount of editing.” For the moment it languished in the files.

8 In 1918, events again moved in a different direction when Morris, who had left the office of Prime Minister in January and was now living permanently in England (having been raised to the peerage), sought the approval of his colleagues on the War History Committee for a new plan of action.13 Specifically, he asked for authority, as editor-in-chief, to enlist the well-known and adventurous war correspondent Frederick Arthur McKenzie to write the history towards which the committee was working — and which the directors of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company, operators since 1905 of the pulp and paper mill at Grand Falls, Newfoundland, had agreed to underwrite as a public service. Born in Canada, McKenzie (1869-1931) had grown up in England and had reported on the Russo-Japanese War for the London Daily Mail, which was owned by the Harmsworths, who also owned the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company.14 For several years, McKenzie was editor of the weekly edition of The Times and from 1914 he reported on the events of the Great War for a number of Canadian newspapers. In 1916 he contributed a chapter entitled “Newfoundland’s Heroic Part in the War” to volume 7 (309-18) of The Great War: The Standard History of the All-Europe Conflict, edited by H.H. Wilson and J.A. Hammerton and published in London by The Amalgamated Press Limited (another Harmsworth enterprise). Two years later, his Canada’s Day of Glory was published in Toronto by Briggs. On 17 December 1918, McKenzie arrived in St. John’s by train from Port aux Basques and on the evenings of the 18th and 19th spoke at the Casino Theatre as part of a lecture tour across Canada and Newfoundland undertaken at the request of the British government. His account of the fighting in Europe drew on his firsthand knowledge and was illustrated with battlefield films shown by a projectionist who travelled with him.15

9 On his first day in St. John’s, McKenzie lunched with the Governor, and on the 21st, following up on Morris’s initiative, he was present at a special meeting of the War History Committee.16 McKenzie told the committee that he had met a few months earlier in London with W.F. Lloyd, Morris’s successor as Prime Minister, and had heard from him that the cost of the history to be written would be paid for by the Government of Newfoundland rather than by Anglo-Newfoundland Development. This being the case, he urged the committee to decide “whether it would authorize him to edit the work.” What he had in mind was “a quarto volume in narrative form” encompassing about 120,000 words. To push the work forward, he would revisit the battlefields, undertake interviews with returned soldiers, and then complete his research by making another trip to Newfoundland. At the end of a wide-ranging discussion the “general opinion” of the meeting was “that the position of the Committee was not sufficiently defined” (much of the work of the Patriotic Committee had now been taken over by a newly formed Department of Militia), leaving “grave doubts” about “its authority to employ” the prospective author or “to authorize expenditure.” In the circumstances, a subcommittee was appointed to meet with Acting Prime Minister Sir Michael Cashin (Lloyd was overseas on government business at the time) to determine the present standing of the War History Committee and “the limit of its authority.” At the same time, the subcommittee was authorized to endorse McKenzie’s appointment as editor of the proposed history if it was indeed the intention of the Government “to proceed . . . under its own supervision.” For his part, McKenzie left St. John’s with the understanding that “definite arrangements” would soon be made with him by mail.17

10 Having heard nothing, on 4 July 1919 he wrote from the Salmagundi Club in New York City to John R. Bennett, Colonial Secretary in the Newfoundland government.18 McKenzie now offered “to produce, to the satisfaction of the Government or of a delegate appointed by it, the history of Newfoundland in the war, describing the war work of the Dominion, the history of the Regiment, etc.” This would have a text of 80,000-100,000 words and there would be an appendix “giving the official records of all the men who had gained honours, and the leading despatches relating to Newfoundland and the war.” In the interest of “absolute accuracy” the accounts of battles to be included “would be submitted to some of the chief men concerned.” McKenzie imagined a volume of 360 pages, including “four plans of battles, based on the British official plans.” Barring “extraordinary delays” in getting official approval for his draft, he expected to complete the work by December. To this end, he proposed to visit Newfoundland again in August and then “re-visit the scenes of the fights in Europe, in order to have my details correct.” McKenzie undertook to cover his own travel expenses and “the whole expense of preparation, printing and production.” In return, the government would commit to buying at least 3,000 copies at a net price of $1.50 each. One-third of this total would be paid to him as an advance and the remainder paid out on delivery of the books, with the author retaining the right to make additional sales. The government would also agree to cover the cost of any import duty on the books. In a postscript, McKenzie noted that the plan whereby the government would commit to buy a fixed number of books was in keeping with the arrangement he had made with the British government for the publication of his Through the Hindenburg Line: crowning days on the western front (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1918).

11 McKenzie finally heard back from St. John’s on 11 November — nine days after the administration of Sir Michael Cashin, who had succeeded Lloyd as Prime Minister on 22 May, had been defeated in a general election. With its time in office rapidly running out, Bennett delivered the good news that the Newfoundland government agreed to McKenzie’s terms “regarding the proposed History of Newfoundland in the War.”19 McKenzie’s contact while writing the book and for delivering it when completed, he explained, would be Sir Edgar Bowring, Newfoundland’s High Commissioner in London, who was being instructed to pay out the required advance of $1,500 forthwith. Unfortunately for the author, following the formation of a new government in St. John’s by Richard Squires, on 17 November, the 11 November minute of council confirming the commitment to him was cancelled by another order, dated 16 December.20 Since no money had yet been paid out by Bowring, McKenzie was left high and dry, even though he had started work on the basis of his understanding with Bennett. In a complaining letter, dated 19 December, to Newfoundland’s new Colonial Secretary — an office held by Squires himself — an understandably aggrieved McKenzie reviewed the history of his involvement in the project and made plain that he was anxious to complete the work, promising to spare no effort “to produce a record worthy of the great work of your Dominion, and satisfactory to you.”21 If, however, the government did not intend to keep its contract, the High Commissioner should be authorized to settle with him “in friendly and direct negotiation” his claim for the breach that would have occurred.

12 On 6 January 1920 McKenzie was told by telegram from St. John’s that his letter to Bennett the previous July had been private in nature; the War History Committee had neither received word of the letter nor been informed of the controversial 11 November minute of council.22 According to this missive, the whole matter was now being considered by the committee and by the Great War Veterans’ Association of Newfoundland ( GWVA ), whose recommendations would receive prompt attention from the government.23 When the War History Committee met on 29 January 1920, it heard from its secretary, Emerson, that H.A. Anderson, an overseas veteran and socially prominent native son, was now also interested in writing the proposed history and had associated with him fellow regimental notables Lt.-Col. Walter F. Rendell and Major Rev. Thomas Nangle (Roman Catholic priest, padre in France, and Newfoundland representative on the Imperial War Graves Commission), along with budding littérateur Richard Cramm.24 Emerson further reported that the government wanted the committeeto make a recommendation as between McKenzie and Anderson and his colleagues. Having hashed the matter over, however, the committee declined to make a choice on the grounds that it did not have “sufficient knowledge of the present position as to the compilation of the history or of the names of those who have made application for its compilation nor of the contents of the work they contemplate.” The committee again called on the government to define its powers and the scope of its work. In June, with matters thus in abeyance, the government sent Lt.-Col. A.E. Bernard, who had won the Military Cross at Gallipoli, to England and France to collect information for the official history it wished to see published.25

