August 4, 1914 at 9:25 p.m.
The sound of bells ringing is deeply rooted in our culture. In every town, in every parish, in every corner of this province, almost everyone lives within hearing range of church bells. “They provide the grand soundtrack to our historic moments, call out for our celebrations and toll sadly in empathy with our grief.”
At exactly 9:25 p.m., August 4, 1914, Newfoundland Time, a telegram was received by Governor Davidson at Government House in St. John’s, advising him that Great Britain had declared war on Germany, and that Newfoundland was thus at war.
On Monday night, August 4, 2014, the Basilica of St. John the Baptist and St. Bonaventure’s College will host an ecumenical service of remembrance to mark the exact moment when Governor Davidson received the telegram.
At precisely 9:25 p.m. as part of that commemoration the bells of the Basilica – Cathedral will toll and all churches in the province are invited to ring their bells in commemoration.
Contact your church to insure that a person has been to designated to ring the bells.
Recommended Archival Collection: Distinguished Service: the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in the Great War, this online exhibition documents the lives and experiences of the province’s soldiers and aims to encourage interest in research on the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. The First World War service records of the Regiment areavailable at the archives on microfilm, some are available on line. http://www.therooms.ca/regiment/part1_entering_the_great_war.asp
Recommended Exhibit: Pleasantville: From Recreation to Military Installation. Level 2 Atrium Pleasantville before the First World War was the site of the St. John’s cricket grounds. With the declaration of war, Pleasantville quickly emerged as a tent city, the home of the storied “First 500”. It was here that the First Newfoundland Regiment recruits began preliminary military training during the months of September and October of 1914. This exhibition highlights some of the activities and training of the Blue Puttees up to their embarkation on the SS Florizel for overseas service.
COLLECTING THE GREAT WAR ENLISTING YOUR HELP: The Rooms needs your help to tell the stories of the men and women who served overseas and at home during the First World War and the impact that the war had here. The Rooms staff will be available to collect stories and document photographs and artifacts. Help us preserve stories of the First World War before they are lost. The information gathered will be used to develop a new permanent exhibition on The Great War to open in 2016. More Information: http://www.therooms.ca/firstworldwar/default.asp