Welcome to the Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County

The Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County preserves the history of our community through the records of local governments, individuals, families, businesses and organizations. Find us in the Belleville Public Library building at 254 Pinnacle Street, Belleville, Ontario.

The archives is open Monday to Thursday, 9.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm and on Friday and Saturday by appointment.

Archives News

Belleville in World War I

Follow the citizens of Belleville and Hastings County as they face the challenges of the home front during the First World War through excerpts from The Daily Intelligencer, August 1914 to November 1918.

100 Years Ago: Patriotic Fund Now Over $80,000, Sir Sam Hughes to Speak in Belleville, Death of Private Edward Wardhaugh, Women Refused Passage, Vegetable Garden for Every Home, Poster for 254th Battalion Recruiting Meeting

The Intelligencer February 24, 1917 (page 1)

“The Patriotic Fund Is Now Over $80,000. If the Thermometer at the Patriotic Fund Headquarters, corner of Bridge and Front streets, was a weather indicator, the food problem would be quickly solved, as its present reading shows tropical conditions. During the morning climbed steadily up to the $75,000 mark, but was not satisfied to stay there, and started its journey to the Blue Sky, which is now the limit set for the Patriotic Subscriptions. So, good Citizens of Belleville, get aboard the ‘Blue Sky Limited’ bound for Self-respect, Clear-conscience, and all points right up to Patriotism. …

A great many of the good citizens of Belleville, feeling that they had not done sufficiently by the Fund, have walked into Headquarters and asked to have their subscriptions enlarged. That is the spirit. …

One noticeable thing about the voluntary subscribers is that they are nearly all women. The women of Belleville, throughout this campaign have done nobly. They have encouraged the canvassers and have subscribed liberally, far more so than the men in proportion to their incomes. They can do just one more thing to make their work complete. Get after the men. Make them do their share. Every girl has a brother or a sweetheart (presumably). See that he has done his share. Wives see that your husbands have done likewise. If the men have not done the right thing make them go down to Headquarters tonight and subscribe.

The list of subscribers are now being prepared and will be published IN A FEW DAYS. How will YOUR NAME look? There is still a chance to make your subscription measure up to your standing in the community. Come down, OR MAIL YOUR AMOUNT to the Patriotic Fund Committee, Belleville. …

Don’t forget the big auction sale tonight at 8 o’clock at the headquarters, cor. Bridge and Front streets, and bring something along to be auctioned. Capt. McCorkell, who has recently returned from the Front, where he took part in such tremendous battles as Courcelette, the taking of Regina Trench, etc., brought into Headquarters a pair of German Carrier Pigeons, which were captured in the Regina Trench, where they had been shelled for four days. They will be auctioned off with other valuable articles. Capt. McCorkell had received many offers for these rare birds, but refused them all. This is a most generous contribution, and from one who has ALREADY GIVEN SO MUCH.”

The Intelligencer February 24, 1917 (page 1)

“Grand Recruiting Rally and Sacred Band Concert. 254th Battalion, C. E. F. in Griffin’s Opera House, on Sunday evening, the 25th. The speaker of the evening will be Lieut.-General Sir Sam Hughes, ex-Minister of Militia. Owing to the enormous demand for seating accommodation, children under 16 years of age will not be admitted unless accompanied by parents or guardians. …

Gen. Hughes’ speech at the Opera House tomorrow night, should act as a stimulant to recruiting throughout this city, which lately has not been very brisk. Being connected with the militia affairs for some time, he evidently knows and will tell the audience what measures will be put into force, if the young manhood of the country do not come forward and enlist as they should.

The 254th Band of thirty-six pieces, will be present at the meeting, and will render suitable selections throughout the evening. …  Recruits are being sought for the 254th Bugle Band, now under organization.”

The Intelligencer February 24, 1917 (page 3)

“Death of Private Edward Wardhaugh. The following letter, received by Mrs. May Wardhaugh, of this city is but another of those heart-rending experiences that so many of our fathers, mothers and friends have been called upon to bear. The sympathies of many friends will be extended. Ottawa, Feb. 21, 1917.