13 In the meanwhile, on 17 February, Bowring had reported to St. John’s that he had heard from McKenzie’s lawyers, Messrs. Mills, Curry & Gaskell, who wanted the legal points at issue between their client and the Newfoundland government referred to a mutually agreed upon umpire. Bowring urged quick action by the authorities in St. John’s, noting that McKenzie had become “difficult to deal with” and wanted no “further delay.”26 In a letter to the Attorney General of Newfoundland, dated 9 March, Mills, Curry & Gaskell laid out the full case on their client’s behalf, concluding as follows:

We desire to point out as strongly as we can that the action of the new Government has, quite apart from the question of the legality of the contract, inflicted very serious damage and loss on our client. He had undertaken very considerable preliminary work. On receipt of the letter from the late Colonial Secretary he cancelled his list of winter engagements to fit in with the plans of your Government. He has had no part in the political controversy between the present and the late Government, — of which he is apparently the unfortunate victim. We therefore appeal to you, in justice of our client and having regard to the honour of your own Government, to come to an equitable arrangement over the matter.27

The dispute dragged on into 1921, with McKenzie making a direct appeal on 11 February to Squires, with whom he had met in London the previous summer.28 It was in the interest of both parties, he wrote, to have the matter “settled without further delay”:

In the interest of Newfoundland, because every month of delay makes it more difficult to secure the touch of actuality in writing . . . . Delay much longer and the book, however carefully prepared and well written, will have lost much of its value. In my interest, because, while this matter is still pending, I am prevented from taking up other exclusive engagements which would hamper me in completing my arrangement with you.

There were now, the aggrieved author ventured, three possible courses of action: proceed as originally planned with costs and expenses updated to current values; an arrangement whereby Newfoundland would produce the history itself but pay him ^1,000 for the literary work; or cancellation of the whole deal with a payment to him of ^550 to cover his loss, this total being the minimum he would have made on the first edition of the book.

14 Though the details are murky, Newfoundland eventually paid the aggrieved author ^200 for his trouble;29 but the relationship of the two parties got a new lease on life after Bowring, asked by St. John’s to investigate matters further, reported in March 1922 that McKenzie was now ready and willing to write a war history of 60,000-100,000 words for ^400 — or to “drop the matter altogether,” for a final payment of ^220.30 While expressing “no personal feeling in favour of Mr. McKenzie,” Bowring urged that the history be written; McKenzie “would do justice to the work in view of his high reputation and his ability as a writer.” “There is no doubt,” the High Commissioner urged, “that a record of the nature contemplated, would be valuable for use in schools throughout the Empire, and would serve to remind us, and to remind posterity, of the part played by our country in the Great War for Civilization; it would be a useful addition to the historical records of the Empire, marking one of the most glorious incidents in our Island’s history.” His advice was taken, and on 17 April he heard from Deputy Colonial Secretary Arthur Mews that the government was willing to proceed with the writing of the history on the basis suggested by McKenzie. For his part, the author would have to deliver a “complete manuscript ready for printing by the publishers.”31 Of the additional ^400 to be forthcoming, half would be paid on account on receipt from the High Commissioner of a “certificate as to progress” and the other half when the government approved the manuscript as submitted.

15 After the latest Newfoundland offer had been put in writing, McKenzie, who was in Russia at the time (in 1923 he published Russia Before Dawn with Unwin), telegraphed his acceptance to Bowring, confirming this in a letter dated 22 May. “I need hardly assure you,” he wrote, “that no effort on my part will be spared to make the book a worth[y] record of very brave men.”32 In August he told Bowring that for the Newfoundland book he was “adopting a plain, narrative style,” keeping the text “as free as possible from mere technicalities, and confining all mere routine details to the Appendix. I want to write a book that can be read by every schoolboy, as he reads his Macaulay. If I make my War History intelligible and interesting to the boy of fourteen, I have no fear of the man of forty.”33 In October the High Commission made the promised further payment of ^200 to him on account.34 Having travelled a decidedly rocky road with the Newfoundland politicians, McKenzie was off and running — or so it seemed. Eventually, for what it was worth, Thomas Nangle, who had his own ambitions to write history, told a British correspondent that McKenzie was “distasteful” to Newfoundland ex-servicemen and that “no one would put any records at his disposal.”35

16 In 1921, while McKenzie was embroiled over his proposed version of official history, Richard Cramm published, with C.F. Williams & Son of Albany, New York, The First Five Hundred: being a historical sketch of the military operations of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in Gallipoli and on the Western Front during the Great War (1914-1918) together with the individual military records and photographs where obtainable of the men of the first contingent, known as “the First Five Hundred” or “The Blue Puttees”. By definition, his volume covered a central part of the story McKenzie hoped to tell. Born in Small Point, Conception Bay, Newfoundland, in 1889, Cramm, a thorough researcher and an accomplished writer, attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut and then became a student-at-law with the St. John’s firm of Squires and Winter. His book was in two parts, the first devoted to the history of the regiment and the second to individual military records, which were arranged alphabetically. Part 1 was divided into five chapters and organized chronologically: “From Saint John’s Through Gallipoli” (19-54); “Nineteen-sixteen In France” (55-67); “From Gueudecourt through Monchy-le-Preux (68-78); “Three Important Engagements in the Latter Part of 1917” (79-95); and “The Closing Year of the War” (96-109). The main text was preceded by a biographical sketch and photograph of Newfoundland’s Victoria Cross winner, Sergeant Thomas Ricketts. This was followed by six pages of photographs of the leading politicians of the period together with a picture of Nangle. The first photograph in the set, occupying a full page, was of Prime Minister Squires, who was now a KCMG .

17 In his preface, Cramm wrote that his book had a “twofold purpose.” The first was “to chronicle briefly the military operations of the heroic fighting battalion that represented Newfoundland among the victorious troops of the British Empire in the greatest war of history, and to illustrate its persistent gallantry and splendid achievements by reference in each chapter to conspicuous individual heroism.” The second purpose was “to put in compact form and within easy reach of the public the individual records of the first contingent which embarked from Saint John’s on the most solemn duty that has ever been thrust upon our country.” His work, which remains a basic reference, enjoyed public support in the form of a commitment from the government to buy 500 copies.36 The price of the book was $5.50, and $1,000 of the $2,750 ultimately owing to him under this arrangement was authorized as an advance in April 1921 (Cramm’s father, a merchant at Small Point, and F.P. LeGrow, a Blue Puttee, member of the executive of the GWVA , and member of the House of Assembly for Bay de Verde, guaranteed repayment in the event that the author did not keep his end of the bargain).37 Payment of the balance owing Cramm — $1,750 — was authorized in November following the publication of his book, which could also be imported duty free.

18 In 1923 knowledge of Newfoundland’s role in the Great War was further augmented by the publication of volume two of The Empire at War, edited for the Royal Colonial Institute by Sir Charles Lucas and published by Humphrey Milford and Oxford University Press. Part II of this publication (297-321) was devoted to Newfoundland, with authorship ascribed to “Hon. P.T. McGrath, K.B.E., LL.D . and the Editor.” Their contribution was manifestly inspirational and patriotic in tone, but they cast a wider net than Cramm had done in his work, which was, understandably, tightly focused on military events. Clearly rooted in McGrath’s 1918 summary of events, the 1923 account reflected the sweep of his knowledge and interests — military, social, cultural, political, and economic. In many respects it remains the most concise and comprehensive introduction to the subject of the impact of the Great War on Newfoundland and Newfoundlanders.

