100 Years Ago: Ad for Scotland Woollen Mills Company

The Intelligencer December 31, 1915 (page 4)

Scotland Woollen

“The Awful Tragedy of War! Has paralyzed industries — Delayed consignments and dislocated the entire commerce of the world. Six Days’ Sensational Overcoat Sale. Any O’Coat to measure — Meltons, Beavers, Scotches, Tweeds, Friezes. Scotland Woollen Mills Co. Ltd. No More $15 No Less. E.C. Sprague, Agent.”


By | December 31st, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Poor Children’s Christmas Tree, Christmas Dinner for Soldiers

The Intelligencer December 27, 1915 (page 7)

“Poor Children’s Christmas Tree. To the members of the Fifteenth Regimental Band of Belleville, is due the credit of making Christmas Day pleasant for the many poor children in the city, by providing a Christmas tree and distributing gifts. It was indeed a happy crowd of youngsters and their beaming faces and expressions of gratitude at being remembered was a reward for faithful work on the part of the promoters.

At about one thirty several hundred children had gathered at the Armouries, but owing to the inclement weather hundreds of others were not able to get there. Though the tree was a great success, all the children could not be reached as many names were sent in without street address and ages, and time would not permit the investigation of all cases.

Assistance was given in the Armouries by several citizens, for which the members of the band are very thankful, as the distribution of prizes did not finish until near six o’clock, and without their assistance would have been much later.”

The Intelligencer December 27, 1915 (page 7)

“Khaki Christmas. The provision made for the Christmas dinners for the soldiers at the Barracks …  has set a new standard for events of that kind. Not a single detail was overlooked. There were all sorts of things to eat: roast turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, green peas, potatoes, carrots, then plum pudding, brown sauce and pies innumerable—pumpkin, mince, apple, lemon, custard, raisin and representatives of every other variety. No, that wasn’t all. Then followed, nuts, candies, oranges, apples, raisins, and a supply of cigarettes, the gift of a friend of the soldiers.

Everything worked like a charm. The dinner was called for 11.45 A.M., and just at that moment Capt. Ruskon of the Salvation Army asked the blessing, and the finest Christmas dinner that soldiers anywhere have ever been served, was started. The mess room was transformed into a fine dining hall by the use of flags, and tastily decorated tables that were a compliment to the ladies of the Khaki Club who undertook that important duty.

The committee in charge of the serving was convened by Miss Campbell and were in addition to being most capable and pleasant, exceedingly popular. In fact everyone was the same, whether they were working in the kitchen carving or serving like Captain Watson did all morning, or whether they were doing any number of a hundred and one other things that remained to be done, all had smiles. Without any comment from anyone the ladies would have known their kindness was appreciated, but just to put it tangibly, every lady who deferred her own Christmas dinner to come down and help was the recipient of a sterling silver 80th Battalion badge.

The provisions were aplenty; so much so that no demand was made at all on the allowance made by the Government for Christmas dinner and the men will receive that later.

More hearty co-operation in any enterprise would be impossible, and Mr. Sharpe of the Militia Y.M.C.A., having solicited the assistance of the churches, wishes to gratefully acknowledge their help and that of the press and every individual and organization that took part.

It was a day to be remembered. It may be, though we hope not, the last Christmas dinner for some of the boys and it must be gratifying to everyone who helped to have had a part.”


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

End of year thoughts

As 2015 comes to a close, I would like to thank all of the volunteers and students who have contributed to the work of the Community Archives this year. The Archives volunteers alone have contributed some 4,000 hours of work in sorting, boxing, listing and digitizing records. We have helped more than 300 visitors discover more about our community’s past and have answered over 450 telephone calls this year.

Our Young Canada Works summer students, Heather Malcolm and Nicholas VanExan, worked hard on a variety of processing jobs, including the Historical Society’s Textual Records series and Gerry Boyce’s records. They also added a number of descriptions to Ontario’s online archival network, Archeion. In the Fall, Loyalist co-op student Sydney Welch was busy digitizing some of our glass lantern slides and negatives, many of which are now available on Flickr.

In the first three months of 2016 we will be moving the archives into our new location in the Belleville Public Library. With over 2,500 boxes and volumes to shift, this is going to be a major undertaking and there will be periods in that time where the Community Archives will be closed to the public as we prepare materials for the move. We ask for your patience in this transition period: if you are planning a research trip, please leave it until after March, when we will be in our new space and better able to assist you!

