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History Post-confederation (1867-)

Newfoundland in the First World War

by (author) Jenny Higgins

Boulder Publications
Initial publish date
Jun 2016
Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2016
    List Price

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The dominion of Newfoundland was not prepared for war in 1914: it had no army and most residents had never even seen a soldier. Yet tens of thousands of people, driven by patriotism, duty, and a thirst for adventure, volunteered.

Newfoundland in the First World War traces the role Newfoundland played in the conflict. Stories of battles, heroism, heartbreak, triumph, and sacrifice are recounted in faithful detail, brought to life by dozens of archival photographs, correspondence, and newspaper clippings. It follows the Newfoundland Regiment from its beginnings, through the horror of Beaumont Hamel, and onto other battlefields. Also covered are Newfoundland’s other forces, including aviators, the Merchant Navy, the Naval Reserve, and the Forestry Corps. It also includes the roles of women, both overseas and at home in Newfoundland. Readers glimpse the realities of life in the trenches, work done on the home front, and the profound and lasting effects of the war.

This interactive book includes 12 pullout facsimile documents, including • Letters and postcards between soldiers and their loved ones • Pages from a soldier’s scrapbook • Excerpts from the notebooks of Cluny MacPherson, inventor of the gas mask

About the author

Jenny Higgins is a writer and researcher living in Flatrock, Newfoundland. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazine and on Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Heritage Website; it has also been broadcast on CBC Radio. She has also written extensively for the Maritime History Archive and the provincial Department of Education. Her previous books include Perished: the 1914 Newfoundland Sealing Disaster (winner of Perished: The 1914 Newfoundland Sealing Disaster won the Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing); Newfoundland in the First World War (Nominated for the 2018 Historic Sites Association, Heritage and History Award; winner of the 2017 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award, non-fiction); and Agnes Ayre’s ABCs of Amazing Women.

Jenny Higgins' profile page


  • Short-listed, Historic Sites of Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage & History Book Award
  • Winner, Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Non-Fiction

Editorial Reviews

Higgins creatively uses archival materials such as letters, telegrams, service records, and photographs to tell the story of Newfoundland and Labrador in World War One. This book is an accessible and tactile introduction, not simply to the events of World War One, but to the roles played by the military, by institutions, by governments and, most poignantly, by ordinary people, the women and men of Newfoundland and Labrador.