19 For all the enthusiasm he showed in 1922 to get on with the Newfoundland book he had been commissioned to write, McKenzie, who travelled extensively in this period and was greatly preoccupied with his Russian interests, proceeded very slowly, despite inquiries from St. John’s about his progress. In March 1926, though, writing from the Hotel Petersburg in Reval (Tallinn), Estonia, he told Captain Victor Gordon, the sitting Newfoundland High Commissioner in London, that he would be back to London in May and hoped to complete his work “by the end of June or early July.” His book would not be “a heavy formal military history (which no one reads) but a graphic story of heroism, with all the colour and life that it is possible to put into it.”38 In fact, his manuscript took much longer to complete than forecast in this letter. In October 1926, he met with Newfoundland Prime Minister Walter Monroe, who was in London for the Imperial Conference of that year.39 He subsequently set a deadline for himself of 15 March 1927, but missed this date for submission also.40 Finally, on 26 October, he delivered the bulk of his text to Gordon, submitting the remaining chapters a few days later. “I have taken months instead of the anticipated weeks to complete this book,” he explained, “because I found that my subject demanded it. Here was a theme, I realized, in which I must put the best work in my power. Some of the chapters have been completely re-written five times, and I have put more solid labour into this War History than in anything I have ever before attempted.”41 Having put text into Gordon’s hands, McKenzie immediately asked for the payment of ^100 of the ^200 owing him on satisfactory completion of the history; “months of work” on the project along with “outgoing secretarial and other expenses” had presented him with “a real financial problem.”42

Richard Cramm (1889-1958). “The hope is that…the young… will not forget the heroes of their own country.”
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20 Gordon forwarded the typescript of “Newfoundland in the Great War” to St. John’s in two instalments: the first, incorporating McKenzie’s initial submission, sent on 31 October, and the second, with his additional chapters, on 7 November.43 On 19 December Deputy Colonial Secretary Mews sent the document to McGrath for his appraisal; on 8 January 1928 an advance of ^60 was authorized for payment to McKenzie “pending the examination and approval” of his manuscript.44 In the event, a withering assessment was written by McGrath, who submitted a 13-page dissection, which he described as “a reasoned and fair-minded review” of McKenzie’s narrative, along with an explanation of his own thinking of what would be “required to provide for the present and future generations a real history of our Colony’s war effort.”45

21 McGrath found McKenzie’s account wanting in many respects. Ninety per cent of it dealt with the history of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, while the contributions of the Naval Reserve were skipped over lightly and the work of merchant seamen, foresters, and the women who went overseas as nurses and members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment ( VAD ) neglected altogether. In his chapter on “Activities in Great Britain,” McKenzie gave three lines to the work of the Pay and Record Office in London and five lines to Wandsworth Hospital, where many Newfoundlanders were treated, and he limited coverage of the four years of voluntary service of the Newfoundland War Contingent Association to the remark that this organization had done “invaluable work for the sick and prisoners of war.” At the same time, his account of the “Newfoundland Week” held in various British cities in 1917 was padded to no good purpose with extensive quotations from newspapers. There were also many mistakes of fact — about enlistment numbers, the financing of the war, and the names and positions of political figures in Newfoundland — and the pivotal work of the Patriotic Association was effectively ignored, as were the impressive contribution of the Women’s Patriotic Association and the service of Newfoundlanders who had joined the Canadian, American, and other Imperial forces. Comparing McKenzie’s effort with Rudyard Kipling’s two-volume history of the Irish Guards (in which the author’s only son, John Kipling, had served and lost his life at the Battle of Loos),46 McGrath noted that, whereas Kipling’s first volume ran to about 140,000 words, McKenzie’s 235-page typescript had only some 56,000 words. Even with the addition of his 70-page appendix of honours and awards, which copied citations from the London Gazette, this would only make a “lean and unimpressive” book that should not “appear as an official history of the Colony’s war activities.” In sum, McKenzie’s manuscript, when cleaned up, might be “about sufficient to make the first half of a real Newfoundland War History.”

Patrick Thomas McGrath (1868-1929). “I trust that…the Government…will ensure the production in due course of a history of ‘Newfoundland in the Great War’ which will not be to its discredit.”
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22 When McGrath’s scathing criticisms were served up anonymously to McKenzie, the latter reacted sharply, telling John R. Bennett, who had returned to the office of Colonial Secretary under Monroe, on 2 March that the appraisal had come as “a great surprise” to him and offering this defence of his work:

If your un-named critic says that the military side of . . . Newfoundland activities in the Great War is not fully covered, then I cannot understand him.If he maintains that the political side is inadequate, then he has not learned the plan of the book.When you chose me, as an expert of acknowledged standing, to write this History, I told your Prime Minister [probably Walter Monroe], during our conversation in London, that in my view, it should be devoted not to the glorification of politicians and “organizers” but to Newfoundland’s fighting men. To this your Prime Minister heartily assented.I shaped the book accordingly, with the minimum about the work of the politicians and office holders at home, but with every possible detail about the work of the Regiment, up to its return.Naval activities could not be covered in the same way, because Newfoundland men did not fight as a Dominion unit, but were scattered throughout the Imperial navy.In writing the History, I carefully investigated every phase of the Regiment’s record, going over all reports — battalion, brigade, division, army corps, and G.H.Q., — checking these with the histories of other regiments and divisions, and where necessary with German reports. This was supplemented from various diaries and personal narratives, and welded into a connected narrativeThe whole service of the Regiment in the War was completely covered. The work, as you will understand, was heavy, and occupied myself and two assistants several months . . . .As you see, I am quite unrepentant, and am even unawed by your critic, all the more so because I can claim that I shared no pains to put my best effort into this volume. I gave months to what I could have done in easier fashion in weeks. Some of the chapters I wrote five or six times over.47

In another letter to Bennett, this one dated 14 March, McKenzie proposed that either his Newfoundland critic come to London to thrash matters out or that he himself go to St. John’s, at the expense of the Newfoundland government, for the same purpose.48

23 When these letters were sent to McGrath for comment, he shot back with another lethal analysis.49 It was doubtful whether the Prime Minister would have agreed to the writing of a history that omitted the work of the Naval Reserve and so much else. The truth was that McKenzie had confined himself to writing a history of the regiment, which could not be construed as a history of “Newfoundland in the War.” And even as a history of the regiment his manuscript was notably deficient: the fact that he had given “more space to a week’s performances of the Regiment’s band than to the Battle of Beaumont Hamel” spoke for itself in this regard. As for the charge about “the glorification of politicians and organizers,” this was a red herring. No such suggestion had been made. Rather, what had been called for was attention to topics that of necessity would have to be covered in a work claiming to be a general history of the war period. The truth was that McKenzie’s work was not what it claimed to be and would “not make a volume much larger than a pamphlet.” Moreover, the author’s suggestion that someone be sent to England to sort matters out would only “mean more expense.” In the circumstances, McGrath recommended that the government pay McKenzie the balance owing him and end the relationship. The defective typescript, to which the government presumably had rights, could then “be reconstructed and made into a section of a work that would cover all our activities and form a real record for all time of the part Newfoundland played, on sea and on land, abroad and at home, in the great struggle.” Asserting that in agreeing to review McKenzie’s work, he had not contemplated “engaging in any controversy,” McGrath now also insisted that this was his “last word” on the subject.

