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: Great War Veterans’ Association Activities, George McIntosh Enlisted at 16

The Intelligencer April 19, 1918 (page 7)

“Ypres Anniversary. Members of the Great War Veterans’ Association of Belleville will on Sunday morning attend service at the Salvation Army barracks here. Commandant McElkiney, of Peterboro, will give the address. The occasion is the anniversary of the battle of Ypres. The 15th Battalion band will play the veterans to the barracks.”

The Intelligencer April 19, 1918 (page 7)

“Enlisted at Sixteen. Pte. George Stewart McIntosh arrived home last evening after two years interesting and exciting experience in the Canadian army which he wouldn’t swop for a tidy fortune. He enlisted when sixteen years of age and went overseas with the Queen’s Ambulance Corps and saw active service in France, being through the battle of Passchendaele, where the Canadians won undying glory, and other actions.

On account of his extreme youth he had difficulty remaining on active service and finally was mustered out for this reason. He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. John McIntosh, Hillcrest avenue. Private McIntosh’s brother, John, crossed the sea with the Cobourg Heavy Battery, was gassed and invalided to England, but has just returned to France in time to take part in the ‘big push’ now facing the Canadians, when it is quite on the cards that the Maple Leafs will give the Kaiser his final kick down the hill of defeat.”

[Note: Date of birth on attestation paper is Feb 16th 1898. Note on attestation paper “Actual age claimed on Feb 4th 1918: cable … shows date of birth 16th Feb 1900.]

100 Years Ago: Great War Veterans’ Association Planning Celebration for Funds

The Intelligencer April 18, 1918 (page 5)

“Veterans Will Celebrate. The Belleville branch of the Great War Veterans’ Association purpose holding a celebration on June 3rd primarily to raise funds to carry on the very important work of the association in looking after the interests of returned soldiers and their families, but also as a ‘get-together’ day for the soldiers and their kinfolks and friends and well-wishers when everybody can ‘pack up their troubles in their old kit bags and smile, smile, smile.’

A fine program of sports will be arranged including horse races and other interesting features. The Veterans solicit the co-operation of all patriotic citizens to make the day a big success and are calling a meeting for Friday evening at eight o’clock in the Veterans’ Club rooms, Corby Building, Front street, to which is invited members of the Citizens Celebration Committee, citizens generally and horsemen in particular.”

100 Years Ago: Exemption Cancelled for Men 20 to 23, Norman Dawkins Receives Masonic Ring, Poster for Royal Flying Corps

The Intelligencer April 17, 1918 (page 1)

“Canadian War Machine Will be Speeded Up at Once. Ottawa. Drastic changes will be made in the Military Service Act. All exemptions to men between 20 and 23 will be cancelled and they must report for duty. …  The urgency of the demand for reinforcements to meet the Hun peril at the front, and the failure of the cumbersome machinery provided by the Military Service Act to supply these reinforcements quickly have necessitated the virtual wiping out of the whole machinery of the act and the substitution at once of a direct call to the colors of all unmarried young men physically fit for military service between the ages of twenty and twenty-three. …  It is believed that these young men can be spared with the least disturbances to agriculture and other essential industries. …

The old order is to be reversed. The men are now to be called up and exempted afterwards in exceptional cases instead of calling them only after the exemption process of the selective draft with all its consequent delays has been operated.”

The Intelligencer April 17, 1918 (page 7)

“Presented With a Ring. Mr. Norman Dawkins, of this city, who is about to leave here for overseas service, was presented with a Masonic ring on Tuesday evening at a special meeting of Eureka Lodge, A.F. and A.M., by members of the lodge with which he is identified.

Wor. Bro. J. W. Holmes, occupied the chair and made a few well chosen remarks. V. Wor. Bro. A. R. Walker made the presentation, and brief addresses were given by R. W. Bro. L. R. Terwilliger, Wor. Bros. H. W. Ackerman, C. J. Symons, Mr. A. Day and Geo. Dawkins, father of the young soldier. At the close the brethren sang the National Anthem and Auld Lang Syne.”

The Intelligencer April 17, 1918 (page 7)

Poster for Royal Flying Corps

“The fascination of aerial observation is partly in its supreme importance and partly in the scope it offers for individual achievement.

Young men of fair education, alert men 18 to 30 years old, are invited to enroll as cadets and receive instruction in this highly specialized work. While training for commissions cadets receive $1.10 per day.

Imperial Royal Flying Corps. Recruiting Office. A. R. Walker, Public Library, Belleville.”

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