A Home Fit for Heroes? 1919–1949

"There must be no lost generation such as there was after the [First World War]." “Co-operation Needed,” Western Star, March 21st, 1945

Could those who died between 1914 and 1918 have led the country down a different path? While we lost many young men, those who returned were determined to build a prosperous country.

But by 1933, the Newfoundland government faced bankruptcy. When Britain appointed a “Commission of Government,” Newfoundland lost the democratic rights our people had fought to defend. The Commission couldn’t solve the country’s economic problems, as many had hoped.

The Second World War brought prosperity and questions about the future. In 1948, voters— including veterans—had to decide if Newfoundland could stand on its own.

Confederation with Canada was chosen by a small majority. With memories of shared national sacrifice, many did so with a heavy heart.

Betty Alaverdy

Betty Alaverdy talks about her father, Sergeant Peter Sampson, Royal Newfoundland Regiment #267.

Ron and Bill Hogan

Sons Ron and Bill Hogan, granddaughter Janice and family friend Sarah Sexton talk about Private Aiden Hogan, Royal Newfoundland Regiment #237.

Cheryl Stacey

Cheryl Stacey talks about her grandfather, Sergeant Anthony James (“Jim”) Stacey, Royal Newfoundland Regiment #466.

Doug Manstan

Doug Manstan talks about his grandfather, Sergeant William Manstan, Royal Newfoundland Regiment #327.

Lest We Forget

"My sincere sympathy in the great loss which you have sustained–a loss which is not only yours, but the whole country’s." From the Colonial Secretary to father of Lieutenant Stephen Norris, Newfoundland Regiment Three Arms, Notre Dame Bay, October 1916

The Great War ended in 1918, but it is with us to this day.

It’s in the fabric of our world: plaques, monuments, institutions and buildings, streets that carry the names of far-off battles and places. We wear forget-me-nots and remember the fallen each July 1st, our own Memorial Day, and poppies on November 11th, bowing our heads with the rest of the British Commonwealth. We see meaning in the symbolic caribou and make pilgrimages to the now peaceful battlefields. We marvel—with pride, sorrow, horror and astonishment—at the cost of the immense effort. And we wonder at the meaning of the sacrifices.

Beaumont-Hamel and the Trail of the Caribou