100 Years Ago: Ketcheson Ward Recruiting Rally, Ad for Cigarettes, Appeal to Mothers

The Intelligencer July 31, 1915 (pages 1, 3)

“Recruiting Rally at High School. Despite the fact that circulars were yesterday distributed at residences in Ketcheson Ward …  the attendance of residents of that ward was meagre. The Johnstone pipe band headed the recruits who marched to the school grounds, under command of Col. Ketcheson. …  The recruits, a number of ladies and the speakers of the evening virtually comprised the meeting, which was presided over by ex-Mayor Wills. …  There may be indifference, at present, but he hoped that the citizens would be aroused to the importance of these recruiting meetings. He was pleased to see 40 stalwart men present, who had volunteered to go to the front to fight for us. …

Col. Ketcheson said he was pleased with those who had enlisted and he was gratified that the boys had turned out with him. He (the speaker) was a farmer by profession but when the country’s call came he was for his country first. Up to the present time the 49th had turned over 565 men, of whom 24 were officers of the regiment. Why is it that so many Canadian women will not consent to their husband or sons enlisting. His grandfather and his father were in the militia and fought for their country and he was trying to follow in their footsteps. The boys who had enlisted would no doubt do their duty. …

Dr. MacColl before proceeding to speak as to the pay for soldiers, etc., spoke of the lack of interest in recruiting. He asked the 40 recruits present to stand who were born in Belleville, and 5 stood up. About half stood up as being Canadian born. This the doctor said demonstrated how recruiting is going on. Everybody should be interested in recruiting. …

Col. Ponton, as usual, made an excellent patriotic speech, abounding with enthusiastic utterances. …  The meeting was brought to a close by the singing of the National Anthem and cheers for the enlisters present.”

The Intelligencer July 31, 1915 (page 2)Cigarettes2a

“Cigarettes for Sending Overseas In Tins of 50. Players, Murads, Richmond Straight Cut, Benson & Hedge’s No. 1, Benson & Hedge’s Virginia, Benson & Hedge’s Fine, Oxford, Pall Mall, Aristedes, Vafladis, Capstan, etc. etc. etc. Also High Grade English and American Tobaccoes in Tins and Packages. At Close prices. Wallbridge & Clarke.”

The Intelligencer July 31, 1915 (page 7)

“An Appeal to Mothers. To the Editor of The Intelligencer. Dear Mr. Editor,—To be a mother is the most sacred function in God’s universe. …  Now, Mothers—dear Mothers of Belleville, particularly of our sons, my son and your son—at this strenuous time when our country is calling loudly for all available young men to do their duty—for it is duty, and the lads feel that it is—are we, their mothers, who have trained them in obedience, in honor, in chivalry, are we to show the white feather? Are we to set such an example of cowardice? …

Before I close, one word to the girls. It is: ‘Help the boys—encourage them.’ When they come home how superior they will appear to you compared with the lads who are able and yet turn their backs. …  Tears we must shed, but women can be brave. Shed the tears when the boys don’t see. Turn a cheerful face towards them, even when your heart bleeds with anguish. I would like to say a word to the boys, for my heart is with them, but now I’ll only wish them God-speed. THE MOTHER OF A BOY.”


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100 Years Ago: Conditions for Recruiting Relaxed, Dental Care Considered

The Intelligencer July 27, 1915 (page 7)

“Relaxing Conditions For Recruiting. Height Reduced to 5ft 2in. and Chest Measurement for the Younger Men. In order to secure more recruits, a relaxation in the physical demands for men for active service was announced on Saturday. Hitherto the regulations have set forth that every man accepted as fit to fight the enemy must be at least five feet three inches high and have a minimum chest measurement of 33 1/2 inches.

Under the regulations published on Saturday, these qualifications were modified, so that men of five feet two inches would be accepted. So far as chest measurements are concerned a compromise has been put into force. For men between 18 and 30 years the minimum girth of chest has been reduced from 33 1/2 inches to 33 inches, but this half inch has been added for men from 30 to 45 years, who in future must have a minimum chest measurement of 34 inches.”

The Intelligencer July 27, 1915 (page 7)

“Dental Care Also. A move is also on foot which will reduce the number of men rejected for minor defects in their teeth. This has not come to a definite result yet, but it is expected that within a few days an arrangement will be made by which volunteers, otherwise fit but disqualified by reason of dental defects, will be given treatment to fit them for service. This matter is now under discussion at Militia Headquarters at Ottawa.”

