100 Years Ago: Foxboro Patriotic Event, Motion Pictures of Canada’s Forces

The Intelligencer November 27, 1915 (page 1)

“Patriotic Efforts Prove Successful. Under the able leadership of Mrs. Dr. J.A. Faulkner of Foxboro, who is at the head of the Red Cross movement of Thurlow township a most successful function took place at Foxboro on Thursday afternoon and evening of this week. During the afternoon a bazaar was held in Gowsell’s hall which was well patronized and a goodly sum was realized from articles offered for sale.

In the early part of the evening tea was served in the Presbyterian church, after which a platform meeting was held in the Methodist church ably presided over by Mr. John Elliott, manager of the Standard Bank in Belleville. A programme was rendered which was thoroughly enjoyed and the addresses given were all that could have been desired. They were not only of a patriotic nature, but tended much to assist in recruiting. …  The proceeds from all sources amounted to upwards of $2,000.”

The Intelligencer November 27, 1915 (page 2)

Scotts Theatre

“Coming to Scott’s Theatre. The official motion pictures of Canada’s Fighting Forces in Europe, which for the first time was shown to the public at the Russell Theater, Ottawa, last week. These films are the only ones of their kind and have the authorization of the Canadian Government. They picture the exploits of the Canadian divisions leaving Canada, crossing the Atlantic, arriving in England. Our troops being reviewed by H.M. the King, Lord Kitchener, General Sam Hughes, Premier Borden and staffs. They also show the arrival of the Canadian wounded from the front; the Canadian hospitals in England.

Sergeant Wells, who was for four months a prisoner of war in Germany will lecture on the films as they are shown and during an interval will tell how the Canadians saved the day at Ypres, the battle in which he lost his arm. Also of his experiences in the prison camps in Germany. …

All true Canadians should see these films and give the boys who are now in the trenches, their hearty applause. These pictures will be shown in Scott’s Theatre, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, November 29, 30 and December 1st. Matinee Daily at 2.30. Prices, evening, 25¢, 35¢, and 50¢. All seats reserved. Matinees’ general admission 25¢.”


By | November 27th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: The Call for Smokes

The Intelligencer November 26, 1915 (page 6)

“The Call for Smokes. The Thing Most Needed for Soldiers Is Often Lacking. This is what one of the men in the Royal Field Artillery, who himself has fought with the guns ever since the retreat from Mons, wrote to a friend: ‘What we want almost more than anything else, are cigarettes and tobacco for our pipes. It isn’t simply a fancy—but a real need. They are a big comfort. It’s something fine when you are with the guns to have some whiffs of tobacco smoke. It eases your mind. You forget about hard things. It stops you thinking hard. At home you don’t—you can’t—enjoy a smoke like you do out here. It keeps you going every day if you get a supply. But when you only get a small packet of cigarettes a week and no tobacco, it’s like offering a sardine to a starving man. I’ve often smoked rolled leaves because there was nothing else.’

Another soldier writes that it is at night in the trenches that a smoke is most precious. ‘So long as you can get a light without letting the Germans know it, a pipe in the dark is delicious and consoling. The night gets on your nerves, the least noise makes you start. It’s because you’ve nothing to do. You must smoke, chew—do something.’

There is no doubt at all that smoking is of the greatest comfort to these brave men who are risking their lives for us every hour of the day. The Over-Seas Club established their Tobacco Fund in the early stages of the war and in eleven months have been able to send, through the generosity of the Canadian public, $50,000 worth of smokes to the front. This seems a large amount, but the tragic note is that it is only sufficient to supply about five packages to each of the 40,000 Canadian soldiers at the front. Just fancy that, five packages for a healthy man in eleven long weary months. Now that the Second Canadian Contingent is at the front, the shortage has become greater.”

By | November 26th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

Shelving going in

The storage areas of the new Community Archives’ space are now complete and the shelving is being constructed. This picture shows the first vault (what used to be the Canadiana Room in the Belleville Public Library) where the floor for the shelves is complete and the outer walls of the shelving have been built:

Mobile shelving, Vault 1

Below is the second vault, where the rails for the mobile shelves had been installed yesterday, with the raised wooden floor waiting to be put into place.

Floor rails for shelving, Vault 2

The building project is currently on time and on budget and we hope to be moving the Community Archives into this space early in 2016.