24 When this letter was received, McKenzie’s manuscript and McGrath’s negative appraisal of it were in the hands of the executive of the GWVA , from which the government had also sought an opinion. Since December 1920 the GWVA , which had been formed the previous year, had been in the business of promoting knowledge of the events of the war through its publication The Veteran. Its response to the government’s request regarding McKenzie’s submission was to appoint a subcommittee of the Dominion executive, chaired by Lt.-Col. Rendell, to consider the manuscript.50 The outcome of its deliberations was a report from the organization to the government that supported McGrath’s findings. McKenzie’s “effort should be regarded merely as a skeleton on which to hang the clothes of an official record” and the government should get on with the job of “having a History compiled that would embrace all the services that were engaged by Newfoundland in the War — overseas and at home.”51 In June 1929, after the veterans’ body had again pressed this case, the Executive Council (Squires was now again Prime Minister) appointed W.W. Halfyard, the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, and H.M. Mosdell, a medical doctor, Board of Health chairman, and well-known scribe, to summarize and report on the government’s record of dealings with McKenzie.52 Their analysis, dated 21 June, was lengthy, but, with respect to McKenzie’s manuscript, covered much of the same ground as McGrath’s review.53 Halfyard and Mosdell made 14 recommendations, which called for the revision and rewriting of McKenzie’s work and its incorporation into a volume that covered the entire sweep of the country’s war effort. This work, they urged, should be undertaken at once, given that 10 years had now passed “without any permanent record having been made of the different phases of our share in the Great War.” The government, however, was slow to act, but on 27 August 1930, having heard again from the influential GWVA , it appointed Halfyard, Mosdell, and Colonial Secretary Arthur Barnes as an editorial board to “arrange for the assembling of data for the said War History and the putting of the same in manuscript form,” at a cost not to exceed $10,000.54 With McKenzie having long since been paid the ^140 owing him,55 one chapter in Newfoundland’s tangled effort to produce an official history of its participation in the Great War had ended and another had started.

25 The first action of the editorial board was the recruitment of Captain Leo C. Murphy to assemble the materials needed to produce a proper history. Born in St. John’s in 1892, Murphy was enlistee #1384 in the regiment formed in 1914 and had risen through the ranks of the unit.56 While overseas, he had acted as the regiment’s “Official Eye Witness” in France, Belgium, and Germany, and in this capacity had sent numerous reports back to the authorities in St. John’s and, by his own estimate, had contributed “fully two hundred articles” to newspapers and magazines in Newfoundland.57 Following the war he was in on the founding of the GWVA and had thereafter served as vice-president of the organization (he was Dominion SecretaryTreasurer in 1932). He was also a member of the Board of Pension Commissioners for Newfoundland established in 1917. In the 1920s he published extensively on the war and ex-service matters in both The Veteran and the Newfoundland Quarterly. In seeking to be taken on to assist the government in its war history work, he told Barnes that this would be “a labour of love” for him. He would bring to the task “official knowledge, personal narratives and experience of local colour.”58 In May 1931 Murphy, who was assisted in his work of collecting and compiling by a young associate, Edward R. Prowse, submitted an invoice for $250, of which $100 was paid to him in February 1932, when he submitted additional invoices for $500 on his own behalf and $125 for Prowse.59 By the time his work was discontinued because of Depression circumstances, the sum owing him had grown to $1,175.60 An unseemly squabble followed over the payment of this claim, compounded perhaps by a change of administration following the general election of 11 June 1932, in which Murphy ran unsuccessfully as one of the government candidates in St. John’s East.61 But when he turned the matter over to his lawyers, Winter & Higgins, the government settled up with him in May 1933 for $775 (Prowse was paid $90).62

26 Despite this legal complication, Murphy’s involvement in the writing of official history bridged the suspension of responsible government in February 1934 in favour of administration by a British-appointed Commission of Government (a constitutional change brought on by the hard times that had descended on the country following the Wall Street crash of October 1929).63 In March 1934, Dominion Secretary G.E. Adams of the GWVA , which had strongly supported the introduction of Commission of Government, forwarded to the new administration a resolution urging it to lift the suspension of work on the projected war history and get on with the job.64 This, in turn, triggered a memorandum on the subject by Commissioner for Home Affairs and Education F.C. Alderdice, the last Prime Minister of Newfoundland before the changeover to the commissionsystem. He offered this advice:

If a War History is to be written, the sooner it is undertaken the better, as in another ten years much of the now available material will probably be lost. Sufficient time has elapsed to enable one to get a true perspective of the Regiment’s exploits. The cost of the war to Newfoundland in human lives, to say nothing of the cost in money, justifies the making of such history, which would be a permanent record of the glorious sacrifices made by our lads in 1914-18. The compilation of the facts and the writing of the History will take some time, and it is hoped that when such are completed improvement in economic conditions will have taken place so that we shall be in a better position to assume the cost of publication. 65

27 Based on this recommendation, on 19 June 1934 the Commission made an agreement with Murphy for the preparation of the work according to a specified plan of action. 66 He was to be paid a retainer of $200, another $200 following the submission of an interim report (due within two or three months), and a final payment, also of $200, when the manuscript was completed (within four or five months of the interim report). In practice, events moved more slowly than planned, with Murphy, who had been wounded overseas, reporting in February 1935 that he had been in hospital for six weeks.67 In the circumstances, he was granted an extension to the end of June for the submission of “a satisfactory manuscript,” but this deadline also had to be extended.68 Finally, in the second week of September, Murphy delivered his manuscript (save nominal rolls for the various Newfoundland units) to Alderdice, who duly reported the good news to his Commission colleagues.69 Murphy, he wrote, recommended that his work “be rounded off by the inclusion of a section dealing with the creation and activities of the various patriotic organizations in Newfoundland”; he was willing to undertake this additional work and see the book through to publication for an additional payment of $250. Alderdice was in favour of this next step, but, unfortunately for the project, when he died in February 1936 the matter was still pending.

Leo Charles Murphy (1892-1956). “I am most desirous of having a complete history of all phases of Newfoundland’s services, and I fear we are daily losing the sources of accurate information.”
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28 Murphy nevertheless soldiered on and in 1937 drew upon his work to publish “Newfoundland’s Part in the Great War” in volume 1 (353-451) of The Book of Newfoundland, edited by the enterprising J.R. Smallwood and published by Newfoundland Book Publishers Ltd. Though covering much of the same ground as previously published narratives, his contribution remains a standard reference on the history of the war period. His book project, however, proved another non-starter. In November 1936 Commissioner J.A. Winter, Alderdice’s successor in the Home Affairs and Education portfolio, offered Murphy not the $250 he had sought but $100 to see through the remaining work on his manuscript leading to publication.70 In February 1937 Murphy agreed to this arrangement,71 but no deal was actually struck and no volume was ever sent to press. On 22 April 1938, in a personal letter written on the stationery of the St. John’s branch of the GWVA , Murphy asked Commission of Government Secretary W.J. Carew to take the matter up with Winter and get back to him. Noting that the “extracts” published in The Book of Newfoundland had “excited much favourable comment,” Murphy urged that “it would be a fine thing” to get the book into print forthwith.72 In his reply, Carew delivered the hard news that the offer made to Murphy by Winter was now stale-dated and that, in view of personnel changes on the Commission, the matter would have to be considered afresh before anything else could be done.73 Nor, the secretary further reported, did the government’s 1938-39 estimates, which had been approved and forwarded to London, contain any appropriation in support of the proposed publication. With this disheartening exchange, the paper trail on Captain Murphy’s effort runs out, though he himself lived on until 1956. No doubt this circumstance also relates to the start of another war on 3 September 1939, and the turn of the government in a new direction. The story of the writing of official history in Newfoundland in the interwar period had run its course — but without any of the several much-heralded volumes having found its way into the hands of the reading public.

