Wilfred Grenfell’s A Labrador Doctor

Sir Wilfred Grenfell [Public Domain image from Wikipedia]
Sir Wilfred Grenfell [Public Domain image from Wikipedia]
This is probably the book Sir Wilfred Grenfell is best remembered for, telling of his life as a missionary on the Labrador coast. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy to scan. This book is the Public Domain.

Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell [1865-1940], A Labrador Doctor, 11th ed., 1938. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1920. Hbk. pp.351. [Download complete volume in PDF]


  1. Early Days
  2. School Life
  3. Early Work In London
  4. At The London Hospital
  5. North Sea Work
  6. The Lure of the Labrador
  7. The People of Labrador
  8. Lecturing and Cruising
  9. The Seal Fishery
  10. Three Years’ Work in the British Isles
  11. First Winter at St. Anthony
  12. The Co-Operative Movement
  13. The Mill and the Fox Farm
  14. The Children’s Home
  15. Problems of Education
  16. “Who Hath Desired the Sea?”
  17. The Reindeer Experiment
  18. The Ice-Pan Adventure
  19. They That Do Business in Great Waters
  20. Marriage
  21. New Ventures
  22. Problems On Land and Sea
  23. A Month’s Holiday in Asia Minor
  24. The War
  25. Forward Steps
  26. The Future of the Mission
  27. My Religious Life
  28. Ten Years After



I have long been resisting the strong pressure from friends that would force me to risk having to live alongside my own autobiography. It seems still an open question whether it is advisable, or even whether it is right-seeing that it calls for confessions. In the eyes of God the only alternative is a book of lies. Moreover, sitting down to write one’s own life story has always loomed up before my imagination as an admission that one was passing the post which marks the last lap; and though it was a justly celebrated physician who told us that we might profitably crawl upon the shelf at half a century, that added no attraction for me to the effort, when I passed that goal.

Thirty-two years spent in work for deep-sea fishermen, twenty-seven of which years have been passed in Labrador and northern Newfoundland, have necessarily given me some experiences which may be helpful to others. I feel that this alone justifies the writing of this story.

To the many helpers who have co-operated with me at one time or another throughout these years, I owe a debt of gratitude which will never be forgotten, though it has been impossible to mention each one by name. Without them this work could never have been. [Continue reading]

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