The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.
Newfoundland swiftly contributed to the British war effort when the First World War was declared in 1914, providing soldiers for land and sea reserves. Thousands of young men signed up for the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, while hundreds joined the Navel Reserves, valiantly serving their colony overseas. (Enlistment for both groups was more than 3,500 by Feb. 1916.) However, when peace was declared and the war ended on November 11, 1918, Britain's oldest colony was left with a staggering debt and a government in turmoil. Governor Walter Davidson and his Patriotic Association spent more than $13 million in war loans to send their troops overseas. Government revenues may have jumped from $3.6 million in 1913-14 to $9.5 million in 1918-19, but the public debt climbed from $30.5 million to $42 million. Many residents wondered how a nation of only 250,000 could amass such debt. Predictably, people lost confidence in their politicians. In the years that followed the Great War, five different governments sat in the Colonial Building, ultimately leading to the Commission of Government in 1934. Something to Ponder: Because of our Veterans, we enjoy freedom. So, don't wait for Remembrance Day to say "thank you". Do it today! You don't know a vet? Look around, someone you know has served his/her country for you!