Lieutenant Colonel Arthur L. Hadow
Although I am not a Newfoundlander I have always tried to identify myself with your interests & throughout I have always been activated solely by the question of efficiency & the honour of Regiment.
Should I be spared & survive this war I shall look forward to the day when I am able to visit Newfoundland & renew the many friendships which I have made, & to see the country about which I have heard so much.
(Lt-Col. Hadow to minister of militia, 10 Feb 1918)
Born in England on 25 October 1877, Arthur Lovell Hadow was a long-serving British regular officer with tours of duty in Tibet, India, South Africa, Congo, and Sudan. In December 1915, he was selected to take over the Newfoundland Regiment following the wounding of Lieutenant Colonel R. de H. Burton. One soldier remembered the notorious disciplinarian: “Our Colonel now was Hadow, a son of a bitch who was over troops in India all his life. Thought common soldiers were dogs or something. But we taught him different.”
Many soldiers resented Hadow’s hard approach and jeered him as a martinet. In January 1916, the Allies withdrew from Gallipoli and the regiment waited to be deployed to the Western Front. Ten years after the war, an article for The Veteran described the colonel:
He was the embodiment of Kipling’s iron discipline of body, will and soul. For him the war was on every hour and minute of the day and his one aim and object was to fit himself and those with him to fight it to a triumphant finish. His admiration for the Newfoundlanders was hidden under a stern exterior but was nevertheless very real.
In April 1916, the regiment arrived at Beaumont-Hamel in France. Three months later, on 1 July, the Newfoundlanders went over the top on the first day of the Somme Offensive. With almost 700 casualties, the regiment was virtually wiped out. General Beauvoir De Lisle of the 29th Division, famously remarked, “It was a magnificent display of trained and disciplined valour, and its assault only failed of success because dead men can advance no further.”
Worn-down after the Somme campaign, Hadow relinquished command to Major James Forbes-Robertson on 27 November 1916. He resumed command six months later but carried on only until December 1917 when he was relieved of command for ill-health.
He was interviewed for the CBC radio series In Flanders Fields and died in January 1964.