The training began as quickly as the men were attested and outfitted. Finding qualified instructors posed yet another challenge for the NPA. There were some visiting British officers and retired soldiers that accepted the task of training the trainers and the volunteers. The basic military training became their daily routine and encompassed arms drill (using bayonets), foot drill, skirkmishing, fitness, and marching. They could be seen at the training camp, in the White Hills east of Quidi Vidi Lake, marching through the city streets, and on the South Side Hills.
Rifle training began at the miniature ranges at the various brigade armouries for those less familiar with firing a rifle and also at Pleasantville. Once qualified, the volunteers then trained on the rifle range on the South Side Hills for three days. Berry pickers were warned of the impending danger and to stay clear of the firing range. They trained with the Lee-Enfield long rifles while waiting for the arrival of the Ross rifles. Through the Musketry Committee of the NPA, the government ordered 100 revolvers from England and 500 Ross rifles from Ottawa at a price of $28 each. The revolvers arrived in late August, but the rifles arrived by train twelve hours after the departure of the Florizel on October 4. The rifles were despatched to England the next day on board SS Durango.
Interest in “our Regiment” was high and public support for the volunteers was enthusiastic. Crowds often gathered outside the fence of the training camp to watch the men training and to catch a glimpse of a relative or loved one. Every detail of what could be seen was reported in the daily newspapers and patriotic headlines were the order of the day. The citizens would also go to the training camp to enjoy the weekly concerts put on by the Brigade bands to entertain the men. Luckily for the generations that followed, some of the on-lookers were the professional photographers of the day and most of the photographs we have are thanks to their desire to record the historic events of the day. Lt. Robert (Bert) P. Holloway, a sniper and intelligence officer, had been a professional photographer before joining. The Holloway Studio (operated by his sister, Elsie, after he joined) created many of the images we have of the Regiment and the individual soldiers in the First Newfoundland Regiment. He was going to be asked to shoot photos in the battlefields, however sadly, he was killed in action at Monchy-le-Preux, France in April 1917 before officially becoming Newfoundland’s war artist.