29 During the Second World War, the Commission of Government started a new venture in official history when, in 1944, it recruited Allan M. Fraser, professor of history at Memorial University College since 1928, to write an account of Newfoundland’s role in the conflict then in progress. Fraser delivered a detailed and lengthy if somewhat wooden account but, like the manuscripts of McKenzie and Murphy, this never found its way into print (an edition introduced and edited by the authors of this article is now available online through the Digital Archives Initiative of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, Memorial University Libraries, St. John’s, at http://collections.mun.ca/cdm4/description.php?phpReturn =typeListing.php&id=109).74

30 After 1945, constitutional change leading to union with Canada on 31 March 1949 was the order of the day in Newfoundland. Accordingly, it was not until well into the 1950s that interest in the writing of official history of the events of 191418 was revived. The Province of Newfoundland’s first post-Confederation Premier, J.R. Smallwood, had led the fight for Confederation and was an enthusiast for the history of his native land in all its aspects. Smallwood had been a teenager in St. John’s during the Great War and, as a young reporter, might well have heard McKenzie during the latter’s visit to St. John’s in 1918 (in a 1923 comment on Russia Before Dawn he described McKenzie as a friend).75 In the 1920s Smallwood had been a contributor to The Veteran and was, of course, the publisher of Murphy’s extended article in the encyclopedic Book of Newfoundland (1937). He well understood the need for further work on the Great War period, and around 1956 his administration approached Major Bertram Butler, who had won the Military Cross while serving overseas with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, to write a history of the unit.76 When he dropped the project, the government, urged on by Second World War veteran Lt.-Col. Joseph P. O’Driscoll, commissioned Lt.-Col. H.M. Jackson of Aylmer East, Quebec, the director of war service records at the Department of Veterans Affairs and an experienced regimental historian, to undertake the work.77 He produced a manuscript for a promised fee of $1,000 and “actual out-ofpocket expenses”78 but died in 1961 before his account was ready for publication. Following his death, his draft was reviewed in Newfoundland, at the request of the government, by the provincial command of the Canadian Legion (the successor organization of the GWVA ), which named five readers — Charles Parsons, George Hicks, Campbell Eaton, Nathaniel Noel, and John F. O’Flaherty — for this purpose.79 The late author’s widow, Eleanor Jackson, who had worked beside him on the project, offered her services to finish the work, but her offer was declined and accounts settled with her.80 Instead, at the suggestion of banker and First Five Hundred veteran C. Sydney Frost, now of Willowdale, Ontario, who took the advice of Col. C.P. Stacey, Canada’s leading military historian, the government engaged the services of Col. G.W.L. Nicholson, the director of the Historical Section, Army Headquarters, Ottawa.81

31 Nicholson, who had a long and distinguished record in the writing of Canadian military history, brought broad knowledge and polished professionalism to the task at hand and moved expeditiously. On reading Jackson’s manuscript, he quickly concluded that he would have “to make a completely fresh start.” “I would place Colonel Jackson’s Mss.,” he reported to Newfoundland’s Deputy Minister of Provincial Affairs, “in the same category as a number of other works (published and unpublished) which have been produced from time to time about the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, and which have varying merits as source material for a definitive history.”82 The government accepted this approach, and, in 1964, the year of the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Great War, having enjoyed strong supportfrom Allan Fraser (now provincial archivist), Nicholson published, under government imprint and for a fee of $5,000, 83The Fighting Newfoundlander: The History of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.84 In 1969 he followed up with More Fighting Newfoundlanders: A History of Newfoundland’s Fighting Forces in the Second World War, again under provincial government imprint. His volumes, which benefited from the archival remains of previous failed attempts at writing official history, met a high standard, but, as his titles indicate, were by definition mainly narratives of military events.

Gerald William Lingen Nicholson (1920-1980). “I am convinced that the only way in which I could produce a history…would be to make a completely fresh start on the project.”
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32 Nicholson’s exemplary work has since been supplemented by a number of other studies — books, articles, and theses — covering a wide range of topics.85 In 1971, understanding of the political history of Newfoundland during the war was greatly advanced by S.J.R. Noel in his exemplary Politics in Newfoundland, published by the University of Toronto Press. Impressive work has also been done by the St. John’s physician W. David Parsons in Pilgrimage: A Guide to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in World War One (St. John’s: Creative Publishers, 1994); “Newfoundland and the Great War,” in Briton C. Busch, ed., Canada and the Great War: Western Front Association Papers (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003), 147-60; and (with Ean Parsons) The Best Small-Boat Seamen in the Navy: The Newfoundland Division, Royal Naval Reserve, 1900-1922 (St. John’s: DRC Publishing, 2009). In 2012 a Great War Research Group is active in St. John’s86 and archivist and author Bert Riggs is publishing in the Newfoundland Quarterly, under the title “Reveille,” a series of biographical sketches of men of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.87

33 Clearly, when it comes to the history of the Great War, the reader interested in the Newfoundland past has a substantial bookshelf at hand (along with a growing supply of Internet resources). Yet there is no work of synthesis that surveys and integrates in a single volume, as the War History Committeeand P.T. McGrath in particular had intended, the experience of the country, at home and overseas, in all its dimensions. Arguably, as the centenary of the start of the war to end all wars approaches, McGrath’s “real record for all time” remains a challenge to historians. In Newfoundland, as in Canada, Clio’s inspiration following the Great War led to decidedly mixed results in the realm of official history.

Acknowlegements

For advice and assistance we are grateful to Jock Bates, Victoria, BC ; Gary Browne, St. John’s; Tim Cook, Canadian War Museum; Steve Harris and Ryan Davidson, Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa; J.L. Granatstein and Richard Gwyn, Toronto; Robert E. Hawkins, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina; John Neary, Hamilton, ON ; Ron Whelan, St. John’s; Graham Skanes, Royal Newfoundland Regiment Museum; Melanie Tucker and Craig Tucker, The Rooms, Provincial Archives Division; Linda White, Archives and Special Collections, and Jackie Hillier and Carl White, Centre for Newfoundland Studies, Memorial University Libraries, St. John’s.

