Skip to main content

The Royal Newfoundland Regiment in the Great War

Frank Gogos graduated from Memorial University in 1994 after completing his education in history and Newfoundland studies. His latest effort is The Royal Newfoundland Regiment in the Great War. With more than 400 photographs and 40 maps, the work is a tribute to those who served and a guide for those who wish to retrace the soldiers’ steps. Recently we spoke with the author about the book.

What inspired you to become a writer?
I guess it would have been my father. He passed away when I was four years old but left behind scrapbooks of poems and short stories in both English and Hungarian. It was his dream to be a writer. I guess I picked up on that and it had become a dream of mine also.

Are they the same reasons you do it today?
Not really, I had always thought I would be a fiction writer and I have evolved into a historian of sorts. My first two books were for entirely different reasons than I ever imagined.

What are the challenges of the profession?
The biggest challenge is financial of course. The type of writing I do requires travel for research, accommodations and a lot of free time which I can only achieve through financial sacrifice. It is the cost of being a writer, researcher - historian.

What are the rewards?
In my case the satisfaction of expressing my passion for the subject to people interested in Newfoundland and the Great War - as well as adding to the general knowledge base of the subject.

How have you grown as a writer over time?
The more I write the more polished it becomes. Practice makes perfect as they say. I still have room for improvement and look forward to honing my writing skills on my next project.

Is your creative process more 'inspirational' or 'perspirational'?
It is part inspirational as I take cues from objects and stories but the finish is pure perspirational. Writing and rewriting and rewriting again work up a lot of blood, sweat and tears, late nights and binge eating!

What makes a good book?
Any book that can engage a reader from beginning to the end makes a good book. In the historical sense a good book should add to the knowledge base without being cumbersome. It needs to be accessible to everyone not just the academia.

What motivated you to write this particular book?
After traveling overseas on my own personal pilgrimage to the Newfoundland War Memorials and battlefields I began to be asked a lot of questions by friends and acquaintances about where to go and what to do from people getting ready to do their own pilgrimages leading up to the 100 Anniversary of the Newfoundland Regiment’s near annihilation on July 1, 1916. I have been the guide for intimate and large tour groups (and continue to do so) to the battlefields of France, Belgium and Gallipoli for a few years now. It all just started to fit together, my research, travels and photography and the timing was important factor in the decision.
What did you learn during the process?
How to stay calm! LOL

How did you feel when the book was completed?
A sense of relief! It had been a long process, not just in the writing portion but in layout and design. Many meetings and adjustments were made right up to the last minute.

What has the response been like so far from those that have read it?
The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Sales are brisk. I have received feedback from people who bought the book, used it on their own pilgrimage and went out of their way to compliment me on its usefulness and information that it contains. Other researchers in the field were surprised and have commented that they learned things from the history portion that they did not know.

What are your thoughts on the state of Newfoundland literature today?
Newfoundland literature today is booming. There are more books released every month in Newfoundland and Labrador that run the gamut of genre than I think anywhere else in Canada. At least it seems that way. Newfoundlanders were always known for their storytelling and now it seems many have found a way to tap into that through publishing.

What's next on your creative agenda?
I have several more history books I wish to write regarding Newfoundland and the Great War. Eventually I would like to finish my World War I book set with a historical fiction from my family’s perspective.

Popular posts from this blog

Charles Hsuen

Even after almost 30 years as the voice of jazz in Halifax, Charles Hsuen shows no signs of slowing down. His passion to preserve and promote the genre to listeners of all ages cannot be overstated. Recently we spoke with Hsuen about his roots, and his life-long love of big band, bebop, swing, Sinatra and more.
What are your own roots? My roots derive from a rather mixed background. My father is of Vietnamese / Tibetan / Chinese heredity, but grew up in India, before immigrating to Canada in 1967. While my mother’s roots stem from Indo-China, she grew up in Brunei before immigrating to Canada in 1969. Both extended families ultimately settled in Toronto and my parents met and married in the early 1970's. The last name “Hsuen” (now XUAN), pronounced “Schwen,” comes from the Last Emperor of China Henry Pu Yi who ruled using the name Xuantong from 1909 until his forced abdication in 1912. The story was of a tumultuous reign, his forced resignation and eventual attempt to reclaim his ti…

Danny Bilsborough

Danny Bilsborough, NSCC alumna and owner of Danny B Studios, has spent most of her days consulting various clients on software options for their new business endeavours. 
Although she’s been involved with assessing some really exciting projects, nothing makes her happier than grabbing her brush and splashing colour on a canvas. That’s why she’s decided to take the plunge into becoming a full-time artist.
“I was always so scared to try using colour, but when my daughter was born and the opportunity came to incorporate these new palettes into her life, they quickly found their way into mine,” she says.
Colour brings light to many things and gives people a sense of enjoyment. Markus Maier explained in his academic journal titled Color Psychology that colour carries great meaning and can have an important impact on people's affect, cognition and behaviour.
Bilsborough’s favourite pieces to create are those of nature and animals – a quick look at her online Etsy page confirms this. She be…


Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley, International World-Champion Elvis tribute artist, Thane Dunn and his Cadillac Kings, will perform seven shows throughout the Maritimes over the coming months. Recently we spoke with the King of Kings about his passion and profession.
What are your roots? I was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. I've lived everywhere from California to Toronto but Moncton always has had a special place in my heart. My musical roots have always been early Rock and Roll and also old Country and Western like Buck Owens and Stonewall Jackson. I’ve always been a huge Jim Morrison fan. He had a lot of similar traits to Elvis.
What first inspired the Elvis tribute? I always loved the man and I’ve had people tell me I looked like him and in early bands I was in people would say I sounded like him. I had a few months leading up to the decision to do it where it seemed every time I turned on the TV there was Elvis, the radio would be playing Elvis…