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.

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: Food Card Pledges Signed, Belleville Medical Board Appointed, Douglas Graham Wins Military Cross, Poster for Food Service Pledge

The Intelligencer September 19, 1917 (page 2)

“Food Card Pledges. This city was yesterday and today canvassed by a number of ladies and Food Controller pledge cards were left in all the houses. In a great majority of cases the signature of the housewife was readily obtained. In many cases it was necessary to make an explanation of the object in signing the cards, which explanation was readily given and had the desired effect.”

The Intelligencer September 19, 1917 (page 2)

“The Medical Board of this city in connection with the Military Service Act is composed of Major Dr. A. E. McColl, Capt. Dr. W. J. Gibson and Capt. Dr. R. Tennent. The Board has been organized and have opened quarters upstairs in the Armouries. The office will be opened for a portion of the forenoon, the latter portion of the afternoon, and in the evening when necessary.

The object of the Board meeting now is to examine those who come under the first draft, namely from 20 to 34 years, before the rush of applicants as will be the case when the proclamation is issued.

Two copies of each man’s medical history sheet will be prepared and the applicant must sign both. One goes to the military headquarters, the other is retained by himself to be attached to his application for service or for exemption later on. …

Under the Act all males between the ages designated must appear before the Medical Board, no matter whether the applicant has previously been rejected or even returned from active service. None whatever are exempt. It is advisable that as many as possible get examined before the Board prior to the proclamation being issued.”

The Intelligencer September 19, 1917 (page 2)

“Lieut. Graham Won Military Cross. In the issue of ‘Canada,’ an English publication, under date of Aug. 25th, 1917, appears the following: ‘Lieut. Douglas Graham was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in leading forward reinforcements at a critical moment, his energy and determination enabled counter attacks to be driven off, one of which he repulsed practically unaided except by one N.C.O. He personally accounted for six of the enemy and his initiative and gallantry saved a difficult situation. Lieut. Graham is a resident of Sidney Township.’ ”

The Intelligencer September 19, 1917 (page 5)

“When You Eat Dinner To-day. Give thanks, please, to those valiant men who, on the fields of France and Flanders, hold back the Hordes of Destruction, and make possible the peaceful enjoyment of your meal.

Some of those men have not had a sight of a home meal for three years. Home to them is a vision—a hope—a prayer. Will you let them suffer still further for want of food? You cannot—will not—must not.

Resolve then, to sign and live up to the letter of the Food Service Pledge.”

100 Years Ago: Meeting on Food Problem Held, Red Cross Society September Report, Eat More Fish, Poster for Food Service Pledge, Cecil Holway Wounded

The Intelligencer September 18, 1917 (page 2)

“Under the auspices of the Ladies’ Patriotic Societies of this city a public meeting was held in the city hall last evening, the object of which was to hear an address delivered by Dr. Helen McMurchy, of Toronto, relative to the food problem, which is at present intensely interesting to housewives. There was a fair attendance of ladies, but the gentlemen were conspicuous by their absence.

The address of Dr. McMurchy was excellent and full of information. …  Owing to so many million men being in uniform their work for the time being has been withdrawn from the pursuits of production and their services are lost in that direction; but they require to be fed, and must be fed. …

We are at the present time particularly asked not to waste. Unconsciously millions of dollars’ worth of food is wasted annually in Canada. Had we not better revise our plans for the table? …  Dr. McMurchy stated that fish was a splendid food and we could live upon it without eating meat. But we are not asked to do this, but simply to save one-quarter of the meat, and we can surely do it.

We should be willing to do this for those who are fighting for us, for it is for them we are asked to make this little sacrifice. Men there are sacrificing their all for us. This war is a war to end war, and we must assist to win this great cause. (Applause)”

The Intelligencer September 18, 1917 (page 3)

“The Canadian Red Cross Society, Belleville Cheese Board District Branch, Report for September. Letters have been received acknowledging shipments from the following:

Lady Perley, Chairman, the Canadian War Contingent Association: ‘I have to acknowledge with the grateful thanks of the Association two consignments from the Belleville Cheese Board District Branch C. R. C. S. which have just come to hand.’ …

Headquarters Belgian Relief. ‘The box containing six quilts and three pillows forwarded by the Belleville Cheese Board District Branch C. R. C. S. arrived yesterday.’ …

French wounded Emergency Fund, London, Eng. ‘Two such splendid boxes arrived to-day from the Belleville Cheese Board Association. …  Will you please express the very sincere thanks of this Committee for the assistance rendered us for the continuance of our work both in the Hospitals and amongst the civilian population.’ ”

