Sewing Kit

This khaki sewing kit was carried by soldiers during the First World War and Second World War. They were also known as “Housewife” or “Huswife”. Continuing a growing trend starting in the 18th and 19th centuries, these compact sewing kits became standard army issue for soldiers to carry. They enabled the repair to uniforms as well as removing splinters or, if in dire needs, stitching up wounds*. 


This kit shown to the right belonged to Sgt. Thomas Hammon #360. It contains: 7 assorted sewing needles, 19 brass tunic buttons, 6 brass pocket buttons, and 5 metal trouser buttons.




*Hyland House.

Captain Eric Chafe #52

Captain Eric Chafe #52 was a Blue Puttee and one of The First Five Hundred of the Newfoundland Regiment. Having enlisted on September 2nd, 1914, he went on to serve throughout the First World War. 

Captain Eric Chafe’s Military Cross in box (Top, Left), Chafe’s 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, and Victory Medal (Top, Center), and the award of his cross (Center, Right)
ACC#2019-060B, 2019-060P.1, 2019-060P.2, 2019-060Q

“The award of the Military Cross to 2nd Liet Eric C. Chafe, of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, has been granted. He is the son of L.G. Chafe, Esq. Merchant of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The Military Cross was awarded for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in taking command of his Company after all officers had become casualties. He led his men with great gallantry to the attack in spite of determined hostile operation , and successfully carried out the work of Consolidation under intense Machine gun and shell fire”*. 

It was during the Battle of Poelcappelle that he earned the military cross. The military cross was awarded to Chafe on October 9th, 1917**.



Visit the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Museum to see a special display highlighting Captain Eric Chafe. Included in the display are his military medals (including his military cross) and his Pattern 1897 Infantry Sword and Scabbard. While several pieces of his collection will remain on display, there is a limited time to see his special display at the front of the museum. 



*London Weekly, January 1918

**Cramm, Richard. “The First Five Hundred of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment”. Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, Newfoundland and Labrador: Boulder Publications, 2015, p. 153.


Dr. Cluny Macpherson

Dr. Cluny Macpherson was a physician and soldier, born in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1879. Macpherson’s involvement with the St. John Ambulance Association eventually led to the creation of the St. John Ambulance Brigade in St. John’s with three divisions. Members of the Brigade enlisted in the Newfoundland Regiment in World War I, which prompted Macpherson to organize an Ambulance Unit. In September 1914 Macpherson himself enlisted at the rank of captain. He was appointed as Principal Medical Officer, 1st Newfoundland Regiment, and as such went overseas throughout 1915. 

While with the Regiment, Macpherson is responsible for the first gas mask. In Gallipoli he used the helmet of a German “prisoner to fashion a canvas hood with transparent eyepieces that was treated with chlorine-absorbing chemicals”*. Macpherson was injured while in Egypt and returned to Newfoundland in 1916 to serve as Director of Medical Services for the Militia, member of the First War Office Committee on poisonous gases, and Director of Medical Services for Newfoundland during World War I. 

Lt. Col. Macpherson was demobilized in September 1919 but continued to play a role in the medical profession until his death in November 1966. 

Macpherson’s medals

To learn more about Dr. Cluny Macpherson visit the Memorial University Faculty of Medicine Founders’ Archive. Visit “” to see Macpherson’s notebooks or see some of Macpherson’s records at “”.

Visit the The Royal Newfoundland Regiment Museum to see Macpherson’s various medals and tunic in person.


*Faculty of Medicine. “Biographical Sketch”. Dr. Cluny Macpherson (1879-1966): Reflections of a Newfoundlander.


