July 1 marks a special anniversary for province
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. -- Unlike other Canadian Legions, those in Newfoundland and Labrador had a very different origin.
The first veterans’ group formed during the war in April of 1918, according to Frank Gogos, media liaison for the Newfoundland Command. In Newfoundland, it was called the Volunteer and Rejected Soldiers Association.
By 1919, it became the Great War Veterans Association of Newfoundland, partnered – that’s country, rather than colony
The GWVA stayed the principal veteran support organization until it became part of the Royal Canadian Legion in 1950.
But the organization had a similar mandate to that of the modern-day Legion.
It was charged as the guardians of remembrance. In N.L., there are two ceremonies of remembrance – Memorial Day on July 1 and Armistice Day on Nov. 11. Both are equal in how Newfoundlanders view remembrance.
On July 1, 1916, nearly 700 men of the Newfoundland Regiment were killed or injured by German fire as they attacked over open ground.