The Intelligencer September 18, 1917 (page 4)

“Eat More Fish. Canada produces plenty of fish and should have a plentiful supply for home consumption. …  Tell people to ask their dealer for fresh fish. Ask him why he does not get fresh salt water fish. By arrangement through the Food Controller special fish cars have been provided to bring Atlantic fish to Central Canada to sell at fair prices so that people may be encouraged to eat more fish and save beef and bacon. …

Fish is especially suitable for people of the cities at indoor or sedentary occupations. Fish restores nervous energy, and is especially suitable for brain workers. Fish costs 10 to 20 cents a pound retail, whereas beef costs about 30 cents a pound and bacon 45. Eat more fish and save beef and bacon.”

The Intelligencer September 18, 1917 (page 5)

“Comrades in Service! In years to come you will recall with Pride the day you signed the Food Service Pledge. For it is your Dedication to War Service.

Be a Comrade. Dedicate yourself and your family to War Service. Display the window card.

Sign and Live Up to the Food Service Pledge.”

The Intelligencer September 18, 1917 (page 7)

“Accidentally Wounded. Mr. A. H. Holway, residing at 165 Church street in this city, on Sunday received the following telegram which relates to his son: Ottawa, Sept. 15th. Sincerely regret to inform you that 113301 Pte. Cecil Holway, infantry, officially reported admitted to South Field Ambulance Depot, September 8th, 1917, self inflicted. Will send further particulars when received. Director of Records.

Pte. Holway enlisted with the 8th C.M.R. and left with that battalion from Kingston.”


100 Years Ago: War Badges to Be Issued, Gunner Jack Clark Gassed, Memorial Service for Bert Post, Poster for Food Service Pledge, King’s Message to Canada on Food

The Intelligencer September 17, 1917 (page 2)

“Ottawa. An order-in-Council providing for the issue of war badges by the Canadian Government to members of the Canadian Forces who have been honorably discharged, or who have been rejected as medically unfit, was tabled in the Commons. …

The first class consists of members of the C.E.F. who have seen active service at the front, and in case of officers, have been honorably retired, or in the case of N.C.O.’s and men, have been honorably discharged, or been returned to or retained in Canada on duty.

The second class consists of officers or men who have been honorably discharged on account of old age, wounds or sickness, which would render them permanently unfit for further military service.

The third class consists of members of the C.E.F. not included in the preceding classes, who have been honorably retired on account of old age, wounds or sickness.

Class four consists of men who, prior to Aug. 10 offered themselves for active service and were rejected as and still are medically unfit. …  Penalties for misrepresentation, falsely wearing a badge, or illegally manufacturing them, are provided.”

The Intelligencer September 17, 1917 (page 3)

“Gunner Clarke Gassed. Mrs. Wm. Clark, College Street, received the following telegram from Ottawa yesterday: ‘Regret to inform you that 300324 Gunner Jack Clark, artillery, gassed Sept. 9, and admitted to No. 3 Ambulance Depot. Will send further particulars when received. Officers of Records.”

The Intelligencer September 17, 1917 (page 3)

“Memorial Service. At Christ Church yesterday morning a portion of the service was devoted to a memorial service for the late Pte. Bert Post, who recently died from wounds received in action in France. The service was of an impressive nature, and the rector, Rev. Dr. Blagrave, spoke feelingly and sympathetically of the bereaved family, two of whom have made the supreme sacrifice within a year. Mrs. Col. Campbell presided at the organ, and the Dead March in Saul was played as the congregation remained reverently in attendance. Many were in attendance at the service.”

The Intelligencer September 17, 1917 (page 3)

“Canada! Ypres, April 22-24, 1915. They Also Serve Who Sign and Live Up to The Food Service Pledge! Woman’s Auxiliary, Organization of Resources Committee, in Co-operation with The Hon. W. J. Hanna, Food Controller.”

The Intelligencer September 17, 1917 (page 4)

“The King’s Message to Canada. ‘I learn with the deepest gratification of the effective steps being taken in the Dominion of Canada towards providing those increased supplies of food which are absolutely essential to the defeat of the enemy’s devices and to a speedy and successful termination of the war. I have no doubt that the self-sacrifice displayed on the battlefields of France by my heroic troops will find its counterpart in the efforts of those who, at home in the Dominion, are devoting themselves to this work. All those thus loyally engaged contribute in important measure towards assuring victory.’—George R.I.”


Load More Posts