Newfoundland and Labrador In The First World War

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Royal Newfoundland Regiment


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The Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band


In 1956 the Loyal Orange Band in Topsail, Newfoundland, under the baton of the late Edgar Adams, was asked to serve as the official band of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. In 1962 the 166th Heavy Field Regiment Band, under the baton of the late Peter Stapleton, amalgamated with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band, and the band relocated from Buckmaster's Field to its present home in Canadian Forces Station, St. John's.

The Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band is presently the only military band in the province. Although a Canadian Forces Reserve Unit, the band has remained active over the years and has performed at numerous military and civilian functions. These include routine tasks, such as Mess Dinners, Change of Command Parades and Annual Inspections. Other performances, though, stand out as testimony to the band's colourful history: The Trooping of the Colours for the Queen Mother in 1966, the visit of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1978; the Presentation of New Colours to the Regiment by Prince Charles in 1983; Pope John Paul II's visit to St. John's in 1984; Freedom of the City Parades in Corner Brook and Grand Falls; visits by Governors General Léger, Schreyer and Sauvé; the state visit by King Beaudouin of Belgium.

For additional information regarding the recording please contact:

Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band
1st Battalion
Royal Newfoundland Regiment
P.O. Box 2028
St. John's, Newfoundland
A1C 6B5
(709) 570-4555

Recorded by the CBC at Holy Heart of Mary auditorium on April 16-17, 1994.

2Lt. John P. Powell
C.W.O. Jack Murphy, CD
M/Cpl. Neil Hefford, CD
Pte. Lisa Kirby
Pte. Daphne Short
M/Cpl. Chuck Furlong CD
Cpl. Shelley Barrett
Cpl. Jay Griffin
Cpl. Dave Connolly
Sgt. Kevin Corbett, CD
Sgt. John Nolan, CD
Cpl. Denise E. Butt
Cpl. Anthony C. McAllister
Pte. Scott Downey
Pte. Jennifer Colford
W.O. Bob Stapleton, CD
M/Cpl. Derek B. MacDonald
M/Cpl Harold Pye, CD
Cpl. Byron Cooper
Pte. Randy Hale
Sgt. Max Baldwin, CD
Sgt. Brian Heam, CD
Pte. Randy Hale
Sgt. Robert Corbett, CD
M/Cpl. Tim Keels
Cpl. Douglas Ballam
W.O. Gerald Corbett, CD
Cpl. Susan Wilson
Pte. Trevor Baldwin
Pte. Jodie Martin
Pte. David Brown

Tickle Harbour: Battery Included

Battery Included was released in 1998. All tracks are presented here with the permission of Tickle Harbour. Music and liner notes © 1998, Tickle Harbour, all rights reserved, unauthorized duplication prohibited.

The music and its history:

On Saturday, July 1, 1916, at 7:30 a.m., the First Newfoundland Regiment, part of the 29th British Division, was virtually annihilated at Beaumont Hamel. In less than 30 minutes, as they advanced into point-blank fire from enemy machine guns, the men were cut down. Of the 801 who went into battle, only 68 were able to answer the roll call the next day. The tragic story of the Newfoundlanders who died in wars overseas is personalized in this beautiful song, The Valley of Kilbride. (From Come and I Will Sing You. Eds. G. Lehr & A. Best, Collected from Dorman Ralph) (Song: Traditional)

Produced by Don Walsh
Engineered by Don Walsh. Mixed by Neil Bishop. Recorded, Mixed and Digitally Mastered at Dadyeen Studios, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.
All tracks arranged by Don Walsh except The Banks of Newfoundland arranged by O'Byrne / Walsh.
All tracks traditional except The Reunion written by Don Walsh, Gortnatubrid written by Seamus Creagh and Trippin' Up Samaria written by O'Byrne / Walsh.
All songs registered with SOCAN except Gortnatubrid registered with SOCAN except Gortnatubrid registered with EMRO.

Vonnie Barron–Vocals
Patrick Moran–Fiddle
Fergus O'Byrne–Vocals, Bodhran, Concertina
Gerry Strong–Tin Whistle, Flute
Francesca Swann–Cello, backing vocals
Don Walsh–Guitar,
Additional Musicians: Patrick Boyle–Trumpet (tracks 4,10)
Seamus Creagh–Fiddle (tracks 6)
Jim Fidler–Percussion (track 10)
Rick Hollett–Saxophone (track 4,10)
Paddy Keenan–Uilleann pipes (track 12)
Frank Maher–Accordion (track 1)

Lyrics to The Valley of Kilbride

On the battle field in sunny France a hero brave did stand;
He thought of friends he loved so well in dear old Newfoundland,
When a vision bright did gain his view, the dear old riverside,
And the home he loved in boyhood days in the Valley of Kilbride.

A comrade he lay wounded, lay dying on the field.
Those plucky Newfoundlanders, they died before they yielded.
On no man's land they rushed across, where shot and shell do fly,
On no man's land they rushed across, you could hear their charging cry.

No coward's blood runs through their veins, they'll conquer now or die,
They gained the front line trenches from the enemy that day;
While on their right or on their left, machine guns they did fly,
When the dying comrade raised his head, a signal to draw nigh.

He says, "Dear Jack, those parting words I want for you to hear."
He says, "Dear Jack, those parting words I want for you to know."
He says, "Dear Jack, those parting words I want for you to tell
To my father and my mother, likewise my sister Nell.

Tell mother not to weep for me but pray for me each day,
And whisper words of comfort, Jack, to her that's far away;
And whisper words of comfort, Jack, and take her by the hand,
And tell her in that July Drive, how bravely I did stand.

There's another one who waits for me, and thinks that I'll come home;
Go and tell her that in Bowring Park, we never more shall roam.
We never more shall meet on earth, since you and I must part,
But still her memory lingers yet, within my bleeding heart.

There's a photo that she gave to me lies closely by my side,
You can scarcely recognize it now for with my blood it's dyed;
You can scarcely recognize it now, but you will be sure to know,
It's a photo that she gave to me not a few short months ago."

His voice grew weak, he scarce could speak, he freely grasped my hand,
He says, "Dear Jack, do not forget to bring tidings to Newfoundland,"
He says, "Dear Jack, do not forget how the blood flowed from my side;
God comfort my dear mother in the Valley of Kilbride."

I know that you will miss me Jack for soon we have to part.
I know that I won't live long with the pain that's in my heart;
I know that I am dying with the pain that's in my side,
My home I never more will see in the Valley of Kilbride.

I know that you will miss me Jack when you are all alone.
My grave will be in sunny France far from my native home.
My grave will be in sunny France way out on no man's land,
And the dark-haired girl will weep for me in dear old Newfoundland."

William Yetman: Interview

An excerpt from an interview with Mr. William Yetman, Upper Gullies. Interview by: Brenda Rowsell Parsons, March 12, 1981. (3:02).

Mr. Yetman was among the first five hundred Newfoundland Regiment soldiers to sail overseas aboard the Florizel in October of 1914.

Courtesy of Brenda Rowsell Parsons and the Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA 81-415/C9479), Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL.

Excerpt Transcription

<Yetman>"We got back in August, that's when I heard the war was going on. I thought we left the ship without even telling my father. My father was the Chief Stewart on the vessel."

<Yetman>"And I came to St. John's, went the CLB armory, enlisted, and was accepted. I lied about my age. I wasn't as old as I was supposed to be."

<Yetman>"Went in training at the Pleasantville, that's what it's called nowadays. We were there until October the fourth, that's when we joined the Florizel, five hundred of us."

<Parsons>"Was that the first..."

<Yetman>"That's the first five hundred that left Newfoundland to go over. That's all they wanted, as far as I can read. Well there was five hundred of us joined the Florizel. Marched down led by CLB band, and my mother heard about it, she immediately wired my father and said 'Go get that boy, he's not old enough to be overseas.' But when father arrived in town, the ship had already sailed."

<Parsons>"And you were gone."

<Yetman>"And I was gone, I was gone. And then we ah, we met the convoy from Halifax of other ships. We escorted by ships of the Royal Navy. We landed in England, I'm not quite sure of the exact port we landed. I don't remember that, but I do know that our first camp at the Salisbury Plains, and so help me I believe it rained from the day we landed there until we left. We were under canvas, we were issued with blankets. I remember they were brown, rough, army blankets. And as one sunk in the mud you put another on top of it. I think I must have had a dozen blankets under me."

<Parsons>"It wasn't easy times."

<Yetman>"Oh my good gosh no. And there were what they call duck boards in the tent. But the water and the mud oozed up through the duck boards you know. And it was just all by links that was all. Ah we left there, we were there, I'm not quite sure, just we were there a good deal of it the winter. I don't know we were there, I don't know, wait a minute, I don't think we were there for Christmas, I believe we were moved to Fort George, in Scotland, that's a place on the North of Scotland. And ah, well we were moved, we stayed there for a certain length of time. Then we were moved to ah Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle from there went Stobs Camp. We finished up in Aldershot and that was our last training camp. Then we were inspected by Kitchener, and the next thing we knew we were on a ship called the Gadgantica, I think her name was. Bound for the Dardanelles."

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