Dear Mrs. Wardhaugh:—I desire to express to you my very sincere sympathy in the recent decease of No. 410,654, Pte. Edward Wardhaugh, who in sacrificing his life at the front in action with the enemy, has rendered the highest services of a worthy citizen.

The heavy loss which you and the Nation have sustained would indeed be depressing were it not redeemed by the knowledge that the brave comrade for whom we mourn, performed his duties fearlessly and well as became a good soldier, and gave his life for the great cause of Human Liberty and the defence of the Empire.

Again extending to you in your bereavement my condolence and heartfelt sympathy, I am, Yours faithfully, A. E. KEMP, Minister of Militia and Defence, for Canada. Mrs. May Wardhaugh, 156 ½ Church Street, Belleville, Ont.”

[Note: Private Edward Wardhaugh died on November 18, 1916. He is commemorated on Page 178 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer February 24, 1917 (page 5)

“Women Refused Passage. Halifax. A number of women and children about to sail for England were removed from an Atlantic liner here this morning under the regulation which prevents this class of passengers going to the British Isles at this time. They were repaid their passage money.

Several of the women with their children had come from Vancouver while one man and his family traveled from Australia. Most of the women come from Ontario and Quebec and had sold their homes. The disembarked passengers were wandering about Halifax today in rather a disconsolate fashion.”

The Intelligencer February 24, 1917 (page 6)

“To City, Town and Village Dwellers in Ontario ‘A vegetable garden for every home.’ In this year of supreme effort Britain and her armies must have ample supplies of food, and Canada is the great source upon which they rely. Greater production is a vital necessity. Everyone with a few square feet of ground can contribute to victory by growing vegetables. …

The Ontario Department of Agriculture will help you. …  Send for Literature. …  Write for Poultry Bulletin. …

To the Boys and Girls of Ontario. Boys, here is a splendid chance to help in the war. Grow vegetables this summer. What a fine way to spend some of your spare time. Ask your parents for the use of the ground, and their help; they will gladly give it, knowing how valuable the experience will be to you—and to the Country.”

The Intelligencer February 24, 1917 (page 6)

“Grand Recruiting Meeting and Sacred Band Concert at Griffin’s Family Theatre Under the Auspices of 254th Battalion C. E. F. Sunday Evening, February 25th.

Lieut.-General, Sir Sam Hughes, Ex-minister of Militia for Canada, will address the meeting.

On account of the large crowd expected from outlying points children under 16 years of age will not be admitted. Doors Open 8.15 P.M.”

100 Years Ago: Madoc Boy Wins Military Cross, Good Old Belleville Doing Grand Work, Play at Holloway Street Methodist Church

The Intelligencer February 23, 1917 (page 1)

“A Madoc boy has been awarded decorations for service in the field. Lieut. Wm. R. Elliot, son of Mr. Wm. Elliot, Peterboro; formerly of Madoc, has been recommended by Sir Douglas Haig for the D. S. O. for the work in the Somme fighting.

Lieut. Elliott went out with his company, which with another company, was given a special duty, and in the attack his fellow officers were shot down. Lieut. Elliot jumped into the breach, the duty was performed and he brought the men back to their lines.

Lieut. Elliot, who has seen much fighting has never been wounded. He is now in England undergoing an operation. He enlisted at Lindsay.”

The Intelligencer February 23, 1917 (page 1)

“$75,000 Now a Certainty. Good Old Belleville Doing Grand Work. At the final luncheon, given by the Ladies of the Patriotic Association last evening at the Y. M. C. A. a general note of optimism was struck. The team Captains, who gave their experiences, were hopeful of big things today, the last day of the campaign, as well as reporting generally good results for the second day of the Campaign. …

Good receptions and success was reported by Ald. Deacon. He gave one experience which was most pleasing. That was of two soldiers’ wives, who walked into Headquarters, and subscribed $20.00 each. Saying that they had been so well treated by the patriotic people of Belleville that they had much pleasure in making this donation.