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100 Years Ago: Organizing Enlistment in Belleville

The Intelligencer July 24, 1915 (page 1)

“Organizing the City to Assist Enlistment. For the purpose of organizing the work of enlistment in the city a meeting was held in the Armouries last night. A  circular had been addressed to ten men in each ward, who were invited to attend and bring their friends to meet the Executive. There was a large attendance. …  Mr. E. Guss Porter, K.C., M.P., stated that letter carriers had informed him of over 900 men who were eligible for enlistment. …

Dr. MacColl drew attention to the fact that comparatively few native born Canadians were enlisting. Out of 57 that he had examined since July 1st, only twelve were native born of Belleville and Hastings County. He thought it would be a good idea to get out pamphlets, setting forth particulars regarding separation allowances and pensions and what wives would receive from the Patriotic Fund. Dr. MacColl also spoke of the necessity of breaking down the opposition of mothers to their sons enlisting. …

‘Men cannot do much without machine guns in this war’ remarked Mr. Northrup, ‘but how much less can machine guns do without the men?’ Up to the 1st of June 802 employees of the Grand Trunk Company have enlisted and are now on active service. The Grand Trunk has been most generous with its employees enlisting, inasmuch as during their period of service in the war the insurance upon each man in the Insurance Branch of the Railway, as well as full pay to each man for the first six months, half pay for the next three months, and quarter pay for the following three months is paid by the Railway Company, and his position on the railway reserved for him on his return. …

The railway man now enlisting is also entitled to his regular army pay, the separation allowance, if married, for his wife and family, and the pension allowances in case of misfortune. Thus, there is every encouragement apart altogether from his patriotism for Grand Trunk Railway employees to get into the ranks and do his bit.”

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100 Years Ago: Equipping Field Ambulances, Donating Razors

The Intelligencer July 23, 1915 (page 2)

“Field Ambulances Equipped by Red Cross. The following letter has been received by Miss Madeline Fraleck secretary of I.O.D.E., Belleville, Ont.

Dear Miss Fraleck:—We beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of

Red Cross ambulances, ca. 1915

Red Cross ambulances, ca. 1915

June 15th enclosing draft for $500 contributed to the funds of the Red Cross Society. We note that it is the desire of the ladies who have contributed, that these funds be used if possible in Red Cross work nearest to the firing line. We shall therefore have the pleasure in devoting this in whole or in part to the equipment of Field Ambulances, which are now being used quite close to the firing line to furnish imperative surgical attention to soldiers who are not so severely wounded as to require their return to the Base Hospital.

With our best thanks for your splendid contribution, Yours faithfully, ‘C.E. Bryson.’ Assistant Canadian Red Cross Commissioner.”

The Intelligencer July 23, 1915 (page 7)

“Old or Spare Razors for the Troops at the Front. Send your discarded razor to the Front, where it will be used. Look it up quick, and send it in to us. We will forward it to the Cutlers’ Company in England who are refitting old razors free and sending them on to the front. Over 70,000 have already gone through and word is received that many more will be appreciated. The Smith Hardware Co. Phone 204. 314 Front Street.”

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100 Years Ago: Belleville Recruiting to Be Organized, Collection of Old Razors

The Intelligencer July 22, 1915 (page 2)

“Recruiting to Be Organized in Belleville. The Belleville Branch of the Speakers’ Patriotic League have issued the following notice of a meeting at the Armouries and it is hoped that there will be a good attendance:

Dear Sir.—The title to our homes, our precious blood-bought liberties, the very personal safety of our families, are hanging in the balance in this great war. …  If each person does his bit, we can win and the League now appeals to you to do your bit. It is proposed to organize each Ward in the City of Belleville to stimulate recruiting, and the names of ten persons have been selected from each Ward to meet with the Executive of the League at the Armouries Friday evening, the 23rd of July, 1915, at 8 p.m. for the purpose of forming a general organization to assist recruiting. You are one of those selected for your Ward and the league Executive believes that you realize the occasion is sufficiently pressing to justify you putting every other matter aside to attend this meeting. …

We want everyone in Belleville to have the honor of doing something to help achieve success in this the greatest war of the world. What you do may be the richest heritage you will bequeath to and the proudest boast of your posterity. Come!

You are proud of your pals at the Front, of course. Make your pals at the Front proud of you. E. Guss Porter, President; W.C. Mikel, Secretary.”

The Intelligencer July 22, 1915 (page 2)

“Old Razors for Soldiers. A correspondent inquired on Tuesday if any effort was being made in Belleville to collect old razors for soldiers at the front. We have since learned that the Smith Hardware Co., 31 Front street undertake to send these razors, through the Cutler’s Co. of England. They are forwarded in the first instance to Mr. T.B. Lee, of 3 Front street East, Toronto.

The Cutler’s Co. were approached by the War Office and asked to undertake the collection of spare or discarded razors. This the Co. consented to do, in this way over 70,000 old razors, after being refitted, have been sent to the soldiers in the field, and word has been received that many more would be appreciated. …  Old razors left at Clarke’s Drug Store, Front street, are also forwarded to the same quarter.”

