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: Hastings County Needs One Million, Ritchie Store Wins Honor Flag, Ad for Sinclair’s, Trenton Celebrates, Voluntary Aid Corps Report, Community Dance, 39th Battalion Colors, Americans Aid Victory Loan

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 1)

“County Needs a Million In Two Days Left. The County of Hastings still needs nearly one million dollars to reach the Honor Flag objective. There are only two days of the campaign left. A tremendous effort is needed to reach this gigantic total, and everyone who has the honor of the old county at heart should pitch in and try to put it over the top in this, to be hoped, last patriotic effort of the war. …

From now until the end of the campaign all persons buying additional bonds will be presented with a ribbon to be worn under the button. This ribbon has the word ‘PLUS’ written on it, and shows that the wearer has come back for more Bonds. How many people in Belleville will wear the plus ribbon? …  Headquarters will be open day and night for the next two days, or until midnight Saturday, Nov. 16th. …

At Griffin’s Palace Theatre tonight in addition to the regular programme, two excellent Victory Loan Pictures will be shown, Lillian Gish and Norman Talmadge being the stars. Private Wm. Davies will also address the audience for five minutes between the pictures. The thanks of the people of Belleville are due to the Griffin Amusement Co. for its wholesome support in this Victory Loan Campaign. Mr. Tom Forhan, the popular local manager, has been tireless in his efforts to assist the Victory Loan Committee in every way, and his staff has been the same. Belleville won’t forget them.”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 2)

“Ritchie Store Goes ‘Over the top’ For Victory Loan. It was a proud moment for The Ritchie staff last evening when they gathered together and were informed that they had been awarded the first 100 per cent Honor Flag that had been presented in Belleville or the county of Hastings during the present Victory Loan campaign. That is an honor and a distinction which they can well be elated over, and from all reports they are proud of their efforts toward the success of this most worthy of causes in Canada today.

Mr. W. B. Deacon, chairman of the local Victory Loan committee, made the presentation and congratulated the employees and members of the firm on their splendid showing of practical patriotism. Mr. Deacon then unfurled the much coveted Flag of Honor and presented it to the store and staff, a symbol not only for the present but for all time to come that The Ritchie Company and employees served Canada faithfully and well in her time of need. …  When the count had been taken after the last application had been signed it was found that $7,100.00 had been subscribed—it showed the Ritchie staff was 100 per cent patriotic and fully entitled to display the Honor Flag, which is now to be seen in one of their show windows. …

Three hearty cheers for Mr. W. B. Deacon and ‘God Save the King’ brought the happy meeting to a fitting close.”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 2)

“Sinclair’s. Dresses For Every Peace Time Need.

Handsome Plush Coats At Moderate Prices. It is the dream of many women to possess a Plush Coat.

Please Bring Back Our Flags. Carried away by their enthusiasm on Monday, some person removed two large woollen flags used as decoration for this store. As these flags have been used for every celebration for the past twenty-five years we would be pleased if they were returned so that they could be used when the boys come back. No questions asked.

Buy Victory Bonds and Bring the Boys Home Sooner. Sinclair’s.”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 5)

“Trenton Celebrates The Signing Of Armistice Terms. Trenton citizens turned out en masse Monday afternoon to celebrate the glad tidings which were ushered in by the ringing of bells and the blowing of whistles about six a.m. The soldiers, headed by the band, started from the munition plant and paraded the principal streets, the boy scouts were out in fine form and a long parade of school children joined in the general good cheer by the singing of songs, shouting and blowing of horns and flag waving, and a large number of decorated autos. The Mayor and the town councilmen added to the festivities.

The Chemical works were closed down and many were the demonstrations of labor, the boys of the ‘Lab’ giving a fine representation equally by the men of the T.N.T. who were down town with huge pieces of boilers which had survived the explosion, loaded on gaily decked wagons and appropriately, as well as humorously, labelled ‘T.N.T.’ and ‘We Did Our Bit.’ ”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 5)

“Voluntary Aid Corps. This organization which was formed for the purpose of helping those afflicted in the recent epidemic has practically finished its work. One hundred and fifteen cases were reported and every one of these were investigated, nursing help sent to 84 and nourishment to 96 different cases. There were 43 persons who volunteered to assist as nurses, thirty-four people who offered the use of their cars to convey the nurses to their work and also in the distribution of nourishment.

The High School Science Kitchen was in operation for almost three weeks for the purpose of providing nourishment and hundreds of gallons of broth and soups were made and distributed in addition to puddings, custards, etc. This work was carried on by Miss Libby and Miss Dulmage of the High School staff who were assisted by a great many ladies who volunteered their services to help in the kitchen, and a great many others sent in delicacies ready for distribution. The urgency forbade time being taken to keep a detailed list of the help given and the great amount of supplies of all kinds that were sent in.

