Following the departure of the First Five HundredThe first land contingent actually consisted of 537 men. in October, work continued on Newfoundland and Labrador's contribution to the war effort. While the Reserve Force CommitteeAppointed by the Patriotic Association, the Reserve Force Committee held its first meeting on October 23, 1914. The committee's mandate was to enlist and train men to maintain the Newfoundland Contingent. In November the Army Council announced a requirement of fifty percent reserves. Based on the strength of the First Five Hundred, the committee decided to raise 250 men. continued recruiting men to serve in the Regiment, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians found other ways to support the troops overseas. 

Women's Patriotic Association at Work

Women's Patriotic Association At Work 
The Rooms Provincial Archives B5-173

Between 1914 and 1916, for example, the Women's Patriotic Association knit 62 685 pairs of socks and 22 422 scarves. They also produced 250 000 medical items such as bandages, surgical dressings, and swabs.

One significant contributor on the home front was the Women's Patriotic AssociationWork of the Women's Patriotic Association (WPA) was carried out in all parts of the British Empire. On August 31, 1914 Lady Margaret Davidson, wife of the Governor, called upon the women of the colony to assist in helping the Empire by providing necessities to men at the front. Seven hundred women attended the initial meeting. A resolution was passed to form a "Patriotic Association of the Women of Newfoundland".

Resolved that we do hereby form ourselves into the "Patriotic Association of the Women of Newfoundland" whose object shall be by our work and by all means in our power to help our men in the defence of the British Empire; and that all women here present shall subscribe their names as members of the Patriotic Association of the Women of Newfoundland.

The next step was a colony-wide appeal. Letters were sent to magistrates and justices of the peace throughout the colony asking them to meet with prominent women with a view to establishing WPA branches outside St. John's.

Image: The Rooms Provincial Museum
. By the end of 1914, this organization had 218 branches with over 15 000 volunteers. Its members knit and sewed warm clothes for Newfoundland and Labrador's troops and prepared medical supplies for the Red Cross. By the end of the war, the Women's Patriotic Association had also raised over $500 000 for the war effort.   

Women's Patriotic Association – Minute Book of General Committee 
The Rooms Provincial Archives MG 635 Box 1

Order of the British Empire

Courtesy Estate of Judge Rupert Bartlett

The Order of the British Empire was awarded to Mrs. S. Thompson, for her work with the Women's Patriotic Association. Mrs. Thompson was the first female to receive this award in Newfoundland and Labrador.

While the Government of Newfoundland contributed money to pay for costs related to the Newfoundland Regiment and other war efforts, the people of the colony also donated their own money. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians raised an estimated $1 million through a variety of funds to help soldiers and their dependents. These included the Patriotic FundContributions to the Patriotic Fund from the general public were used to assist dependents of soldiers.


- To add to the resources of families who had limited money
- To assist severely injured soldiers until they obtained employment or received a pension
- To assist widows and others who were dependent on those who lost their lives in the war
- To look at other individual cases to determine if a need for help existed

, the Aeroplane FundA fund sponsored by the Patriotic Association which raised enough money to supply four aircraft (along with one from a private source) for the British Expeditionary Force.

Purpose: to supply aeroplanes to England for use in the war effort.
, and the Cot FundA fund sponsored by the Patriotic Association for the provision of cots for British hospitals as well as grants to London hospitals which had cared for Newfoundland and Labrador soldiers. This fund also provided for 239 beds for men from Newfoundland and Labrador at the military hospitals in Étaples, France and in St. John's.

Purpose: to provide much needed hospital beds for soldiers who were wounded in the war.
. Other funds were established to provide soldiers with some comforts from home. 

The Cot Fund (nurse image) 
Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Project 
Newfoundland and the Great War PANL P7-B1

Mayo's Tobacco Tin 
The Rooms Provincial Museum 

The Patriotic Fund 
Capt. R.G. Paterson in The First Five Hundred, p 82. 
The Rooms Provincial Archives D547 N55 C7

"To the People of Newfoundland" 

The Evening Telegram August 28, 1914