Croix de Guerre

There are two versions of the Croix de Guerre 1914-1918: one French and one Belgian. The Croix de Guerre 1914-1918 was adopted by France in “1915 to recognize acts of courage by members of the French and Allied militaries”*. They can be differentiated by their ribbon pattern and the central icon on the medal itself. The Belgian version’s ribbon is red with green stripes while the French is green with red stripes. The French icon is that of a woman and the Belgian’s is a lion standing on its hind legs**. The degree of importance of the medal would be indicated by a certain emblem on the ribbon: 

Palm leaf meant army level 

Silver gilt star for corps level

Silver star for divisional level

Bronze star for brigade or regiment level* 



The medal to the left is French. It is unclear whether the ribbon is Belgian or French. It was attached to a medal set belonging to Richard Power #2603 by a safety pin. This medal is missing the emblem that would indicate its degree of importance. Additionally, the medal set it was attached to contained a French Croix de Guerre with a palm leaf emblem. Traditionally, additional awards of this medal were indicated by additional emblems on the ribbon*. 

To see Richard Power’s medal set or learn more about Richard Power #2603, please visit the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Museum.







*Canadian War Museum.

*Medal News. Medal Yearbook 2008. Mackay, James, and John W. Mussel (eds). Kempton, Ontario, Canada: Token Publishing Limited, 2008, pp. 344-345. 

The Volunteer Pin

The Volunteer or “I Have Offered” pin is from World War II. It was given to individuals who offered to enlist but were rejected for any number of reasons: recognition of their attempt and intent to serve and protect their country. 


The Royal Newfoundland Regiment Museum currently holds one in its collection (see picture, ACC#2007-140). Once belonging to Private A.P. Greene (Regt #251), it suggests that he volunteered for service again in World War II after he fought and was injured during the Great War. 

To see the Volunteer Pin, and Private Greene’s other medals up close visit the museum and see them on display. To learn more about Private Greene and his medals, please see his entry on the museum’s “Wall of Honour”:


Lt. Andrew Bulger

Born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Andrew Bulger was commissioned an ensign in the newly formed Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry in 1804. From there he served in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Lower Canada. 

Naval General Service Medal – War of 1812 on The Great Lakes. Currently on display at the Royal Newfoundland Regiment museum.

Bulger was a lieutenant when the War of 1812 began in June 1812. During his service in the Regiment, Bulger fought on the Niagara peninsula and Detroit in 1812, Fort George and Stoney Creek in 1813. He was also employed on the boat service along the St. Lawrence and the fighting at the Battle of Chrysler’s Farm.

The medal featured to the left was given to Lt. Bulger for his service at Fort Mackinac in 1814 where he aided in the capture of two American warships: the “Tigress” and the “Scorpion”. 

In October 1814, Bulger was given command of Fort Mackay and he remained there until news of peace reached them in April 1815. 

Fort McKay being turned over to the Americans in 1815. Bulger is reported to be on the far right, hatless. Currently on display at the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Museum.












His regiment was disbanded in 1816 and he died in Montreal on March 28th, 1858. 

Visit the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Museum to see Lt. Bulger’s Naval General Service Medal on display and find out more about this hero, or visit and





Sable Chief and Pte. Hazen Fraser

Sable Chief was gifted to the Regiment in 1917 by a Canadian military officer. He was one of three mascots of the Regiment at Ayr, joining the ranks of Boodles and Bill who came before him.

Sable was entrusted to 14-year old Pte. Hazen Fraser. Sable marched with the Regiment Band at the head of the Battalion. It is said that he not only kept in step when marching but that he would stand up with the “opening bars of the National Anthem and remain at attention until its conclusion”*.

Sable Chief (mascot) and his handler, Pte. Hazen Fraser, head the Regiment Band as they set out towards the 3rd London General Hospital for Newfoundland Week, September 1917. (ACC#2008-134)





Sable was the beloved mascot until 1918 when he was unfortunately hit by a lorry. He is currently part of the collection at The Room Provincial Museum and can be found at the entrance to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Gallery. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment Museum holds Pte. Hazen Fraser’s Service Medal and it is currently on display. 


*Nicholson, Colonel G.W.L. The Fighting Newfoundland: A History of The Royal Newfoundland Regiment. Government of Newfoundland, 1964, p. 220.