The Executive wish to take this opportunity of thanking all those who in any way assisted either with donations of money, supplies, giving their time or supplying care. It was only by the excellent response of the citizens that the organization was able to do the large amount of work that was done.”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 5)

“Community Dance. An unsigned communication to The Intelligencer suggests that public rejoicing be continued with a ‘community dance’ held on Front Street with a block roped off for joy purposes and the dancers to wear fancy costumes.”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 5)

“The 39th Batt. Colors. The Trustees of the 39th Battalion Colors have communicated their wish to Ven. Archdeacon Beamish, Rector of St. Thomas’ Church, to present and deposit the regimental colors next Sunday at eleven o’clock in St. Thomas’ Church. The commanding officer Col. Preston, of Orangeville, is expected to be present, and to be assisted by Col. Smart, O.C., who was second in command of the 39th Batt. And by the officers and men of the Depot Battalion, who will parade to St. Thomas’ Church to assist in the ceremony.”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 5)

“Americans Are Aiding. The Special Subscription Committee representatives of the Victory Loan organization, who have been getting in touch with the American institutions doing business in Canada are now beginning to send in their reports, which are proving most gratifying. At the head of the list is the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, with a subscription of $5,500,000. This is the largest subscription received from the United States, and is in addition to $5,000,000 subscribed to the last loan. The local Metropolitan staff are 100 per cent subscribers to the Victory Loan.”



100 Years Ago: Victory Bonds, The King’s Message, Poster for Victory Loan, Nine Members of Ritchie’s Staff Answered Call, Andrew B. Docherty Awarded Military Medal, Mohawk and Rathbun Aviators Celebrate, Ad for Grape Nuts

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 1)

“Only Three Days Left To Buy Victory Bonds. The total returns to date from the County of Hastings is $1,414,500. This includes all special subscriptions. With special subscriptions included Hastings County to reach its Honor Flag objective  needs $2,500,000. There is still a shortage in Hastings County of over $1,000,000 which it is to be hoped will be made up in the next three days. That would mean over $300,000 a day. This is a heavy task, but it is hoped that the objective will be reached. Every citizen should help to bring the County of Hastings where it belongs in this great war effort. If we fail to reach the objective we will have the disgrace of being about the only County in the Dominion of Canada to fail. Let’s get busy.

Belleville’s total to date is $475,000. $325,000 is needed still in Belleville by Saturday night, midnight. This is over $100,000 a day. It can be done, but it will require some hustling.

Congratulations of Hastings County is due to Wollaston Township and the village of Coe Hill, for they have won the Governor-General’s Honor Flag. Reeve S. C. Rollins, the energetic and popular Victory Loan canvasser for that District has brought the old Township to the front once more in this magnificent patriotic effort. The objective for Wollaston was very high being $35,000 as it is very thinly populated. However, no objective is too high for that good old Township where patriotism is concerned. It is unlikely that there is another community in the Dominion of Canada that has given its blood and treasure to a greater extent than Wollaston. …

A special subscription was received from the Canada Cement Company for $50,000 of Bonds. This is a great help to the County of Hastings. …  Mr. W. H. DeBlois advises headquarters that the Nichols Chemical Company of Sulphide subscribed $25,000 of the Loan. The employees of the Nichols Chemical Company have taken very liberally of the Bonds, and the special subscription of $25,000 brings Sulphide’s record up to the front. We can now stand a few more Sulphides. …

There are three more days left in which to buy Bonds. The campaign closes at midnight Saturday night. …  Your money is needed to bring back the boys—buy bonds!!!”

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 1)

“The King’s Message. ‘The whole Empire pledged its word not to sheathe the sword until our end was achieved. That pledge is now redeemed. …  the end of the struggle finds the Empire still more closely united by common resolve, held firm through all vicissitudes; by suffering and sacrifices; by dangers and triumphs shared together. The hour is one of solemn thanksgiving and of gratitude to God.’ King George to the people of the British Empire.”

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 3)

“How Many Crowns for YOUR Honor Flag? Of course, every city, town and district will earn its Honor Flag. But how about the crowns? For every twenty-five per cent, in excess of its quota, each city, town and district will be entitled to add a crown to its flag.

Can you do fifty per cent better than your quota – – – – that means two crowns for your Honor Flag. But double your quota and it means four crowns.

Hang a flag in your hall, that for years to come will show that your city, town or district did better than well – – – –

That was a real factor in the huge success of Canada’s Victory Loan 1918.

Issued by Canada’s Victory Loan Committee in co-operation with the Minister of Finance of the Dominion of Canada.”

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 6)

“They Truly Helped to End the World’s Greatest Struggle. Nine Members of The Ritchie Company Staff Who Heard Their Country’s Call And Answered It.

Gunner William Patterson. A Member of the ‘Immortal First Contingent.’

