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: Early Registration, Girls Sought for Farm Work, Canners Need More Employees, Trainmen Instructed in Handling Explosives

The Intelligencer June 19, 1918 (page 1)

“Register Now And Avoid Last Minute Rush On Saturday. Saturday is Market Day and the city will be filled with citizens of the rural districts who will seek to take advantage of the facilities here to register, as they are quite entitled to. If the city people do not register before Saturday there promises to be a rush which will keep people standing in line for hours.

Opportunities for registering now are available at the City Hall, Y. M. C. A. and Corby Library. Register now and save a long wait Saturday.”

The Intelligencer June 19, 1918 (page 7)

“Mobilization of Girls. Miss M. C. Straith, District Secretary of the Women’s Farm Department, Ontario Government, is a guest at the Quinte to-day and will be here until tomorrow morning seeking girls willing to do national service by working at mixed farming.

There is a great demand for farmerettes with some all-round experience and considerable difficulty is experienced in supplying girls to meet the demand, said Miss Straith to an Intelligencer representative this morning, and she would be glad to meet a number of young ladies residing in Belleville, who are not serving the nation in any useful capacity at present. Girls for fruit and vegetable work are also needed.”

The Intelligencer June 19, 1918 (page 7)

“Instructed in Handling Explosives. Many trainmen employed on the G. T. R., C. P. R., and C. N. R. in this district, last evening assembled at the Y.M.C.A. building here for the purpose of being instructed in Safety First in regard to the handling of explosives.

Mr. A. H. McMullen, whose headquarters are in Toronto, and who is a railway expert in the handling of explosives, was present and instructed his hearers in regard to this important branch of railway life. The address was of an instructive and beneficial nature.”

100 Years Ago: Poster for Registration, Registration for Five Million Men and Women

The Intelligencer June 18, 1918 (page 3)

Poster for registration

“Here is the Day YOU Register. On June 22nd, Saturday, every man and woman, resident in Canada, who is 16 years and over, must attend at one of the places provided for registration.

Why the Certificate is so Important. Unregistered persons cannot lawfully purchase transportation tickets, and may find themselves barred from travelling on railroads, steamboats, etc. Similarly they may be denied board and lodging at any hotel, restaurant, public house or boarding house.

This Certificate is YOUR Protection. Get it and Carry it. Issued by authority of Canada Registration Board.”

The Intelligencer June 18, 1918 (page 4)

“Card-Indexing the Nation’s Resources. Canada is about to gather her available resources for the last great drive that shall send the Hun reeling from the conflict into which he plunged the civilized world four years ago. …

The information that registration will provide will constitute a solid basis, upon which the Government can intelligently formulate and put into execution all its war policies. After registration the Government will have a clearer understanding of the capabilities of the country for production; they will know how much of Canada’s human energy is being uselessly expended. …

The registration of 5,000,000 men and women in one day is in itself an enormous task, but Canadians can be relied upon to meet it as they have met every major task imposed by the war.”

100 Years Ago: Memorial Service for Railway Men, Nursing Sister Stella May Jenkins Mentioned for Bravery

The Intelligencer June 17, 1918 (page 2)

“Railway Men Honor The Silent Army. Sunday afternoon a memorial service was held in the Tabernacle Methodist church, under the auspices of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen and associated orders in connection with the railway to commemorate the passing of their fallen comrades who have made the supreme sacrifice since the beginning of the war.

The members of the Associated Societies, headed by the 15th Regimental Band, formed at their hall on Pine street, and proceeded to the church, where the impressive service was held. The pastor, Rev. S. C. Moore, President of the Bay of Quinte Conference, officiated and delivered an appropriate address, after the usual opening had been conducted. There was a good congregation present, and all entered into the spirit of the service. …

At the close the audience remained standing while the Dead March in Saul was played, as a loving tribute to the memory of their comrades who had joined the silent army.

The names of the members from this division of the various Brotherhoods who have made the supreme sacrifice are as follows: Robert Warrilow, George Dixon, John Caddick, John Clarke, Leo Ross, Albert Edward Hemmings, Walter Craig, John Coburn, James Warlow, Mercer Hayward, William J. Clarke, John W. Fraser, Fred Couben.”

The Intelligencer June 17, 1918 (page 5)

“Mentioned in Despatches. Nursing Sister Jenkins, formerly of Belleville, has been mentioned in General Haig’s despatches for outstanding bravery and service to the Empire.”

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