By | November 25th, 2015|Move to Belleville Public Library|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Furlough for John Lavin, Ladies Plan Tag Day

The Intelligencer November 25, 1915 (page 2)

“Furlough for Wounded Sergeant. Sergeant John Lavin of Charlotte street, Belleville, a member of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade was severely wounded at Ypres on 23rd April while rescuing a wounded officer. His little daughter died in the summer while he was fighting. The letters announcing her sickness and death were both lost and he only recently learned in a convalescent camp in England of his bereavement.

Colonel Ponton took the matter up with the Militia Department and has received for the wounded man two months’ furlough at his home as soon as he is fit to proceed to Canada. Permission was cabled by Adjutant General to Colonel Ponton last night, and gladdened the hearts of Mrs. Lavin and the little ones.”

The Intelligencer November 25, 1915 (page 2)

“The 80th Battalion is to have a tag day on Saturday, November 27. A number of young ladies of several societies organized in this city, have consented to take charge of it. Every person who is on the street will be tagged by a young lady, and will, of course, be expected to purchase a tag. There will be no limit to the price, every person giving as much as his conscience will allow him to. The money will be devoted in behalf of the men entirely, and a good response is urgently requested.

Now that the 80th are here, it is up to the citizens to do their bit and try to meet the requirements of the men, and to facilitate matters as much as possible. The people of Belleville have always responded to other worthy causes nobly, and we are sure they will do this.”


By | November 25th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Gift from Toronto-Belleville Old Boys

The Intelligencer November 24, 1915 (page 2)

“Absent, Yet Not Forgetting. Colonel Ponton has received from the Belleville Old Boys’ Association of Toronto a cheque for $25. to be applied in sending Christmas presents to the Belleville boys now doing duty for the Empire in France and Belgium, and will hand this sum over to the two organizations which have this specially meritorious work in hand.

The letter accompanying the cheque, full of loyal love for their old city is signed W.S. Morden, President, W.J. Wilson, Treasurer, and T.A. Stevenson, Secretary, and the gift will be doubly appreciated by the men who are thus remembered in the midst of the hardships and jeopardy which they are enduring for all of us during this severe winter campaign of life and death. Hats off to the Toronto-Belleville Old Boys!”

By | November 24th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Attestation Facilitated, Successful Sunday Concert, Canada’s War Loan

The Intelligencer November 22, 1915 (page 3)

“An important order-in-council is announced, by which authority is given for recruits of the C.E.F. to be attested by an officer appointed to command a battalion or other similar unit of the force, provided that he at the time holds a rank not lower than that of field officer.

This is an important announcement, inasmuch as it provides an alternative to the former method, whereby only justices of the peace could swear in men for overseas service. It is expected that the order will greatly facilitate attestation work and simplify the task of those who are engaged in raising men for the battalions recently authorized.”

The Intelligencer November 22, 1915 (page 3)

“Sunday Concert Great Success. Under the auspices of the 80th Battalion oversea Band, a concert was given in Griffin’s Opera House last evening, which proved to be a great success. The spacious building was inadequate to accommodate all who desired to attend, hundreds being turned away. …

Twelve Russians who are connected with the Battalion rendered in their native tongue some selections which the vast audience thoroughly enjoyed. They also under the able instruction of Sergt. Kuprow gave a fine exhibition of the Russian drill and bayonet charge, showing their mode of attacking the enemy from in front and behind. This was a feature which all present thoroughly enjoyed. …

Lieut.-Col. Ketcheson, commanding officer of the 80th Battalion, gave a brief but inspiring address. …  What we want now said the speaker were young men to enlist in the Battalion and also money. …  We are defending Canada by sending our men away to fight at the front. Get some backbone and help us was the keystone of the Colonel’s closing remarks. …

The pleasing entertainment closed with the National Anthem by the band. The proceeds of the silver collection amounted to upwards of $70, which will be applied to Battalion purposes.”

The Intelligencer November 22, 1915 (page 4)

Dominion War Loan

“Canada’s War Loan. In our advertising columns today will be found particulars concerning the issue of $50,000,000 five per cent bonds, Canada’s war loan, about which a good deal has been said and written lately. We have a peculiar pleasure in congratulating the Government upon the issue of this domestic loan, as The Intelligencer has always advocated the borrowing of money at home instead of raising it in England or the United States. …

There is every reason to believe the loan will be very popular, and that the sum will be easily subscribed. Here is a golden opportunity for men to come to the assistance of the nation and, what is equally important to themselves, profit by it. …  The proceeds of the loan, it is announced by the Minister of Finance, will be used for war purposes only.”


