Loreburn’s only war veteran

Reprinted from The Packet, May 22, 2018
by Lester Green

(Click on image to enlarge)

Elijah Price (Photo courtesy Elaine Drake)

Elijah, son of Absalom and Mary (King) Price was the oldest of nine siblings who enlisted with the Royal Naval Reservist in 1911 and spent four years receiving 28 days of training per year at the HMS Calpyso before the Great War was declared in the summer of 1914. On March 7, 1912, he married the widow of Henry George Martin, Naomi (Dean) at school/chapel building at Long Cove, the year that Long Cove became known as Loreburn.

When Britain declared war on Germany, Elijah received orders by Royal Proclamation to report to the HMS Calypso, St. John’s. On November 6, 1914 he boarded the SS Franconia and sailed out of St. John’s harbour destined for England. Among the sailors were 32 other young men from the Southwest Arm region.

Upon arrival in England he received orders to report to the HMS Pembroke, a shored based station at Chatham, England. He completed four weeks of training before being assigned to HMS Carron, an armoured boarding Steamer. He spent the next two years patrolling and enforcing a wartime blockade in the English Channel. Onboard the ship were two fellow sailors from Random, Abraham Avery of Long Beach  and George Thomas of Hodge’s Cove.

Naomi Price, grandson Roy Price, Bernice (Vey) Price, Rev. Henry Price, Marcie Drodge, Elijah Price at Loreburn in 1944. (Photo courtesy of Heather Price)

On December 21, 1916 he was transferred from the HMS Carron to the HMS Pembroke I where he spent five months before being sent home to the HMS Briton at St. John’s. He was granted a short leave and used this opportunity to visit his wife, Naomi, and family at Loreburn.

By the end of June he was back overseas and assigned to HMS Caesar for four weeks before being drafted to the HMS Eileen, a hired yacht. Onboard the yacht were George Drover and William Peddle of Hodge’s Cove. They spent about 18 months stationed in the Caribbean and northern part of South America. The ship was assigned to Trinidad Station patrolling the waters between Trinidad and up into the Essequibo River, Guyana. The HMS Eileen likely served in escorting smaller convoys between these two locations. Seaman Price’s final naval transfer orders came on January 12, 1919 when he was informed that he was going home to the HMS Briton where he remained until his final shore demobilization orders were received on April 2.

Elijah’s headstone

He returned home to his wife and they had one daughter, Nita. They raised a family of Naomi ‘s son, Azariah and Daisy, a girl that they adopted. Elijah supported his family by becoming skipper of various schooners, including the E.P. Ryan. He also operated a sawmill in the late 1920s at Loreburn.

He passed away on September 11, 1953 and is buried at Loreburn. On September 6, 2013 former residents gathered on the Labour Day week-end to honour Elijah. They unveiled a new gravestone and restoration work that had been completed on his gravesite. In an article published in The Packet on September 12, 2013 entitled “Veteran’s Gravesite Restored,” Audrey King was quoted as saying, “The restoration of the grave was important because Price was the only war veteran in Loreburn.”




Loreburn formerly known as Long Cove                                                                                                                                                 

Loreburn in 1945 (Photo credit: Lucy Meadus)

Loreburn is a resettled community located in Southwest Arm that was originally called Long Cove after the prominent shape of its harbour. In 1912, the government of Newfoundland changed the name to Loreburn. People from Hant’s Harbour would visit during the winter months to harvest the abundance of wood that lay in the valley’s created by the high hills that surrounded the harbour in the early 1800s. The first permanent residential  family was Benjamin and Maria (Banton) Price who arrived with their family, all of whom were born at Hant’s Harbour, sometime before 1860s.

Both the inshore and Labrador fishery was the main source of income for residents of Loreburn which was supplemented by cutting the vast timber resource in the country around Loreburn and Ford’s Harbour to the east. This timber was processed at sawmills into lumber and other wood products.

In the fall of 1966, the people petitioned to resettle, and in 1967 five families relocated to St. Jones and two others settled at Little Heart’s Ease.

The only war veteran to serve in the Great War was Elijah Price who enlisted with the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve in November, 1911.