During the war, Newfoundland and Labrador began to change in many ways — economically, politically, and socially. At the beginning of the war, St. John's was busy with war preparations as young men from all parts of the island and Labrador arrived for training and then left for overseas. Newfoundland and Labrador's economy boomed as the European demand for fish rose. Political parties laid aside differences and united in support of the war effort. Men were asked to enlist for only one year, in anticipation of a quick and decisive Allied victory.
As the war dragged on, its effects took an unexpected toll. The social life of the colony was severely affected. Young men were away for four years and approximately twenty percent never returned. At war's end, there were fewer jobs and many discharged soldiers looking for work. Others were seriously injured, requiring pensions and other supports. This, in turn, took a toll on the economy. The war debt was high and pensions placed a heavy burden on the treasury. The political parties that had put aside differences at the beginning of the war no longer agreed on a unified plan of action. These effects of the war influenced the colony for decades.
G.W.V.A: Great War Veterans Association
The Veteran, April 1922
The Rooms Provincial Archives