Photographs
Quotations: Cramm — Preface, The First Five Hundred; McGrath — RPA , GN2/5 , file 379, McGrath to Mews, 31 Jan. 1928; Murphy — RPA , GN2/5 , file 379, Murphy to Barnes, 20 May 1930; Nicholson — RPA , GN35/5 , box 1, file 2, Nicholson to Channing, 19 Mar. 1962.
Credits: Cramm — Who’s Who in and from Newfoundland 1927, 279; McGrath — ASC , P.T. McGrath Collection, COLL -175; Murphy — RPA , VA 147-61; Nicholson — Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa. For a photograph of Frederick Arthur McKenzie see Evening Telegram, 19 Dec. 1918, 6.
Notes
1 In 1949 Memorial became a degree-granting institution. The last calendar to include the inscription was the 1965-66 edition.
2 The Rooms, Provincial Archives Division ( RPA ), St. John’s, Records of the Patriotic Association of Newfoundland, MG 632, box 3, file 10, Report of the War History Committee. See also Daily Star, St. John’s, 19 Jan. 1917, 2.
3 There is a copy in RPA , MG 632, box 3, file 10.
4 RPA , MG 632, box 3, file 10, Report of the War History Committee.
5 For his career, see Robert H. Cuff, Melvin Baker, and Robert D.W. Pitt, eds., Dictionary of Newfoundland and Labrador Biography (St. John’s: Harry Cuff Publications, 1990), 109-10; Melvin Baker, “Sir Patrick Thomas McGrath,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 15 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005), 643-44.
6 For the work of this group, see Evening Telegram, St. John’s, 4 Jan. 1917, 7; Memorial University Libraries, St. John’s, Centre for Newfoundland Studies, Digital Archives Initiative, at: <collections.mun.ca/cdm4/document.php? CISOROOT =/cns& CISOPTR =134647 & REC =10> (Final Report, 1919). Reeve’s work in progress is mentioned in RPA , MG 632, box 5, Prime Minister’s Correspondence, 1918, file 21(e), Timewell to Governor, 17 Jan. 1917.
7 RPA, MG 632, box 3, file 10, War History Committee, “Report of Sub-Committee on Mr. Reeve’s History of the Regiment.”
8 David Facey-Crowther, ed., Lieutenant Owen William Steele of the Newfoundland Regiment: Diary and Letters (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002), 288, n. 41.
9 RPA, MG 632, box 3, file 10, War History Committee, “Report of Sub-Committee on
10 Mr. Reeve’s History of the Regiment.”
11 Reeve died in 1920. See RPA , MG 632, box 5, file 21(g), Squires to Bowring, 29 Mar. 1920.
12 RPA , Records of the Governor’s Office, GN 1/1/7, box 27, enclosure in Harris to Long, 2 Feb. 1918.
13 McGrath had been Newfoundland correspondent for the London Times since 1894 and may well have played a role in the making of the 1918 publication. As with the other chapters of The Times History of the War, however, no author was specified for the Newfoundland account.
14 RPA , Records of the Colonial Secretary/Secretary of State, GN 2/5, file 379 (1), Morris to Emerson, n.d., enclosed in Emerson to Squires, 12 Dec. 1919. Emerson notes that he had received the letter from Morris “early in 1918.” See also RPA, MG 632, box 5, Prime Minister’s Correspondence, 1918, file 21(e), Morris to Timewell, 9 Nov. 1917; Timewell to Morris, 13 Nov. 1917; Derby to Morris, 13 Nov. 1917; Morris to Timewell, 17 Nov. 1917; Timewell to Morris, 20 Nov. 1917.
15 For his career, see Evening Telegram, 18 Dec. 1918, 4. McKenzie told this paper that the Canadian soldier said to have been crucified by the Germans — this was an apocryphal wartime sensation — was in fact a Newfoundlander (ibid.).
16 For his visit to St. John’s, see RPA, MG 632, box 5, Prime Minister’s Correspondence, 1918, file 21(e), extract from Bennett to Timewell, 17 Aug. 1918, and extracts from telegrams from Minister of Militia, 22 and 24 Aug. 1918; Evening Telegram, 17 Dec. 1918, 4, 6; 19 Dec., 6, 8; 20 Dec., 4; 23 Dec., 6.
17 For the minutes of this meeting, which was held in the Petty Jury Room of the Supreme Court, see RPA, GN 2/5, file 379 (1), attachment to Emerson to Squires, 12 Dec. 1919.
18 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1), McKenzie to Colonial Secretary, 19 Dec. 1919.
19 Filed in RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1).
20 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1), Bennett to McKenzie, 11 Nov. 1919. This file also has a copy of the 11 Nov. 1919 minute of council authorizing the arrangement made with McKenzie.
21 Copy in RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1).
22 Filed in RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1).
23 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1), Colonial Secretary to McKenzie.
24 For the origins and purpose of the Great War Veterans’ Association of Newfoundland, see Peter Neary, “How Newfoundland Veterans Became Canadian Veterans: A Study in Bureaucracy and Benefit,” in James Hiller and Peter Neary, eds., Twentieth Century Newfoundland: Explorations (St. John’s: Breakwater, 1994), 197.
25 The minutes of this meeting are in RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1).
26 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Deputy Colonial Secretary to Rendell, 17 June 1920. Bernard was born in France and had come to Newfoundland at about age 16. He taught at Bishop Feild College, St. John’s, and went overseas with the first contingent of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. For his career, see Evening Telegram, 28 June 1937, 6, and 29 June 1937, 6. For a report on his historical work overseas, see Evening Advocate, St. John’s, 17 Sept. 1920, 4.
27 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1), Bowring to Colonial Secretary, 17 Feb. 1920.
28 Filed in RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1).
29 Filed in RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1).
30 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), Mosdell and Halfyard to Barnes, 21 June 1929. According to this source no “official record” of this payment existed.
31 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1), Bowring to Squires, 9 Mar. 1922; Deputy Colonial Secretary to Bowring, 17 Apr. 1922.
32 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1), Deputy Colonial Secretary to Bowring, 17 Apr. 1922.
33 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1), McKenzie to Bowring, 22 May 1922.
34 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1), McKenzie to Bowring, 21 Aug. 1922. “Macaulay” refers to the celebrated British historian Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-59).
35 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (1), Gordon to Colonial Secretary, 4 Oct. 1922.
36 Memorial University Libraries, St. John’s, Archives and Special Collections ( ASC ), COLL -308, Thomas Nangle Papers, box 2, file 38, Nangle to Gillon, 4 Feb. 1925.
37 The correspondence about this is in RPA , GN 2/5, file 379.
38 The document, signed by the guarantors and dated 19 Feb. 1920, is also in RPA , GN 2/5, file 379.
39 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), McKenzie to Gordon, 9 Mar. 1926.
40 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), Gordon to Monroe, 2 Dec. 1926.
41 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), cablegram from High Commission in reply to 12 Jan. message from St. John’s.
42 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), McKenzie to Gordon, 26 Oct. 1927.
43 Ibid.
44 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), Gordon to Colonial Secretary, 31 Oct. and 7 Nov. 1927. McKenzie’s typescript is in RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (3).
45 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), Deputy Colonial Secretary to McGrath, 19 Dec. 1927; minute of Executive Council, 8 Jan. 1928.
