Tag Archives: Newfoundland Regiment

“I should like to know if I could send him … a package of food”

ARCHIVAL MOMENT

  July 1:  Prisoners of War in Germany, Regulations.  

Newfoundland Prisoner of War in Germany regulations concerning parcels.  April 1918, Daily News.

Newfoundland Prisoner of War in Germany regulations concerning parcels. April 1918, Daily News.

George Edward Pike

Rank: Lance Corporal

Service: 898

Community: Grand Falls

Age: 33

Date of Death: July 1, 1916

Regiment: NewfoundlandRegiment

Cemetery: Y Ravine Cemetery, Beaumont Hamel

Parents: Nathaniel and Emma Pike of Grand Falls, Born at Harbour Grace.

The “July Drive”  on July 1, 1916 annihilated the Newfoundland Regiment. When the roll call was taken, only 68 responded. Final battle figures revealed 233 men from the Regiment dead, 386 wounded, and ninety-one reported missing (and later assumed dead).

In the trenches at Beaumont Hamel, George Pike of Grand Falls stood shoulder to shoulder with a number of other men from Grand Falls and Botwood.

When news of the July Drive reached Newfoundland, many families refused to believe that their sons had died.  The family of George Pike prayed that he was a Prisoner of War (POW). His father Nathaniel wrote to the Department of the Militia in the Colonial Building in St. John’s explaining “if  (George) is a prisoner in Germany, I should like to know if I could send him … a package of food…”

The Department of the Militia responded that he should not send any food packages:

 Until it is known that your son is a prisoner of war or elsewhere, it would be strongly inadvisable to send any parcels to him. Every effort is being made to ascertain whether if any of the missiing are prisoners of war and  and lists on which your sons names figures, have been sent throughout Germany. 

It was not until November that the War office confirmed that George Pike had died with all of the other Newfoundlanders on July 1, 1916.

Recommended Reading: Browne, Gary. Forget-Me-Not: Fallen Boy Soldiers,St. John’s: DRC Publishing, 1911. 145p.

Recommended Song:  Oh, Oh It’s a Lovely War by Courtland and Jefferies  http://www.ww1photos.com/OhWhatALovelyWar.html

Recommended Archival Collection:    At the Rooms Provincial Archives there are available 6683 individual service files, 2300 have been digitized and are available at: http://www.therooms.ca/regiment/part1_entering_the_great_war.asp

This searchable database for military service records  includes the attestation papers: name, service number, community and district of origin, next of kin and relationship, religion, occupation, year of enlistment, fatality, and POW status (if applicable).  Take some time to read the stories of these young men.

“He asks for some eats and smokes”

ARCHIVAL MOMENT

 JULY 1: MEMORIAL DAY

Royal Newfoundland Regiment

George Goudie

Rank: Corporal

Service #2242

Community: Grand Falls

Age: 18

Occupation: Timekeeper

Date of Death: November 6, 1918

Regiment:  Newfoundland Regiment

Cemetery: Vevey (St. Martin’s) Cemetery, Lake Geneva,Switzerland

Parents: Elias and Mary Jane Goudie, of Grand Falls. Born at Northern Arm, Botwood.

During the war years parents often received conflicting news from the front.  If a soldier went missing in action (MIA) often the only shred of hope that the parents could cling to was that their son was prisoner of war (POW).  As a POW they could at least take comfort that he was alive.

On June 15, 1917, Elias and Mary Jane Goudie, the parents of George, received a telegram that gave them hope.  He was alive and “being treated well.”

The Telegram  read:

” Have pleasure in informing you Record Office, London, today reports  No 2242  Corporal  George Goudie, prisoner of war at Munster, Westphalia, Germany, April twenty third, suffering from gunshot wound right leg, being well treated.”

Upon hearing the news that that their was in the POW Camp in  Germany , Elias and  Jane,  through their local clergyman  Reverend W.T. D. Dunn, Pastor of the Methodist Church in Grand Falls  wrote

“In his letters to his parents (George Goudie)  pleads for a shaving outfit, a towel and some eats and smokes. His parents would be glad to furnish amounts ….” 

There was more reason for hope when news arrived that he was “being transferred from Germany to a POW Camp in Switzerland”.

Unfortunately the POW Camps were breathing grounds for disease especially tuberculosis.  News arrived (November 18, 1918) that he had contracted the disease and had died “shortly after the Armistice, just before he was to be repatriated …”

Recommended Reading: Browne, Gary. Forget-Me-Not: Fallen Boy Soldiers, St. John’s: DRC Publishing, 1911. 145p.

Recommended Archival Collection:    At the Rooms Provincial Archives there is available 6683 individual service files, 2300 have been digitized and are available at: http://www.therooms.ca/regiment/part1_entering_the_great_war.asp

This searchable database for military service records  includes the attestation papers: name, service number, community and district of origin, next of kin and relationship, religion, occupation, year of enlistment, fatality, and POW status (if applicable).  Take some time to read the stories of these young men.