Wilfred Grenfell and His Mission to the Fishermen and their Families of Newfoundland and Labrador

International Grenfell Association

Wilfred Grenfell (1865-1940) was a medical doctor and missionary to the fishermen and their families living on the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador. This is his story.

In 1887, while studying medicine in London, Grenfell heard the preaching of Dwight L. Moody and was moved to a deep and lasting faith in Christ. That same year he joined the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fisherman (now called the Fishermen’s Mission).

In 1892 Grenfell undertook a medical expedition to Newfoundland and Labrador on the hospital ship the Albert. The medical and living conditions of the fishermen and their families appalled him. Some settlements had been wiped out by diphtheria. In response, Grenfell developed a network of regional hospitals and nursing stations. The first hospitals were built at Battle Harbour in 1893 and Indian Harbour in 1894.

In 1912 the Royal National Mission withdrew its support, requiring Grenfell to establish the International Grenfell Association. “Largely because of this organization’s efforts, there existed in Labrador when Grenfell retired (1932) 6 hospitals, 4 hospital ships, 7 nursing stations, 2 orphanages, 2 large schools, 14 industrial centres, and a cooperative lumber mill. Grenfell was knighted in 1927.”[1]

Read Grenfell’s wiki page here. For more information on the current work of the International Grenfell Association click here.

[1] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Wilfred-Grenfell

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