46 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, McGrath to Mews, 31 Jan. 1928.
47 Rudyard Kipling, The Irish Guards in the Great War: edited and compiled from their diaries and papers, 2 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1923).
48 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), McKenzie to Bennett, 2 Mar. 1928.
49 Filed in RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2).
50 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), McGrath to Mews, 7 Apr. 1928.
51 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), Deputy Colonial Secretary to Howley, 15 Mar. 1928.
52 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), subcommittee report.
53 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), Deputy Colonial Secretary to Mosdell, 13 June 1929.
54 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), Mosdell and Halfyard to Barnes, 21 June 1929.
55 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), minute of council, 27 Aug. 1930.
56 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379 (2), minutes of Executive Council, 26 May 1928.
57 For his career, see R. Hibbs, ed., Who’s Who in and from Newfoundland 1927 (St. John’s: R. Hibbs, 1927), 279.
58 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Murphy to Barnes, 20 May 1930. For one of his “Eye-Witness” reports, see Evening Telegram, 15 Mar. 1917, 8. For his wartime reporting role more generally, see RPA , MG 632, box 5, Prime Minister’s Correspondence, 1918, file 21(e), Davidson to Timewell, 5 Dec. 1916, and Timewell to Governor, 17 Jan. 1917.
59 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Murphy to Barnes, 20 May 1930.
60 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Murphy to Mosdell, 1 Feb. 1932.
61 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Minister of Justice to Secretary of State, 10 May 1933.
62 For the election in St. John’s East, see Evening Telegram, 2 June 1932, 4, and 9 June 1932, 14; Daily News, St. John’s, 14 June 1932, 14. Murphy was criticized for running by some fellow veterans. See Evening Telegram, 2 June 1932, 5 (“An Open Letter to Comrade Murphy”) and 12 (“A Comrade’s Regret”).
63 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, minute of Executive Council, 30 May 1933.
64 For the advent of Commission of Government, see Peter Neary, Newfoundland in the North Atlantic World, 1929-1949 (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1988), 12-48.
65 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Adams to Alderdice, 21 Mar. 1934.
66 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Alderdice memorandum, 15 May 1934.
67 There is a copy of the memorandum of agreement in RPA , GN 2/5, file 379. See also in this file Secretary for Home Affairs to Trentham, 21 June 1934, and Commissioner for Home Affairs and Education to Trentham, 17 Aug. 1934.
68 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Murphy to Alderdice, 9 Feb. 1935.
69 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Commissioner for Home Affairs and Education to Murphy, 14 Feb. 1935, and Murphy to Alderdice, 19 June 1935.
70 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Murphy to Alderdice, 7 Sept. 1935; memorandum from Commissioner for Home Affairs and Education, 17 Sept. 1935. Murphy’s papers at RPA ( MG 439) include drafts of the history towards which he was working (see box 1, file 2, “At Beaumont Hamel”). See also RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, “Newfoundland in the Great War: A Synopsis.”
71 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Winter to Murphy, 17 Nov. 1936.
72 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Murphy to Winter, 5 Feb. 1937.
73 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Murphy to Carew, 22 Apr. 1938.
74 RPA , GN 2/5, file 379, Carew to Murphy, 30 Apr. 1938.
75 See also Peter Neary and Melvin Baker, “Allan M. Fraser’s ‘History of the Participation by Newfoundland in World War II,’” Newfoundland Quarterly 102, 4 (2010): 12-15, 40-45.
76 Evening Advocate, 11 Oct. 1923, 5.
77 RPA , Records of the Department of Provincial Affairs, GN3 5/5, box 1, file 2, “Fighting Newfoundlander,” memorandum by Myles Murray (P.A. 33-’58), 2 Dec. 1958.
78 Ibid. For Jackson’s career, see Annexure “A”.
79 RPA , GN 35/5, box 1, file 2, “Fighting Newfoundlander,” minute of the Executive Council (P.A. 33-’58), 5 June 1959.
80 RPA , G.W.L. Nicholson Papers, MG 438, box 1, file “History of R.N.R.,” Fraser to Channing, 30 Jan. 1961. O’Flaherty was the author of “The Royal Newfoundland Regiment” in J.R. Smallwood, ed., The Book of Newfoundland, vol. 4 (St. John’s: Newfoundland Book Publishers, 1967), 351-54.
81 RPA . MG 438, box 1, file “History of R.N.R.,” Jackson to Fraser, 5 Feb. 1961; Channing to Jackson, 6 Apr. 1961; RPA , GN 35/5, box 1, file 2, “Fighting Newfoundlander,” Channing to Jackson, 2 Mar. 1962.
82 RPA , GN 35/5, box 1, file 2, Frost to Channing, 18 Feb. 1961; Channing to Frost, 6 Apr. 1961; Frost to Channing, 20 Apr. 1961; Channing to Nicholson, 28 Apr. 1961. For Frost’s life, see C. Sydney Frost Jr., A Life Worthwhile (Saint John: Neptune Publishing Company, 1994).
83 RPA , GN 35/5, box 1, file 2, Nicholson to Channing, 19 Mar. 1962.
84 RPA , GN 35/5, box 1, file 2, minute of the Executive Council (P.A. 17(a)-’61), 7 June 1962.
85 Reprinted in 2006 by McGill-Queen’s University Press as part of the Carleton Library Series and with an introduction by David Facey-Crowther. For the response of veterans to the 1964 publication of this work and the celebrations held in Newfoundland to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the formation of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, see ASC , J.R. Smallwood Collection, COLL -75, file 3.03.013, Frost to O’Driscoll, 3 Oct. 1964, and O’Driscoll to Smallwood, 7 Oct. 1964. As Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment, Princess Anne visited the province in connection with the 1964 commemoration.
86 By year of publication, from earliest to latest, these include: 1976: Peter J. Cashin, My Life and Times, 1890-1919 (St. John’s: Breakwater); Joy B. Cave, What Became of Corporal Pittman? (Portugal Cove: Breakwater); 1981: Patricia Ruth O’Brien, “The Newfoundland Patriotic Association: The Administration of the War Effort, 1914-1918,” MA thesis, Memorial University; 1984: Joy B. Cave, Two Newfoundland V.C.s (St. John’s: Creative Publishers); 1987: James D. Atwater, “Survivors of the Somme: echoes and voices summoned from a half-hour in hell,” Smithsonian 18, 8: 196-234; Ian McDonald, “To Each His Own”: William Coaker and the Fishermen’s Protective Union in Newfoundland Politics, 1908-1925 (St. John’s: ISER Books); Peter McInnis, “Newfoundland Labour and World War I: The Emergence of the Newfoundland Industrial Workers’ Association,” MA thesis, Memorial University; 1988: Christopher A. Sharpe, “The ‘Race of Honour’: An Analysis of Enlistments and Casualties in the Armed Forces of Newfoundland, 1914-1918,” Newfoundland Studies 4, 1: 27-55; 1990: Christopher A. Sharpe, “The Great War,” Plate 26 in Donald Kerr and Deryck W. Holdsworth, Historical Atlas of Canada, vol. 3, Addressing the Twentieth Century 1891-1961 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press); 1991: David Macfarlane, The Danger Tree: Memory, War, and the Search for a Family’s Past (Toronto: Macfarlane Walter & Ross); Tony Murphy and Paul Kenney, The Trail of the Caribou: Newfoundland in the First