By Pvt. Francis T. Lind
Frank Lind was thirty-five years of age in 1914 when The Great War broke out. Even if conscription had been in place, he would have been qualified for an age exemption. However, like many Newfoundlanders of his generation, he quickly volunteered and joined the First Newfoundland Regiment (later to become the Royal Newfoundland Regiment). He soon became Newfoundland’s unofficial war correspondent, revealing as much of the war activities as censorship allowed through his letters home to The Daily News. His view of the war through initial sign-up, training, in battle in Gallipoli, ending just two days before his final battle at Beaumont Hamel on July 1, 1916, is that of a foot soldier.
One of Frank’s comments in an early letter to The Daily News about the shortage of “Mayo” tobacco, a favourite of the Regiment, led to an abundance of Mayo tobacco being sent as gifts to the men, and to his nickname “Mayo Lind”.