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. Call us at 613-967-3304.

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: Spanish Influenza Deemed Not Alarming, Ad for Sinclair’s, Collection for Soldiers’ Christmas Gifts, Army and Navy Veterans Association, Philip Henry Wills Wounded, Theatre Collection

The Intelligencer September 25, 1918 (page 1)

“Influenza Outbreak Is Not Alarming. Toronto. ‘There is altogether too much made of the seriousness of this Spanish influenza,’ declared Dr. McCullough, Provincial Officer of Health. ‘The epidemic is not so serious as measles, and while a few deaths have occurred among the Poles at Camp Niagara, everything possible has been done to prevent its spread.’

‘As far as I can learn, there is no pathological difference between plain influenza and the so-called Spanish variety,’ said Dr. Hastings today. ‘The symptoms are practically the same.’

Mr. Shutt, who is in charge of the division of contagious diseases, reported that so far the department had received no indication from private physicians or its own inspectors that there were any cases of Spanish influenza in the city.”

The Intelligencer September 25, 1918 (page 2)

Ad for Sinclair's

“Sinclair’s. At the Front. During the past twenty-five years through all Fashion’s fancies in weaves, colors and fabrics, Priestleys’ Dress Goods have been, as it were, at the front.

This year—it’s blacks and blues and plain colors—Priestleys’ have them in different fabrics, but all in the same high grade and famous quality.”

The Intelligencer September 25, 1918 (page 5)

“The Soldiers’ Christmas. An extra added attraction during the presentation of ‘Have a Heart’ at Griffin’s last evening was the taking up of a collection from the audience between the acts for Christmas gifts for the boys ‘over there.’ The collection was under the auspices of the Quinte Chapter, Daughters of the Empire, and the collectors were the girls of the company, while Joseph Keno (‘Henry’) the chief laugh provoker of the play, appeared before the curtain and in a humorous way speeded up the shower of small change which will help to add brightness to many a soldiers Christmas in the war zone. The collection was a distinct success.”

The Intelligencer September 25, 1918 (page 5)

“Army and Navy Veterans. A branch of the Army and Navy Veterans Association of Canada is being organized in Belleville by Capt. Mouck of Kingston, chief organizer for Eastern Canada. Capt. Mouck is meeting success in his canvass for members who will include veterans of the present war, South Africa, Riel Rebellion and Fenian Raid.

It is proposed to secure club rooms for the organization to be open at all times to members. The object of the association of Army and Navy Veterans is to care for the soldier and his dependents. One of the first charter members to sign the roll in Belleville was Mr. Alexander Foxton, 49 Herkimer street, over eighty years of age, who is a Fenian Raid veteran.

The society is incorporated by Act of Parliament and the patrons include the King and Queen, H. R. H. the Duke of Connaught, His Excellency the Right Honorable the Duke of Devonshire, K. C., C. C. M. G., C. C. U. O., P. C., and Lord Aberdeen.”

The Intelligencer September 25, 1918 (page 5)

“Severely Wounded. Lieut. P. H. Wills, nephew of Judge Wills, of this city, who was wounded in the Arras push, has been transferred from the Red Cross hospital, France, to one of the London, England, hospitals. ‘Fay,’ as he is familiarly known in Belleville, received a severe wound in the knee, having been hit by a large piece of shrapnel just after his company had obtained their objective.”

The Intelligencer September 25, 1918 (page 5)

“$84.02 Theatre Collection. Through the courtesy of Mr. Forhan Manager of Griffin’s Opera House, and the ‘Have a Heart Company,’ and the liberality of the audience, a collection taken up during last night’s performance realized the sum of $84.02 for the Quinte Chapter I. O. D. E., which will be used for the comforts of our boys overseas.”

100 Years Ago: Tips to Avoid Spanish Influenza, Letter of Sympathy for William Woods’s Wife, Poster for Thrift, Y.M.C.A. Beaver Hut in London

The Intelligencer September 24, 1918 (page 1)

“Dr. Hastings’ Tips To Avoid Influenza. Toronto. Now that Spanish influenza has crossed the ocean to America and is spreading so rapidly over this continent, Dr. C. J. O. Hastings, M. O. H., counsels the public to observe the following …  safeguards against contracting the disease.

Avoid needless crowding; influenza is a crowd disease. Smother your coughs and sneezes, others do not want the germs which you would throw away. Your nose, not your mouth, was made to breathe through. Get the habit. Remember the three C’s—A clean mouth, a clean skin and clean clothes. Try to keep cool when you walk and warm when you ride and sleep. Open the windows always at home at night; at the office when practicable.”

The Intelligencer September 24, 1918 (page 5)

“Premier’s Sympathy. Mrs. Susanna Woods, residing at 20 Water Street, city, is in receipt of the following telegram: ‘The Prime Minister and members of the Government of Canada send their deepest sympathy in the bereavement which you have sustained.’ This refers to her husband, Pte. William Woods, who was killed in action on September 2nd.”

[Note: Private William Woods died on September 2, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 526 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer September 24, 1918 (page 5)

Poster for thrift

“Keeping up with the Joneses. One great bar to the practice of thrift to-day is the tendency to let others set for us our standards of living. Mrs. Jones appears on the street in a new gown and at once her neighbour vows she’ll have one like it. Or if a new motor car is delivered to a certain home, a nearby family, not to be handicapped in the social race, plan to discard their old car for a new one.