In the meantime, I would like to wish you a peaceful and happy holiday season and leave you with this postcard, sent by ‘sister Lillie’ of Port Stanley to Duncan Morrison of Tweed in December 1910.

Christmas greeting

Christmas postcard (back)

Amanda Hill (Acting Archivist)

By | December 24th, 2015|Move to Belleville Public Library, News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Bobbie Black of Hastings County Passes Away

The Intelligencer December 24, 1915 (page 7)

“Hastings Boy Passes Away. The Bancroft Times has the following reference to the death of a Hastings County boy. …  Another home made desolate and a bright young life ended, that the principles of our Empire be upheld. On November 17th, Pte. Bobbie Black, who left Belleville with the 39th Battalion, was on his way home from France, where he had been in the trenches, and later in the hospital, and was being sent home to Canada to recuperate, when the hospital ship he was on ran onto a mine and almost all on board perished. Meagre enough in the details, but horrible in reality.

Much sympathy is felt for the bereaved family, who were expecting to nurse their boy back to health, but God in His wisdom saw otherwise and we must bow our heads to His will.

The deceased was of a bright cheerful disposition, and well thought of by his friends in Turriff and L’Amable, where he has many relatives living.”

[Note: Private Robert Black died on November 17, 1915. He is commemorated on Page 5 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

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

100 Years Ago: Poster for Belgian Relief Fund

The Intelligencer December 21, 1915 (page 5)

Belgian Relief Fund

“Help to Make Her Dream Come True. She is one of some Three Million Belgians who, since they refused to sell their honor to Germany, have lived on the brink of starvation. A thriving industrial people, used to life’s comforts, they have been reduced to a state where they dream, not of luxuries or pleasures, but of having enough to eat! True to their character as the war has unmasked it, the Germans callously refuse to help the starving. The task of feeding them has been undertaken by Belgium’s Allies and Neutral Nations, through the Belgian Relief Fund. …  $2.50 Keeps a Belgian Family a Month.”

By | December 21st, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Letter to Encourage Recruiting

The Intelligencer December 20, 1915 (page 7)

“Editor Intelligencer. Dear Sir:—Your paper has done such a lot in the past to encourage recruiting. I will ask the favor of a small space to make a few remarks.

We have at the present time two battalions in our town, the 80th and the 155th both, being practically commanded, by local officers who are well known throughout this and the adjoining counties. The 155th is a new regiment forming while the 80th has been mobilizing for the past three months and has earned for itself the name of being one of the best battalions in this division.

It is too bad to see, when walking along our streets, a number of young and eligible men standing around corners, in pool rooms and particularly patronising local concerts arranged for the purpose of aiding recruiting, with the audacity to criticise the boys in khaki and join in the patriotic songs.

I wonder if those boys, who in my opinion should be presented with the white feather, ever bring to mind the atrocities committed and being committed by the Huns and do they realize what their fate would be in the case of a German victory. No, they leave it to others to do the fighting while they enjoy their game of pool, etc. Come boys and don’t have anyone to say that you have cold feet. Thanking you in advance. I am, Mr. Editor, ONE OF THE BOYS.”

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

100 Years Ago: Reserve Militia Meeting, Red Cross Tea

The Intelligencer December 18, 1915 (page 1)

“Local Company of Reserve Militia. The large class of Reserve Militia who have been drilling for the last six weeks or more held their organization meeting at the Armouries last night, presided over by Lieut.-Col. Barragar. The men were complimented by the Colonel upon the enthusiasm shown in undertaking this necessary work of organizing and thoroughly drilling the reserve strength of the community.

He favored the establishment of one company of 250 men and increasing same to two companies as soon as possible, these making a Reserve of half a battalion to add to the strength of the 15th Regiment. The qualifications for enlistment are much the same as the active militia and all men physically fit between the ages of 18 and 60 should come forward and take this necessary drill. The instruction is given by competent drill instructors on each Tuesday and Friday evening of each week. The election of officers was proceeded with by the chairman, assisted by Capts. Cook and Wallace as scrutineers. …

This work of organizing the Reserve is most important as we must be protected by a drilled force when so many of the gallant men are going forward on the active overseas expeditions. Let every man consider it his duty to be prepared.”