Flt. Lieut. Harold M. Reid. Killed in Aeroplane Accident Feb. 23, 1918, Eastchurch, England.

Driver Percy Palmer. Who has Seen Two Years of Active Fighting.

Gunner Vernon Doolittle. Enlisted with the 33rd Battery. Kingston, December, 1915.

Pte. Roy Buck. Killed in Action, Sept. 3, 1918. Awarded Military Medal for Bravery.

2nd Lieut. C. D. Reid. Aviation Instructor at Eastchurch, England.

Sergt. J. J. O’Brien. A Member of the C.A.D.C. Stationed at Camp Mohawk.

Sig. Duncan Montgomery. Left Belleville with the 80th Batt. Over Two Years Active Service.

Driver H. Wolfe. Now Stationed in Reserve Battery, Whitley Camp, England.”

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 7)

“Won Military Medal. Mrs. A. B. Docherty, daughter of Mrs. J. Hutchinson, residing on 11 Harriet Street, received word a few days ago that her husband, Sergt. Andrew B. Docherty of the Railway Corps was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry on the field on September 23rd. In a letter addressed to him his commanding officer says:—’Will you please accept my heartfelt congratulations on receiving the Military Medal. Your conduct of September 23rd was admirable and reflects great credit upon the battalion.’ Sergeant Docherty was formerly of Hamilton, and has been nearly three years in France.”

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 7)

“Sky Soldiers Celebrate. The aviators from Mohawk and Rathbun camps had a celebration all of their own last evening. They formed a parade at the Victoria Park and marched up Front Street, Bridge St., Victoria Avenue and many other main streets, in a zig zag fashion, paying a visit to the Palace Theatre, pool rooms, cafes, Hotel Quinte, Armory grounds and many other places which happened to be open. The Palace Theatre was soon evacuated by the movie fans. The music consisted of tin cans, pie plates, baking dishes and pieces of tin clashed together and pounded by sticks and pieces of steel. Flags were also carried and various signs the leading one being one of the ‘Intelligencer Peace Extras’ which was published Monday morning with its big heading ‘the war is over,’ ‘Bring on your wild, wild women,’ ‘Where do we go from here? HOME,’ ‘We fly tomorrow, MAYBE,’ ‘A fly in the air is worth two in the soup,’ ‘Injuns from Mohawk,’ and many others.

They proceeded to the back of the various business places and carried off large numbers of boxes, barrels, paper and cardboard saturated them with oil and placed a number of fire crackers in the boxes and had an enormous bonfire on the corner of Front and Bridge Streets. The birdmen are to be congratulated on their orderly conduct.”

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 7)

“More than one way to save the Wheat. Make every atom work.

A soggy biscuit or a half baked cake is a slacker. It is indigestible and half the good grain in it is lost by faulty cooking. It isn’t how much you eat, but how much you digest that counts.

Grape:Nuts is a fine example of nourishment efficiency. Its flavour is delicious and Every Atom Works. Canada Food Board License No. 2-026.”


100 Years Ago: Joyful Celebration, Bancroft Wins Honor Flag, Victory Parade, Poster for Victory Bonds, Christ Church Peace Service, Two Editions of The Intelligencer, Charles Herbert Brooks Wounded

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 1)

“Dawn of Peace Celebrated with Prayer, Thanksgiving and Joy. Yesterday was a day long to be remembered in Belleville when enthusiastic joy broke over the surrender of Germany, broke loose in a riot of noise and exuberance, which grew in strength as the day advanced and continued far into the night with friendly, good-natured crowds on Front Street, many in carnival attire, jostling each other in a friendly way, while the air was thick with talcum powder and confetti—a regular Mardi Gras night of joy unrestrained. The formal part of the day’s celebration began in the morning, with a service of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, Who alone giveth the victory.

At 11 o’clock in the morning a union Thanksgiving Victory Peace Service was held on the court house lawn and was attended by hundreds of citizens of all classes. It was thoroughly union in its nature, as Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist clergymen took part also the local Salvation Army officers. …  The service closed by the singing of the National Anthem and cheers for the King.

It was anticipated that the afternoon procession would be of considerable magnitude, but it eclipsed the sanguine anticipations of those who had it in hand. It was formed on the market square and was over a mile in length. A large number of autos were in the parade also many horse-driven vehicles and all were decorated in a manner to bring forth most commendable remarks. During its progress through Front Street that thoroughfare was lined by thousands of spectators, who were not slow in cheering. It was a sight that all who witnessed it will never forget. The parade moved off in the following order:

Dr. D. H. Ackerill leading a bull dog and carrying a broom to which was the motto: ‘What we ‘Ave We’ll ‘Old.’

