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: Thurlow Red Cross Report, Soldiers of the Soil, Presentation at Nile Green Knitting Circle

The Intelligencer July 16, 1918 (page 3)

“Thurlow Red Cross Makes Large Shipment. One of the most important packings of the society was held in July in Mr. Gowsell’s Hall, Foxboro. The shipment was large and as everything is so much needed now, we hope for just as much in August. The boxes contained: 302 pairs of socks, 203 suits of pyjamas, 55 hospital suits, 176 day shirts, 214 towels, 180 wash cloths, 4 feather pillows, 16 quilts, 8 hot water bag covers, 52 personal property bags, 9 trench caps, 1 convalescent robe, old magazines, and one large barrel of canned fruit and maple syrup packed in evaporated apples. Total value $1,628.00.

These are interesting parts of letters acknowledging boxes from Thurlow Red Cross. Canadian Red Cross Headquarters, Toronto. Dear Madam:—We have much pleasure in advising you of the safe arrival of your last shipment of supplies. No doubt, you are aware that the heavy fighting going on at the present time, means many large demands upon our stores, and in order that the hospitals may be kept well supplied with every comfort for their sick and wounded it is very important that we receive a constant stream of such articles as you have so kindly forwarded us.

We shall be glad therefore if you will kindly accept and convey to all those interested our hearty thanks for their kind co-operation in the work, which is indeed greatly appreciated. Yours very truly, B. S. MacInnes, Sec. …

Bearwood Park, Dear Madam:—I have just received word from Ontario Military Hospital of the arrival of ten cases from Thurlow Red Cross with all kinds of splendid things. I want to thank them and you, their president, for their wonderful generosity. I can never tell them enough, how much their kindness has meant and I assure you everything is most keenly appreciated.

It seems to mean more to them and so much more satisfactory coming direct. Also it means so much to the Sister to have these comforts for her sick men. One box of towels I gave to the operating theatre for they were badly in need of them. Some of the things the socks and cleaning materials which are so very precious, I asked them to save for me until I get back. Cleaning material you cannot get from the army now, if the Sisters don’t buy their own they have to go without.

I am still on light duty at Bearwood Park but expect to be back to Orpington soon. Again thanking you all. I forgot to say that I had the lovely quilts, pyjamas and wash cloths distributed. I am yours gratefully, Ethel Anderson.”

The Intelligencer July 16, 1918 (page 4)

“Soldiers of the Soil. The army of patriotic Canadian boys who enrolled as Soldiers of the Soil are rendering splendid service on the farms and helping to defeat the menace of world food scarcity caused by war conditions. Very little is heard from the boys, for they are too busy to talk for publication, but glimpses of what they are accomplishing are afforded by occasional press articles. …

The work of the S.O.S. boys was so highly appreciated that in almost all districts of the province their services were quickly engaged by the farmers and some boys had to be recruited through various other organizations. The camps were organized along the same line as camps for women and girls, their direction being under the control of the Superintendent of Trades and Labor, and their catering under the immediate supervision of the Y. M. C. A. and other organizations interested in the welfare of boys.”

The Intelligencer July 16, 1918 (page 5)

“Presentation. At a recent meeting of the Nile Green Knitting Circle, at the home of Mrs. McKenna, Great St. James Street, the convenor of the circle, Mrs. Waddell, was made a life member of the Red Cross and Patriotic Association. The Secretary, Mrs. Barlow, in presenting the certificate made a brief address of appreciation, while Miss Corbett pinned the pretty enameled emblem in its proper place. Although taken completely by surprise Mrs. Waddell was able to thank the members of the circle for the honor conferred on her.”

100 Years Ago: Roy Garrison Wins D.C.M.

The Intelligencer July 15, 1918 (page 5)

“Won D. C. M.

Sergt. Roy Garrison, son of Frank Garrison, of Corbyville, and nephew of ex-Mayor Ketcheson, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Sergt. Garrison went over with the first contingent and although he has been wounded several times he is still in France.”

100 Years Ago: New Food Regulations Include Lawn Socials and Picnics, Widows’ Pensions in Ontario, More Men Than Needed for Farms

The Intelligencer July 13, 1918 (page 1)

“Canada’s New Food Regulations Include Lawn Socials and Picnics. The following regulations shall apply to all: Public eating places [which] shall include hotel, restaurant, cafeteria, club or club-room, private family keeping boarders, boarding house, school, dining car, steamship, or any place whatsoever where meals or refreshments are regularly served or sold to others than members of the family or household of the proprietor or caterer

Public entertainments, lawn socials, bazaars and tea meetings, public luncheons, dinners and picnics, fairs and exhibitions, lodge, club and fraternal societies’ meetings; and all such places of a like or similar character

Private and semi-private luncheons, dinners, parties and picnics where food or refreshment is served to fifteen or more persons other than members of the family or household of the proprietor; save and except fishing and cargo vessels, military, lumber, logging, mining construction and fish curing camps, hospitals and such places as may hereafter be excepted by the Canada Food Board. …

Sugar receptacles shall not be left on dining tables or counters, except in railway trains and steamships.

Sugar shall not be served unless and until asked for.

For sweetening beverages, not more than two teaspoonfuls or an equal weight of sugar shall be served to any person at any one meal.”

The Intelligencer July 13, 1918 (page 1)

“Pensions For Widows Necessary In Ontario. Toronto. The wisdom of undertaking a scheme of mothers’ pensions is being impressed upon the Ontario Government. These pensions are—or would be monthly allowances to widows with children which would enable them to stay home and care for their family, instead of going to work and sending the little folks to institutions. It is pointed out that the State has to bear a large portion of cost maintaining such places, and that it would be relieved of a part of this burden if it pensioned the mother instead.

In addition, the children would be brought up in the home under a mother’s care, which is the natural and desirable condition. And the great army of children who are not even sent to an institution while their mother works, but who are left to play around home, or to be the careless oversight of some neighbor, would be given a start in life under much more auspicious conditions. The mother would, in reality, be paid to look after her family instead of being paid for some outside work.”

The Intelligencer July 13, 1918 (page 2)

“More Men Offer Than Needed for Farms. Ottawa. There should be no dearth of farm labor for harvesting the crop in Ontario this fall. Senator Gideon Robertson, head of the Canada Registration Board, when seen stated that the number of men signifying their willingness to work on farms during the harvesting season was much larger than could possibly be utilized in the Province.”


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