The Intelligencer December 18, 1915 (page 2)

“Successful Red Cross Tea. The Tea held at Hotel Quinte on Thursday afternoon in aid of the Red Cross and Women’s Patriotic Association was a great success, forty-five dollars being realized. …

The President of the Association, Mrs. Lazier, was presented with a check for one hundred dollars by Mrs. Rogers, proceeds of the tickets sold on the lunch cloth which was drawn for at the tea and won by Mrs. J.P. Thomas, the lucky number being 167. The Association is deeply grateful to Mrs. Rogers for this splendid addition to its finances.

The Association has received since the last meeting $68.50 from Colonel Stewart on behalf of Camp Rob Roy, Sons of Scotland, the proceeds of their concert on St. Andrew’s night, for which the Association is greatly obliged.”

By | December 18th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Letter from Santa Claus

The Intelligencer December 17, 1915 (page 8)

“A Letter from Santa Claus. Dear Editor:—I wish you would inform the poor children of Belleville that I have opened my supply house at No. 304 Front St., where I have a letter box and would be pleased to have them write me. The Band Men are working for me and promise to have everything ready so that when I meet you on Christmas day I will have a present for all whose name, age and address is sent in to me. SANTA CLAUS”

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

100 Years Ago: Plans for Soldiers’ Christmas Dinners, 15th Battalion Band Complimented

The Intelligencer December 16, 1915 (page 2)

“Christmas Dinners For the Soldiers. That the members of the 80th Battalion are thoroughly popular with the Belleville citizens was indicated by the very representative meeting called by the Khaki Club and the Military Y.M.C.A. to arrange for Christmas dinners for the men who will be spending Christmas in barracks.

Every church in the city was represented by two or more ladies and a committee was convened to attend to the details and supervise the serving of the dinner which will be at 11:45 on Christmas morning. The mid-day hour was found more satisfactory as ample help was available then and this hour would interfere in no way with the programme arranged for the evening by the Daughters of the Empire. …

The Khaki Club readily offered to attend to the decorating of tables as they were familiar with the arrangements to be made. Miss Campbell will supervise the serving and within a few minutes of volunteering for this work had plenty of offers of assistance. A list of provisions required was presented and it quickly vanished as one after another of the twenty-five present assumed responsibility on behalf of her church for portions of it. …

It was felt that a number of people in the country would be anxious to have some part in this work for the soldiers, and they are invited to communicate with Mrs. MacColl, phone 418, or Mr. Sharpe, phone 413, if they can assist in providing fowl, fruit, or any of the provisions necessary.

While the success of the undertaking is assured by the very capable committee selected, it will require the assistance of a lot of people, and the hearty co-operation of every one approached is solicited.”

The Intelligencer December 16, 1915 (page 7)

“15th Band Complimented. To the Editor of The Daily Intelligencer. Dear Sir:—Would you be kind enough to publish this letter for me. Last Sunday night I was invited to take part in the concert given by the 15th Battalion Band, in Griffin’s Opera House, for the poor children’s Christmas tree, and I was, as a professional musician, agreeably surprised at the class of music played, and the way it was rendered; one number especially, the second selection of Faust by Gounod. This very difficult number was well played, and the writer was also amazed at the way the band accompanied the singers, not as is generally the case, over blowing to drown them, but to let the voice stand out over the band. This is the art of accompaniment, and I certainly had an enjoyable evening, and I hope the citizens of Belleville will not only appreciate, but loyally support a musical organization, which in the opinion of the writer, can compare very favorably with many of the large cities.

Mr. Lomas, the bass player of our company, also played at the concert and he is of the same opinion as myself. Mr. Lomas for years was with the famous 13th Battalion Band of Hamilton and also with the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra. I remain. Yours truly, J.W. PRATT. Flute and Piccolo Soloist with ‘Birth of a Nation Company.’ “

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

100 Years Ago: Reserve Militia Planned

The Intelligencer December 15, 1915 (page 3)


“Notice! On Friday, December 17th a Public Meeting for those interested, will be held in the Lecture Room of the Armouries, at 8 o’clock sharp, for the purpose of organizing a Company of the Reserve Militia in connection with the 15th Regiment A.L.I. The Company will be officered by a Major, a Captain and Four Subalterns.

All citizens interested in this branch of the Militia are requested to attend, details of which will be explained at the meeting. To assist the Officer Commanding, in making a selection of the officers, a vote will be taken.”

By | December 15th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments