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Grenfell, Wilfred Thomason, Sir,, 1865-1940



  • Existence: 1865 - 1940


William Thomason Grenfell was born on February 28, 1865. He studied medicine at the London Hospital Medical College from which he graduated in 1888. The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen sent Grenfell to Newfoundland in 1892, to improve the plight of coastal inhabitants and fishermen. That mission began in earnest in 1893, when he recruited two nurses and two doctors for hospitals at Indian Harbour, Newfoundland and later opened cottage hospitals along the coast of Labrador. The mission expanded greatly from its initial mandate to one of developing schools, an orphanage, cooperatives, industrial work projects, and social work. Although originally founded to serve the local fishermen the mission developed to include the aboriginal peoples and settlers along the coasts of Labrador and the eastern side of the Great Northern Peninsula of northern Newfoundland. By 1914, the mission had gained international status. In order to manage its property and affairs, the International Grenfell Association, a nonprofit mission society, was founded to support Grenfell's work. The Association operated, until 1981, as an NGO. For his years of service on behalf of the people of the communities he served, Grenfell was later knighted. He died on October 9, 1949.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Wilfred Grenfell correspondence and autograph album

Identifier: Mss-65
Stefansson Mss-65
Date(s): 1907 to 1939

William T. Grenfell (1865-1940), medical missionary of Newfoundland and Labrador. Consist of Grenfell's correspondence with Harold G. Rugg, and an autograph album, dated 1907, from the Grenfell Mission in Labrador. Album contains autographs of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edward Everett Hale, Julia Ward Howe, Helen Keller, Margaret Wade Campbell Deland, Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards, and others

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