World War, 1914-18 (St. John’s: Harry Cuff Publications); Sterling D. Prichett, comp., A History of the Church Lads’ Brigade in Newfoundland: 100th Anniversary (St. John’s: Creative Publishers); 1992: Sandra Gwyn, Tapestry of War: A Private View of Canadians in the Great War (Toronto: Harper Collins); 1994: Wilfred Martin, Random Islanders on Guard (St. John’s: Creative Publishers); Elizabeth Russell Miller, ed., Arms and the Newfoundlander: Poetry of the Great War (St. John’s: Harry Cuff Publications); 1995: David Facey-Crowther, ed., Better Than the Best: The Royal Newfoundland Regiment (St. John’s: Royal Newfoundland Regiment Advisory Council); Kevin Major, No Man’s Land (Toronto: Doubleday Canada); Andrew D. Parsons, “Morale and Cohesion in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, 1914-18,” MA thesis, Memorial University; Joseph Prim and Mike McCarthy, Those in Peril: The U-boat Menace to Allied Shipping in Newfoundland and Labrador Waters, World War I and World War II (St. John’s, Jesperson); 1996: Jason Churchill, “‘No Surrender until Prussian Militarism Is Crushed’: The Loyal Orange Association in Newfoundland and the First World War Effort,” History Honours dissertation, Memorial University; Gale D. Warren, “The Patriotic Association of the Women of Newfoundland: 1914-1918,” History Honours dissertation, Memorial University; 1997: Jason Churchill, “The Loyal Orange Association Role in World War I,” Newfoundland Quarterly 91, 1: 25-33; An Introduction to the Military History of Newfoundland 1775 to 1945 (St. John’s: Naval Association of Newfoundland Eastern Division); 1998: Heidi Coombs, “‘Very Able Dusters’: The Influence of Class Identity on the Experiences of Two Newfoundland VAD Nurses in the First World War,” History Honours dissertation, Memorial University; John C. Kennedy, “Shiwak (Sikoak),” Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 14, 1911-1920 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press), 928-29; David Macfarlane, “Goodyear, Hedley John,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 14, 1911-1920 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press), 421-22; 1999: P. Whitney Lackenbauer, “War, Memory, and the Newfoundland Regiment at Gallipoli,” Newfoundland Studies 15, 2: 176-214; 2002: David Facey-Crowther, ed., Lieutenant Owen William Steele of the Newfoundland Regiment: Diary and Letters (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press); A.J. Stacey and Jean Edwards Stacey, Memoirs of a Blue Puttee: The Newfoundland Regiment in World War One (St. John’s: DRC Publishing); Helene Staveley, “Romancing Newfoundland: The Art of Fiction in David Macfarlane’s The Danger Tree,” Newfoundland Studies 18, 1: 41-60; 2003: Norm Christie, For King & Empire. The Newfoundlanders in the Great War: The Western Front, 1916-1918 (Ottawa: CEF Books); David Facey-Crowther, “Home Is Where the Heart Is: The Correspondence of Newfoundland Soldiers in the Great War,” Newfoundland Quarterly 96, 2: 32-39; Robert J. Harding, “The Role of the Great War Veterans’ Association of Newfoundland, 1918 to 1925,” History Honours dissertation, Memorial University; Francis Patey, Veterans of the North (St. John’s: Creative Publishers); 2004: Robert J. Harding, “‘Glorious Tragedy’: Newfoundland’s Cultural Memory of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel, 1916-1949,” MA thesis, Dalhousie University; 2005: Melvin Baker and Peter Neary, “Whitty, Gerald Joseph,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 15, 1921-1930 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press), 1075-76; Gale D. Warren, “Voluntarism and Patriotism: Newfoundland Women’s War Work during the First World War,” MA research paper, Department of History, Memorial University; 2006: Gerhard P. Bassler, Vikings to U-Boats: The German Experience in Newfoundland and Labrador (Montreal and Kingston: McGillQueen’s University Press); Gary Browne and Darrin McGrath, Soldier Priest in the Killing Fields of Europe: Padre Thomas Nangle: Chaplain to the Newfoundland Regiment WWI (St. John’s: DRC Publishing); Robert J. Harding, “Glorious Tragedy: Newfoundland’s Cultural Memory of the Attack at Beaumont Hamel, 1916-1925,” Newfoundland and Labrador Studies 21, 1: 3-40; William Rompkey and Bert Riggs, eds., Your Daughter Fanny: The War Letters of Frances Cluett, VAD (St. John’s: Flanker Press); 2007: Mike O’Brien, “Our Own Military-Industrial Complex: The Newfoundland Shell Company, 1915-1918,” Newfoundland Quarterly 100, 2: 34-36; Mike O’Brien, “Out of a Clear Sky: The Mobilization of the Newfoundland Regiment, 1914-1915,” Newfoundland and Labrador Studies 22, 2: 401-27; Bert Riggs, ed., Grand Bank Soldier: The War Letters of Lance Corporal Curtis Forsey (St. John’s: Flanker Press); 2009: Maarten Gerritsen, “In Search of the Fighting Newfoundlander,” Newfoundland and Labrador Studies 24, 1: 139-44; Frank Gogos and Morgan MacDonald, Known unto God: In Honour of Newfoundland’s Missing During the Great War (St. John’s: Breakwater Books); Mark Hunter, To Employ and Uplift Them: The Newfoundland Naval Reserve, 1899-1926 (St. John’s: ISER Books); Chris Martin, “The Right Course, the Best Course, the Only Course: Voluntary Recruitment in the Newfoundland Regiment, 1914-1918,” Newfoundland and Labrador Studies 24, 1: 55-89; Bill O’Gorman, Lest We Forget: The Life and Times of Veterans from the Port au Port Peninsula – WW1 (West Bay Centre: the author); 2010: Gary F. Browne, Forget-Me-Not: Fallen Boy Soldiers, Royal Newfoundland Regiment, World War One (St. John’s: DRC Publishing); Linda White, “The Eldon Froude Collection,” Newfoundland Quarterly 103, 2: 3-5; Linda White, “Frances Cluett Collection,” Newfoundland Quarterly 102, 4: 3-5; Elizabeth Yeoman, “A Sense of History: Remembering the World Wars,” in Ursula A. Kelly and Elizabeth Yeoman, eds., Despite This Loss: Essays on Culture, Memory, and Identity in Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John’s: ISER Books), 192-99; 2011: James E. Candow, The Lookout: A History of Signal Hill (St. John’s: Creative Publishers); Jack Fitzgerald, The Spring Rice Document: Newfoundland at War 1914-1918 (St. John’s: Creative Publishers); Anthony McAllister, The Greatest Gallantry: The Newfoundland Regiment at Monchy-le-Preux, April 14, 1917 (St. John’s: DRC Publishing); Mike O’Brien, “Producers versus Profiteers: The Politics of Class in Newfoundland during the First World War,” Acadiensis 40, 1: 45-69; Courtney Penney, “‘We Will Stay at Home and Knit’: The Women’s Patriotic Association in Outport Newfoundland during the First World War,” MA cognate paper, Department of History, University of Western Ontario; 2012: Sarah Glassford and Amy Shaw, eds., A Sisterhood of Suffering and Service: Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the First World War (Vancouver and Toronto: UBC Press), 51-74 (Margot I. Duley, “The Unquiet Knitters of Newfoundland: From Mothers of the Regiment to Mothers of the Nation”), 126-47 (Terry Bishop Stirling, “‘Such Sights One Will Never Forget’: Newfoundland Women and Overseas Nursing in the First World War”), and 245-69 (Vicki S. Hallett, “Verses in the Darkness: A Newfoundland Poet Responds to the First World”).
87 For its work, see Telegram, St. John’s, 30 June 2011, A4.
88 For an example, see “Ralph Barnes Herder (1894-1955),” in Newfoundland Quarterly 104, 3 (2011-12): 54-55. He is contributing a companion series to Luminus, the alumni publication of Memorial University.


Newfoundland and Labrador Studies. ISSN: 1715-1430