Mr. D. V. Sinclair had worked hard all day, and had met with a fair degree of success. The young men were certainly not responding, however, the young ladies of the city were doing nobly. In establishments where girls were employed they would cheerfully subscribe $5.00 and young men earning twice their salaries would give up $1.00.

Mr. Arthur McGee had met with very fair success. However, the bright and promising, and in fact, budding career of his team mate, Mr. John McFee, came near to being brought to an untimely end. One of the young self-sacrificing men in a local industrial establishment threatened to bounce a steel shillalah upon his noble dome. The threat was resented most strenuously by the doughty John, who requested the wielder of the said shillalah to come outside where there was more room for arm action. But the gentleman in question was ‘too proud to fight.’ So ended the argument. …

The luncheon was wound up by the passing of a vote of thanks to the ladies, for the splendid way in which they had responded to the call of duty. Everyone present joined heartily in singing ‘They are Jolly Good Fellows.’ After singing ‘God Save the King,’ the gathering was broken up.

CAMPAIGN NOTES. Don’t forget the big Auction sale on Saturday night at the Headquarters, Cor. Bridge and Front. Anyone having any donations to the Sale kindly drop them to Headquarters. The more the merrier.

The thanks of the Citizens are due to the hard working Canvassers. The time that they have given from their businesses and the energy and patience displayed throughout the three strenuous days shows an excellent spirit.

The 235th and 254th bands are also deserving of thanks for their part in the success of the undertaking, also the stenographers of the Ontario Business College for the time they gave in addressing the envelopes, etc. The Hydro-Electric Staff have done nobly also in preparing the lists. Also the Post Office Staff in getting out the circulars.”

The Intelligencer February 23, 1917 (page 3)

“Delightful Function for Worthy Cause. Under the auspices of the Ladies Aid Society in connection with Holloway Street Methodist Church of this city, a play entitled, ‘Our Church Fair,’ was given last evening, in the Sunday School, and it was a great success in every particular. The proceeds of the entertainment were for a most worthy object, namely, the Red Cross, and a goodly sum was realized. There was a large attendance, and all present heartily enjoyed the programme presented.

In addition to the play which was presented in a capable manner by all who took part, there were extra numbers consisting of vocal and musical selections. The 254th Orchestra, under the leadership of Bandmaster Lieut. Hinchey, was present, and the selections given were highly appreciated, they being of a high order. …

At the close of the programme dainty refreshments were served, and the singing of the National Anthem brought the pleasing evening’s programme to a close.”

 

100 Years Ago: First Campaign Day Shows Fine Results, Canadian Women to Remain Abroad, 235th Hockey Victors, Posters for Patriotic Fund, Jam Reaches 80th in France

The Intelligencer February 22, 1917 (page 1)

“First Day of Campaign Shows Fine Results. The first day of the Fund Campaign, the $20,000 mark was reached and passed. This is a remarkably good showing, and speaks volumes for the hard and energetic work that was expended by the different teams of Collectors.

At the Campaign Luncheon held last night at the Y.M.C.A. the different team Captains gave their experiences. Some were pleasant and some were remarkably unpleasant. A few facts are salient: The same old few are putting up the large sums, and the rank and file of the Citizens, with exceptions, of course, are not doing their duty. Most married men with families earning from $800 to $1200 a year are giving from $25 to $50 and nearly all single men earning the same amount, without any family cares or expense, are giving from $1.00 to $5.00.