Marshall Mr. J. J. B. Flint. 15th Regimental Band. Munition workers in trucks, bearing motto: ‘We helped to do it.’ Members of the G.W.V.A. in autos. Members of the G.W.V.A. on foot. Salvation Army Band. Members of the Army. Company of the 1st Depot Battalion. Johnstone’s Pipe Band. Truck with soldiers and two rough boxes with the effigies of the Kaiser and Crown Prince inside. Albert College faculty and students. Boy Scouts. School children with flags. Bell Telephone float. City Fire Brigade. Decorated bicycles. Decorated autos. Marsh and Henthorne steam whistle.

After parading up Front Street to the vicinity of the G.T.R. station the procession returned and wended its way to the Armories lawn where speech making was the order of the day. A large platform was erected near the main entrance to the Armories and was covered with bunting. Above the entrance of the Armories were two large streamers namely: ‘God Save the King’ and ‘Britannia Rules the Waves.’

Col. Ponton was chairman of the meeting and associated with him on the platform were members of the City Council, prominent citizens and a number of ladies, who have been prominent in patriotic work.

The proceedings were opened with prayer by Ven. Archdeacon Beamish. Col. Ponton spoke briefly referring to how proud he and all were of the day. All were proud of the fact that with God’s guidance the victory had been achieved. …  All the speakers were accorded a hearty reception and their remarks were much appreciated by those who were able to hear them.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 1)

“Bancroft Wins Honor Flag. Bancroft district, consisting of Faraday and Dungannon townships, is the third district in the county to win the coveted Governor-General’s Honor Flag. They have reported not only enough to win the Honor Flag but also a crown, which represents 25 per cent more than the objective. Congratulations are due Dr. A. T. Embury, who is responsible for this magnificent result from the old townships of North Hastings. North Hastings has ever been true to every call made on her.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 3)

“All of Belleville Joined in The Parade. The peace procession yesterday for length, novelty and variety has never been equalled in the history of Belleville, led by Marshal John J. B. Flint on a spanking black charger. Every kind of vehicle profusely decorated was in line besides many people on foot. Many from the country also took part in the parade.

The school children bearing flags formed an interesting feature of the parade.

The empty coal carts bringing up the rear emphasized the necessity of filling up the coal bins.

The little girl on the pony had no difficulty keeping up with the procession.

Fish helped to win the war, and Ben Sanford was there to prove it, a case of Fish and Foch.

The Public and High School cadets were well represented.

The Bell Telephone Co. was represented by a float showing phone poles with linemen at work.

Chief Brown’s fire laddies made a gallant appearance.

The bull dog carrying in his mouth the British flag and seated on the radiator of an automobile emphasized ‘What we have we’ll hold.’

The Salvation Army Band and soldiers lent color and music to the occasion.

The 15th Regimental Band played up to the best tradition of this patriotic organization.

Many returned veterans of the great war bearing the scars of conflict were conspicuous in the parade.

Albert College students were there with bells on led by the principal Dr. Baker. Old Albert has a proud war record.

Mayor Platt and members of the City Council were prominent in the parade.

Effigies of the ex-Kaiser, Crown Prince and Hindenburg were numerous and there were many striking mottoes.

A horse with overalls adorning his legs was a funny feature. The equestrian wore a plug hat of ancient vintage.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 3)

“ ‘The Day’ The war is won. The guns are silent—the trenches are vacant—bloodshed has ceased—Democracy is triumphant—freedom is assured.

In this day of thankful joy and glorious triumph let us not forget the imperative duty lying immediately before us. Let us manfully, dutifully and determinedly round out the nation’s splendid effort.

Let us be as big in this triumphant day as our men have been heroic in the fiery din and blood peril of battle. Buy Victory Bonds.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 5)

“Christ Church Peace Service. When the news of the signing of the armistice terms became known yesterday, Rev. Rural Dean Swayne, Rector of Christ Church immediately notified as many of his parishioners as he could reach by telephone that a service of Thanksgiving and praise would be held in Christ Church at nine o’clock in the morning. The result was a large congregation and complete choir at the special service which was of a very interesting nature.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 5)

“Two Editions Before Noon. An Intelligencer extra edition was on sale before ten o’clock yesterday morning and copies were sold as fast as the big web press could turn them out. The extra was very much appreciated by the citizens who were eager to get the details not supplied by the bulletins. The final edition was published at noon after which the staff joined the celebration. Every copy of both editions was eagerly snapped up and early in the afternoon not one of the four thousand papers printed was left.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 6)

Charles Herbert Brooke“Lieut. Brooks Wounded. Mr. Charles Herbert Brooks residing at 78 Victoria Avenue, city, is in receipt of the following telegram: Sincerely regret to inform you, Lieut. Chas. Herbert Brooks, M.M. infantry officially reported wounded on Nov. 4.

Lieut. Brooks left Belleville with the 80th Battalion, and had previously been wounded.”



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