huddled at Valcartier, Quebec, the soldiers had no rifles,
a clearance-rack mishmash of uniforms and the only puttees, or leg wrappings,
they could find were navy blue ones from a local supplier. For that reason they
were known as "The Blue Puttees." Some of the dozens of tents set up
were made from sails of docked ships. The Ross Rifles they had been promised
arrived a day after the troops sailed for Europe.
By war’s end, over four years later, a total of 6,241 Newfoundland men
had served in the regiment, 4,668 as volunteers. Another 5,747 enlisted in the
Royal Naval Reserve, the Forestry Corps, the Canadian Expeditionary Force and
British Forces. By the end of the war 12,000 Newfoundlanders, one fifth of the
country's population, had enlisted.