Such silly rivalry is bad enough indeed in normal periods. It is positively unpatriotic in times like these when the country needs all available labor and material and every available dollar with which to carry on the war.

For the money we spend in satisfying these desires represents equipment, clothing, shot and shell that are so urgently needed for our boys in France.

Published under the authority of the Minister of Finance of Canada.”

The Intelligencer September 24, 1918 (page 6)

“Comfort in London For Canadian Soldier. A bed, including bath, towel, soap and kit storage in London costs the Canadian Tommy 18 cents—that is if he goes to the new Canadian Y.M.C.A. ‘Beaver Hut’ in the Strand. A meal costs him the same with the strains of an orchestra thrown in.

Needless to relate our boys overseas are ‘tickled to death’ with their new metropolitan centre. Costing $100,000 and situated in the most famous thoroughfare in the Empire, the Beaver Hut is run primarily by the Canadians for Canadians, although its hospitality is free to all the men of the allied forces on leave visiting London.

A voluntary staff of 200 ladies, superintended by Miss Helen Fitzgerald of Fredericton, N.B., attend to the preparation and service of meals. Dormitories, with nearly 200 beds are under the same efficient care, and the ladies work in four-hour shifts, maintaining a twenty-four hour service. No matter at what hour a tired and hungry Canadian soldier arrives in London he finds an open door, a smiling welcome, and a hot meal at the ‘Beaver Hut.’ ”



100 Years Ago: Canadian Deaths from Spanish Influenza, Canadian Casualties, David James McGlashon Killed in Action, Letter of Sympathy for William Hunter’s Mother, Memorial Service at Salvation Army Citadel, Ad for Wrigley’s

The Intelligencer September 23, 1918 (page 1)

“Several Deaths From Spanish Influenza. Toronto. Spanish influenza has claimed five victims, who died in the Polish infantry camp at Niagara and there are 168 soldiers suffering from this disease there at present. The Canadian camp has not yet been attacked, although there are many cases of severe colds there. Quebec despatch today tells of the closing and quarantining of the college at Victoriaville, Que., on account of the influenza there. Two of the teaching staff and one student having succumbed. Nine sailors on ships in port at Quebec have died during the last few days of this disease.”

The Intelligencer September 23, 1918 (page 2)

“Many Heroes Fell. No casualty list issued since the Canadians made their great drive into the German lines below Amiens has so emphasized the price of victory as that sent over the wires Sunday night. The lists for days past have been long, but most of the names have been those of men wounded. Last night’s roll of honor was remarkable for the number of men reported killed in action. The men whose names appeared there came from every part of the Dominion, from the Maritime Provinces to the Pacific coast, not a few of them being Quebecers. Among fallen were a number whose names are in Hastings and Prince Edward County.”

The Intelligencer September 23, 1918 (page 2)

“Pte. D. J. McGlashon Killed. A few days ago Sergt. and Mrs. McGlashon of this city received a message that their son, Pte. David James McGlashon, was wounded and missing. Today they were in receipt of another message which conveyed the sad intelligence that he was killed in action on August 11th.

Pte. McGlashon enlisted and went overseas with the 155th Battalion from Belleville. Subsequently he was transferred to another unit and had been in France for some time. The brave young soldier was well known in Belleville, where he had many friends. To the bereaved parents will be extended the heartfelt sympathy of all citizens. An elder brother is at present home suffering from severe wounds received in action.”

[Note: Private David James McGlashon died on August 11, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 458 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer September 23, 1918 (page 5)

“Sympathy of Premier. Mrs. James Hunter is in receipt of the following: ‘The Prime Minister and members of the Government of Canada send their deepest sympathy in the bereavement which you have sustained.’ This refers to her son Pte. W. Hunter, who was recently recorded among that great silent army of heroes who have made the supreme sacrifice for Canada.”

[Note: Private William Hunter died on September 2, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 433 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer September 23, 1918 (page 5)

“Memorial Service. A very large crowd, completely filling the auditorium of the S. A. Citadel, was present at the Memorial Service of Ptes. H. Carter and G. Thibault, who last week were killed in action. Mrs. B. W. Brown, who has charge of the Sunday School work sang and expressed the sympathy of the members of the school to which the children attended. Adjt. Trickey spoke of the words of David, ‘There is a step between me and death.’

A very impressive service was held, and a number of persons held up their hands for prayers on their behalf. There are 32 men, soldiers and adherents who have left from the S. A. in Belleville. Five have been killed, eight or ten wounded and one is now a prisoner in Germany. A special service of prayer is being held this afternoon at the Citadel on behalf of the allies.”

The Intelligencer September 23, 1918 (page 5)

Ad for WRigley's gum

“Wrigley’s. Any Way You Turn you will find WRIGLEY’S. Everybody thinks of Wrigley’s when chewing gum is mentioned. This is the result of years of effort to give mankind the benefits and enjoyment of this low-cost sweetmeat.

Wrigley’s helps appetite and digestion—allays thirst—renews vigour. Sealed tight—kept right. The Flavour Lasts.”

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