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100 Years Ago: Razors for Soldiers

The Intelligencer July 20, 1915 (page 2)Razors2a

“To the Editor Intelligencer,—Sir.—Will you inform me in your paper who is taking charge of old razors collected for soldiers at the front. The Toronto Star is making a very strong appeal for anything in the shape of a razor to be sent to their office. Why not the same here? There must be thousands in our city and people would be glad to know where to leave them. Yours respectfully, ONE WHO HAS SIX.

Our correspondent’s suggestion is an admirable one, but we are not aware of any movement in the matter being made at Belleville.—Ed.”

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100 Years Ago: 8th Canadian Mounted Rifles Recruiting

The Intelligencer July 19, 1915 (page 3)

“Men Wanted For The 8th Mounted Rifles. The 8th Canadian Mounted Rifles now in Camp at Barriefield in training there sent a draft of 150 men overseas last Friday and are now recruiting up to their normal strength. Belleville and district has not so far contributed as much as some other localities to the mounted service and the opportunity is now at hand for men now wishing to go into this branch.

The 8th Mounted Rifles is one of the finest corps in the Dominion and the draft just sent speaks for their efficiency as the men going overseas have been fit to take their place alongside of those who have been in training for almost a year. …  It is expected that Belleville and district will furnish about 75 men.

Young men of Belleville this is your chance. Lay down that pool cue, put on the King’s uniform. If you don’t want to walk you now have a chance to ride.”

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100 Years Ago: Belgian Benefit Held at Griffin Opera House

The Intelligencer July 15, 1915 (page 3)

“Belgian Benefit Fund Concert. Concert at Belleville Last Night By New York Artists. There was not such a large attendance last night at the Griffin Opera House as either the concert itself or the cause in which it was held deserved. The programme was carried out by the Mackenzie Concert Co., the performers giving their services on behalf of the Belgian Benefit Relief Fund. Those who were not present were the losers, for from the point of view of talent the concert left nothing to be desired. …

Variety to the programme was afforded by a selection on the bagpipes by Pipe-Major Johnstone, who showed himself a master of the instrument; while the 15th Regiment Band played ‘Poet and Peasant’ overture in a manner which gained them unstinted applause.”

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100 Years Ago: Canadian Casualties, Belgian Relief Fund Benefit

The Intelligencer July 13, 1915 (page 1)

“Canadian casualties reported to the Militia Department now exceed the ten thousand mark, the total number being 10,037. The killed number 1,720, the wounded 6,507 and the missing 1,810. The week-end lists included 11 killed, 17 missing, and 45 reported prisoners.”

The Intelligencer July 13, 1915 (page 2)

“Belgian Relief Fund Benefit Under the Auspices of XV. Regt Band. Griffin Opera House. Wednesday, July 14th. By Special Arrangement with The National Music Bureau of New York.”



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100 Years Ago: Women’s Canadian Club to Continue Scrapbooks in Summer

The Intelligencer July 10, 1915 (page 3)

” ‘News From Home’ For Our Soldiers. The Women’s Canadian Club Asks for Your Help in Sending it to Them. To the Editor of the Intelligencer, Sir,—We all know how, when we are away in distant lands, we are thrilled by the words ‘NEWS FROM HOME.’ How greatly intensified this desire must be among the Canadian soldiers fighting so bravely, in Belgium and in France, so far from home and loved ones!

Realizing how great must be this longing among our troops at the front, pupils of the schools of Belleville joined in the ‘NEWS FROM HOME’ plan introduced into the Province by the League of Empire and carried it out most effectively under the direction of the inspector and the teachers. This is the plan—Clippings from the local newspapers, little items giving home news of people, events and sports, short bright sayings and pictures that provoke a smile, pasted into scrap books made of strong manila paper and then sent off weekly to the men at the front.

A few sentences quoted from a letter received in April last in Toronto, and written by Col. E.W.B. Morrison, commander of the 1st Canadian Artillery Brigade, testify to the feeling of the soldiers. ‘I am sitting in a trench on the embankment of the Ypres Canal in Belgium. …  It just occurred to me that the children at home would like to know that their painstaking work had been appreciated amid this hideous turmoil and that they had contributed their ‘bit’ to help the men behind the guns.’

The schools are now closed until the autumn and concerted work on the part of the school children is in abeyance. If the soldiers are to get their budgets, some one must continue their work. A letter has been received from the Secretary of the League of Empire in Toronto asking the Women’s Canadian Club of Belleville to carry it on here. At a meeting of the Executive it was decided that the Club would undertake to produce a certain number of scrapbooks weekly and they ask for the hearty co-operation not only of all the members of the Club, but also of the citizens generally. …

If you desire to assist in the work you may do so by sending to the convenor of the work, clippings—items of news, not over two weeks old, of interest to the men from Lindsay, Peterborough, Picton, Belleville and surrounding districts; no war news please. …  Sample copies may be seen either at the home of the convenor or in prominent windows on Front street. May B. Johnson, President Women’s Canadian Club.”

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