These young men still have another day to repent in. The Committee Rooms are open at all times, and cards are there ready to be filled out. If these young men have any moral courage they will walk in and take a card, and fill it out to do their decent share in this most necessary undertaking. Otherwise, they will be called upon again by the Committee and asked to do their share. …

After a most delightful and tasty luncheon, served by the Patriotic Ladies of the City, the Chairman, Mr. Ackerman called upon the various Captains for their experiences. …  While Mr. Sinclair complimented the ladies upon the excellence of the repast he wanted it understood that we did not come here to eat, but to raise enthusiasm, and compare notes. He had the results of his calls tabulated so gave some hard facts which were most enlightening to the assembled workers. He called upon 80 people, with his team mate, Mr. Burrows, with varied results. Six people said No that they could not afford it. ‘They are liars,’ said Mr. Sinclair. Some said they would give to the Red Cross. This was an excuse. These people wouldn’t give to anything. …

Mr. Lack Hughes came up from Foster Ward with nothing but pleasant things to say of his experiences. The subscriptions down there were small, but given cheerfully. …  None of the big industrial establishments in Foster Ward had been visited as yet, and the young men of Marsh and Henthorne and the Rolling Mills, who are earning big money will run the subscriptions from Foster Ward well into the thousands. The young working men in these establishments are expected to do better than the Clerks of Front street, and will give dollars where cents have been given. Let us hope. …

Mr. Hope McGinnis came down from Bleecker Ward with the complaint that some people were insulting, and that some wouldn’t answer. It might be well for some of those people to know that their answers are all carefully recorded at Headquarters, and when the time comes, by their deeds they’ll be known.

Mr. Ackerman, in conclusion, thanked the men who had worked so hard throughout the day, and asked them to go back to their labors with even more determination and energy, if possible, than they had shown today. We still have two days to reach the $75,000 mark, and we’re going to get it. So work hard and success is assured. After singing ‘God Save The King’ the meeting was broken up.”

The Intelligencer February 22, 1917 (page 1)

“Ottawa. Sixty thousand Canadian women and their children now in Britain who have not heeded official advice to return home will have to remain there indefinitely as under the new orders in council their passage across the Atlantic is prohibited.”

The Intelligencer February 22, 1917 (page 2)

“235th Victors in Exhibition Game. A good brand of hockey was put up by the 235th Battalion team and the Depot Batteries at the Arena last night. The game was remarkably clean, and featured with combination and individual plays on both sides. The stick-handling and back-checking was also good. At the opening of play the visitors ran in two goals in succession, the locals getting off to a bad start. They got going in time, however, and before the period ended, they ran in four goals, while the Battery men tallied one. The period ended 5–3.

In the second period only three goals were secured, the locals netting two of them. The play in this period was good, both teams playing an aggressive game, with defence of both sides making several effective rushes. Both Tobin and Micks in the nets were fine, making many spectacular saves. Period ended 7–4 for the locals.

In the third period the locals outplayed the visitors, scoring five goals to the visitor’s three. The game ended 12–7 for the 235th.”

The Intelligencer February 22, 1917 (pages 2, 3)

“Have YOU Been Telling What Should Be Done Or Doing Something Yourself? ?? Put Up Like a MAN or Shut up Like A Mouse. Feb. 21, 22, 23 Patriotic Fund Campaign.”

“Are You A Shirker or a Piker???? If YOU Are a Shirker And WON’T FIGHT Pay Up And Don’t Be a PIKER Also. If You Can’t Fight You Are Not a Shirker But PAY! PAY! PAY! February 21, 22, 23 Or You Are a PIKER.”

“HAVE YOU DONE YOUR BIT? ??? You Will Have If You Give Every Dollar You Can Pinch For To Make Things Easy For The Man In France. February 21, 22, 23. Patriotic Fund Campaign.”

The Intelligencer February 22, 1917 (page 3)

“Friends of Pte. Arthur Ferguson who is now ‘Somewhere in Fance,’ with other members of the 73rd Battalion, R.H.C., will be pleased to learn that in writing to his aunt, Mrs. Taylor, North Front Street, city, he says he is still alive, and in a rest camp.

He mentions that he saw Captain Sharpe just before going into line, and the Captain called him out of the parade and gave him a box of jam and other things for the boys of the 80th in the 73rd Battalion, sent by the women of Belleville. It will be very gratifying, no doubt, to these ladies, to know that their jam arrived at its destination in good condition, and was gratefully received, and doubtless thoroughly enjoyed by the boys.”

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