August 4, 1914 – August 4, 2014
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.
Governor Davidson immediately issued a “Call to Arms” and subsequently many Newfoundland men answered the call to serve in the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the Merchant Marine, the Newfoundland Forestry Service, the Royal Flying Corps, the Canadian Army, the Volunteer Aid Detachments, and other units of the allied services.
Many Newfoundland women volunteered for service as nurses and ambulance drivers. The women of Newfoundland formed 250 branches of the Women’s Patriotic Association, a response and involvement without parallel in the British Empire.
On Monday evening, 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.
The community, young and old and of all faith backgrounds are invited to gather for a unique celebration of remembrance and a re-commitment to peace in our time.
In First World War song, poetry, band music, story and prayer, travel back in time and stand in solidarity with the leaders, the youth and the families who gave of themselves so generously, and have continued to do so in the conflicts that have continued to plague our human family.
All are invited to join in this unique commemoration to mark the 100th anniversary of “The War to End All Wars.”
EVENT: Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Outbreak of World War I
DATE: AUGUST 4, 2014
TIME: 8:15 – 9:30 p.m.
SITE: Basilica-Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
For more information on the event contact: Gary Browne: firstname.lastname@example.org or the Basilica Cathedral Parish 754-2170.
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 World War I service records of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment are available at the archives on microfilm. 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