By | November 22nd, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Trooper Murray Patterson Returns Wounded

The Intelligencer November 20, 1915 (page 5)

“Cordial Reception to Returned Hero. Despite the inclement weather yesterday afternoon there was a hearty welcome extended to Trooper Murray Patterson, of the 8th C.M.R., one of the most popular Belleville young men, who enlisted at the call of duty and was wounded at the front.

He arrived here at 2.18 per. C.P.R. and was met at the station by many of his friends and the 80th Battalion, which is stationed here. The band of the battalion was present and at the station rendered a number of popular and patriotic selections.

Upon arrival of the train, Trooper Patterson was escorted to an automobile and the procession moved off, being headed by the members of the 80th Battalion. The route of the march was by way of Dundas street, up Front street, to Pinnacle street, and thence up Victoria Avenue to Mr. D.V. Sinclair’s residence, where the returned hero will remain for a few days previous to proceeding to Winnipeg where his parents are at present.

When the soldiers reached the residence, they formed companies on both sides of the avenue and as the car with the returned soldier passed through the aisles of infantrymen, cheers rang out along the lines. The band of the battalion assembled upon the lawn and played a suitable selection as the officers of the 80th Battalion were introduced to Trooper Patterson, as he stood upon the porch of the house, which was appropriately decorated with flags. His reception by friends and comrades was a great surprise to him and was highly appreciated.”

By | November 20th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

Drugstore Display

A new additions to the Archives’ collections this month is this photograph, found by members of the Woodley family in the basement of the former McKeown’s Drugstore at 271 Front Street, Belleville. It was donated by Betty Lavallee.

McKeown's Drugstore, c.1920

The display was promoting products as part of ‘Rexall Week’.  On show were a range of Rexall products, including: Liver Salts, Rubbing Oil, Baby Laxative, Rexall Orderlies, Celery & Iron Tonic, Beef Iron & Wine (made from the best predigested beef, concentrated iron and imported wines), Cherry Bark cough remedy, and Dyspepsia Tablets. The photo was taken by Belleville photographer Robert McCormick in around 1920.

McKeown’s store was at this location from around 1915 to the 1960s.  John Spottiswood McKeown was born in Belleville in 1871. He was the son of John McKeown senior (a boot and shoe merchant) and Mary Bullen. He married Caroline (Carrie) Lingham on October 5th, 1898 and they had one daughter, Helen, born in 1901. In 1921 the family were living at 16 Alexander Street, Belleville, with a maid called Florence Parks.

By | November 18th, 2015|News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Ad for Lattimer’s Drug Store and Pollyanna Tea Room

The Intelligencer November 17, 1915 (page 3)


“Saturday Bargains at Lattimer’s Drug Store. The Pollyana’s Tea Room. We have given the Pollyana’s the use of our Ice Cream Parlor and they have turned it into a beautiful Tea Room where they serve Tea, Coffee, Cake, etc., every afternoon from 4 to 6 o’clock. The entire proceeds go to the Red Cross funds. Come and help the young ladies in their patriotic work by patronizing their Tea Room. Music every afternoon.”


By | November 17th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Compulsory Drill Advocated

The Intelligencer November 16, 1915 (page 2)

“Dear Sir:—I read with a good deal of satisfaction the letter of Mr. J.F. Wills, K.C., in last night’s issue, urging all males from 18 to 60 years of age who are not in training for Overseas service to attend drill for home service. This is the right thing to do. There is no doubt Germany knows our exact position and has plans all prepared to strike a blow at Canada. …

Last winter we had our experience with the Home Guard. Only a few citizens turned out to drill. The professional men, the business men, the property owners, all of whom would lose most by invasion, took little or no interest in it, and the number on parade dwindled till it seemed useless to continue drilling longer.

In Toronto the citizens and the military authorities took a deep interest in the Home Guard and the council gave grants to it. It was a training school and materially helped recruiting.

It is apparent that the only kind of an organization that can be effective is one the members of which are compelled to attend parade or suffer a penalty. Apparently people will put their pleasures, their business and their personal convenience first. We have easily 5,000 males in the city. Of these at least ten per cent should be willing to drill once a week. Drilling might be arranged for every night and also in the day time, especially Sundays. Men who don’t care to go to Church perhaps might come out to drill. Again I repeat attendance at drill ought to be compulsory to those who join. W.C. MIKEL.”

By | November 16th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments