Governor Davidson strongly felt that the Newfoundland Regiment deserved special recognition for its actions during the battles of Ypres and Cambrai. His request to the British Government to add the designation “Royal” was granted on December 10th, 1917—the only time during the war that this honour was awarded.
Excerpt of Letter From Brigadier-General Douglas Cayley
"I have constantly expressed my great admiration for the fine soldierly spirit and fighting qualities of the Regiment. It is a splendid thing that these qualities should have been thus recognized, and such be a source of the greatest pride to all in Newfoundland."
"He set a magnificent example of courage and determination." Citation for Military Cross awarded on July 5th, 1918 to Captain Bertram Butler, Royal Newfoundland Regiment for his actions at Marcoing-Masnières, France
It is clear from the start that people are giving immensely to this war. They give their time, their skills, their energy—even their lives—to it. This war is all-consuming.
Medals are awarded for gallantry in action. They boost morale and inspire pride and courage among those serving overseas. Each honour is reported in the newspapers at home and celebrated.
When the war ends, new ways are found to mark service and sacrifice. War medals and Victory medals are given to honour those who “gave their all” to the Great War.
29th Division Award
Awarded at the discretion of the Divisional Commander and worn on the shoulder, the 29th Division “Battle Badge” was given for an act of gallantry in the field. It was rare for a division to have its own award. Members of the Newfoundland Regiment were eligible to receive this award.
Awarded after the war, campaign medals recognized service. Those who survived wore them proudly to reunions or remembrance events. The families of those who had died treasured them as symbols of sacrifice.
Sergeant Walter Pitcher
Newfoundland Regiment #2115
With nine others, Walter Pitcher halted advancing Germans and prevented Monchy-le-Preux’s capture, earning a Military Medal. In 1918, he was killed near Marcoing, France.
Volunteer Isobel LeMessurier
Voluntary Aid Detachment
Isobel LeMessurier volunteered at a hospital in England from 1916 to 1919. At home in Newfoundland, she received this British War Medal for her service.
Seaman Robert Balsom
Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve #823X
A longtime Naval Reservist, Robert Balsom served on the armed merchant cruiser HMS Columbella and the battleship HMS Caesar, among other vessels, earning these medals.
Private William Mercer
Newfoundland Regiment #2615
A shoe factory worker from Harbour Grace, William Mercer enlisted in 1916. He was killed in action at Monchy-le-Preux. His family later received these medals.
Sergeant Thomas (“Tommy”) Ricketts
Royal Newfoundland Regiment #3102
On October 14th, 1918, at Drie-Masten, Belgium, 17 year- old Tommy Ricketts from White Bay volunteered to go with his section commander, Acting Corporal Matthew Brazil, and a Lewis gun to outflank the enemy. At 274 metres (300 yards) from the Germans, his ammunition ran out. Under heavy fire, Tommy doubled back for ammunition and returned to his Lewis gun. With accurate fire, he drove the enemy back. His platoon advanced without further casualties. For this action, Tommy was awarded the Victoria Cross, the British Empire’s highest award for gallantry, the only member of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment ever to receive it.