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: Sam Corby Wins Military Medal, Ad for Shredded Wheat

The Intelligencer December 13, 1918 (page 5)

“Deseronto Soldier Won Military Medal. A Deseronto soldier, Pte. Sam Corby, attached to the 25th Canadian Battalion, has been awarded the military medal for outstanding bravery in keeping the lines of communication open under very heavy shell fire on the night of Sept. 28th, 1916, when he volunteered to act as a runner and made six trips and it was chiefly due to his bravery and determination that satisfactory communication was maintained was cited officially in the London Gazette of December 21, 1916, as follows:

‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on the night of September 28, 1916, when acting as runner he volunteered and made six trips under very heavy shell fire when the runners had failed to find their way it was chiefly due to his bravery and determination that satisfactory communication was maintained.’

The following letter is self-explanatory: Department of Militia and Defence, 2nd Military District, 149 College St. Toronto Ont. Mrs. Mary Corby, Deseronto, Ont. Dear Madam,—in accordance with the wish expressed by (No. 412205) Pte. S. Corby, 25th Canadian Battalion, I beg to enclose herewith the military medal awarded to the above mentioned soldier by His Majesty the King. Enclose particulars of action for which this award was made. The congratulations of the Department are extended to you in the above mentioned soldier winning this coveted award. Kindly acknowledge receipt, D. B. Hrait, Lieut. For Assistant Adjt. Gen. Military District 2.

Pte. Sam Corby enlisted at Belleville in the 39th Battalion on February 25, 1915, and his many friends are pleased to learn that he has so gallantly distinguished himself on the field of battle.”

The Intelligencer December 13, 1918 (page 9)

“It Is Your Patriotic Privilege to save and conserve. When you eat wheat be sure it is the whole wheat. Don’t waste any of it. It is all food.

Shredded Wheat is the whole wheat—nothing wasted or thrown away. It is a nourishing wholesome substitute for meat, eggs, and other expensive foods. No sugar is required—simply milk and a dash of salt.”


100 Years Ago: In Memoriam for James Woodley, Soldiers’ Christmas, Film on Canada’s Work for Wounded Soldiers

The Intelligencer December 12, 1918 (page 2)

“In Memoriam. Woodley—James Woodley, in loving and constant memory of my dear husband and our loving father who left this earth just one year ago to-day, December 12th, 1917.

‘Gently the stars are shining, / Down on his silent grave; / Where lies our dear father sleeping, / The one we loved but could not save. / We often sit and think of him, / When we are all alone; / For memory is the only thing / That grief can call its own.’ Wife, Daughter and Sons.”

The Intelligencer December 12, 1918 (page 5)

“Soldiers’ Christmas. The ladies of Christ Church, Parish Guild and Choir Comfort Club recently mailed about 70 overseas parcels to the soldier boys of Christ Church.”

The Intelligencer December 12, 1918 (page 9)

“Canada’s Work For Wounded Soldiers. The wounded soldier does not always find it easy to return to the routine of civil life and of civil work. …  In Part Two of the film serial, ‘Canada’s Work for Wounded Soldiers,’ entitled, ‘Re-education of the Disabled,’ the habitué of the moving picture theatre will find much to interest him and make him or her think. …  In this second part of the serial, one can see returned men studying for civil service examinations, and taking lessons in motor mechanics, the operation of farm machinery, cattle judging and barn construction. …

Patrons of the Moving Picture Houses should follow up the serial ‘Canada’s Work for Wounded Soldiers.’ It is an official production endorsed by Sir James Lougheed Minister of Soldiers’ Civil Re-Establishment. It indicates the best way in which they can successfully apply their energy in solving the ‘problem of the returned soldier,’ and the co-operation of every man, woman and child in Canada is needed to end the existence of such a problem.

Part one of this series was shown at the Palace Theatre the first three days of this week and the series will be continued as received.”


100 Years Ago: Demobilization in Spring, King George Thanks People of United States, Theatre Nuisances

The Intelligencer December 9, 1918 (page 1)

“Fighters Start To Return Home In Springtime. Halifax. Demobilization of Canada’s men at present somewhere on German territory will not start until spring. When it does they will come home at the rate of 20,000 a month, so that the whole operation will be finished in five months roughly. …  The boats bringing the men home will carry them in batches of 500, arranged by military districts. …  This unit of 500 was fixed on as the easiest way to handle the men in train loads on this side, but it apparently kills all hopes of the men being brought back together as members on the battalion or battery with which they served together at the front. The number 500 has been fixed as the ideal train load for 12 coaches, these averaging 42 men per coach.”

The Intelligencer December 9, 1918 (page 1)

“A message from King George, expressing the hope that Britons and Americans may be united in peace as they were in war, was read at a meeting in the Hippodrome arranged as the climax of New York’s celebration of Britain Day.

The King’s message, …  stated that ‘the people of the British Empire join with me in thanking you and those associated with you for your efforts in promoting this celebration, which will be welcomed as a proof of the true and lasting friendship of the United States. It will be a particular satisfaction to my navy and army to feel that they have won the esteem of the nation which has sent so many gallant men to suffer with them the trials of this great war, and to share in the glories of final victory.”

The Intelligencer December 9, 1918 (page 4)

“Theatre Nuisances. Now that the war is over and presumably safe for democracy, why not make it pleasant as well and remove some of the nuisances which make peace something like what Sherman said war was. This reform should include the ostracism and just punishment of people who come late to entertainments, who talk and giggle while the entertainment is going on to the discomfort of entertainers and patrons, and generally act as if they considered there was only one show going on and that the ‘holy show’ they were making of themselves. If this pestilential class can be eliminated or reformed the war will not have been in vain after all.”


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