Davidson immediately sent out a call to arms. Men responded by joining the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the merchant marine, Newfoundland Forestry Service, Royal Flying Corps and volunteer Aid Detachments. Some joined the Canadian Army and other units. Nine-hundred of them died during the war, including 273 of 801 Newfoundland Regiment soldiers who went over the top at Beumont Hamel, France, one day in 1916.
It was a huge sacrifice to ask of a tiny outpost of the Empire with just 322,000 people.
Newfoundland's women also served in the war as nurses and ambulance drivers. Back home in Newfoundland women formed 250 branches of the Women’s Patriotic Association.
Before joining Canada in 1949, Newfoundlanders remembered their dead on Memorial Sunday — the closest Sunday to July 1 — by wearing a small, blue forget-me-not flower. Today they join the rest of Canada in wearing the red poppy on Nov. 11, armistice day.