January 6, 1918
As a reward for valor and for services in the world war, Newfoundland, England’s oldest colony recently received the title “Dominion of Newfoundland “ from the British Government. According to British officials and army officers In New York City, the change In name will not mean a change In Newfoundland’s already “very liberal government, it shows that Britain’s oldest colony, often referred to by British writers as the Cinderella of England’s provinces,” is by her own efforts and the bravery of her soldiers and sailors coming Into her own. A native of Newfoundland. who is one of the most recent arrivals In New York City from that colony, said that out of her 250,707 population Newfoundland had given to the British infantry alone a battalion of 1,100 men. It’s also said that Newfoundland’s Forestry Brigade had at present 500 men, and that there were 2,500 men In Newfoundland’s National Militia. This man spoke of the part the Newfoundlanders played in the Somme fighting. In which 900 of her men took part. Of these, he said, only 95 survived. Word had reached St. John’s of the more recent activities of the Newfoundland troops In the Cambrai drive, in which he said there were heavy casualties among the troops of his colony. When asked regarding the part Newfoundland had played—the part which has won for her a distinction awarded to no other colony by the British Government during the war—Geoffrey Butler, head of the British Official War Exhibits, with headquarters at 511 Fifth Avenue, said that the number of men Newfoundland had given to keep up her battalion of infantry at the front was close to 5,000. Besides this, he Quoted from an official report of the “Contributions of Dominions and Colonies to the Common Cause,’ an official bulletin of June. 1916, that as early as that date Newfoundland had contributed 1,500 naval reservists to the British Navy.” “Within a month after Britain’s declaration of war,” wrote A. M. de Beck In “The Imperial War,” a recently published war work, “a. thousand men, drawn from a class of the community of the ‘very best type and every One of them Newfoundland born, were drilling at St. Johns, and by November were completing their training in the historic castle at Edinburgh. This work has been going on from that day Until the present time. The foremost advance on the Suvia Bay front, Donnelly’s Post on Caribou Ridge, was made by Newfoundlanders. It Is called Donnelly’s Post because It was here that Lieutenant Donnelly (a Newfoundlander) won his military cross. The hitherto nameless ridge from which the Turkish machine guns poured their concentrated death into our trenches stands as a monument to the initiative of the Newfoundlanders. It is now called Cariboo Ridge, as an acknowledgment to the men who wear the deer’s head badge, (Newfoundlanders.) The part played by the Newfoundlanders In the ‘Great Push’ of July 1 is quite equal to anything performed by any of the troops that took part in that great forward movement. The Newfoundlanders were brigaded with the Eighth Army Corps, commanded by Lieut, Gen. Sir Aylmer Hunter-Weston, K. C. B., D. 0. S. In July a letter was addressed by the General to all the men who took part in the ‘Great Push,’ and it is one of the proudest possessions of the Newfoundland troops who survived.Colonel hunter-Weston also sent a letter to the Premier of Newfoundland, In which he recounted in detail the gallantry of the men of England’s oldest colony.” Except for almost incessant wrangles between the British settlers and the French fisherfolk, Newfoundland has had a peaceful history. The peace of Utrecht In 1713, which subsequently was ratified by the treaty of Paris gave sole sovereignty of Newfoundland to England, with certain rights granted to the French fishermen. France possesses two small Islands, St. Pierre and Miquelon. The fishers rights were definitely settled as late as 1904. This removed obstructions to local development. The Government of Newfoundland is similar to that of Canada, but the province Is in no way connected with the Government of the Dominion of Canada.
Published: January 6, 1918