100 Years Ago: Christmas Gifts Acknowledged, Farm Help Needed in 1916

The Intelligencer January 31, 1916 (page 2)

“Belleville Boys Acknowledge Gifts. Bramshott Camp, England, Jan. 17, 1916. Editor Intelligencer, Dear Sir:—The Belleville boys serving in the 8th C.M.R. at present undergoing training in England, wish to thankfully acknowledge through your paper, the receipt of the Xmas boxes sent by the ladies of the Patriotic League. The pleasing variety of gifts which the boxes contained were all most acceptable and were appreciated both for their own usefulness and for the proof they gave of the thoughtfulness for our welfare.

When we have finished our task on the continent of Europe we hope to return speedily and thank the givers face to face. At present we are all well and in good spirits.”

The Intelligencer January 31, 1916 (page 2)

“Gifts Acknowledged. From O.C. No. 2 Canadian General Hospital. To Mrs. C.J. Bowell, 161 Albert St., Belleville, Ont., Canada. My dear Mrs. Bowell,—On behalf of No. 2 Canadian General Hospital I beg to acknowledge and thank you sincerely for the very acceptable gifts which have recently been received from you and your Belleville friends. These gifts are particularly useful and show great taste in their selection. …

We have been working here since last March, and have treated about 11,000 cases. The little extras in the way of hospital comforts and preserved fruit kindly donated by friends go far to cheer and revivify those who have shown such self sacrifice and devotion in the interest of their country.

Again thanking you and the other kind friends associated with you in your good work, I am, Yours gratefully, J.W. Bridges, Col. O.C. No. 2 Canadian General Hospital.”

The Intelligencer January 31, 1916 (page 3)

“The Labor Situation. The labor problem is with us again, and in a most aggravated form. If all signs hold true, it will be harder to get farm help, experienced or inexperienced, in 1916 than in any one of the last ten years.

The surplus men of the cities, who might have been available for farm work now that English immigration has practically ceased, have joined the ranks. The rest are busy in munition factories. To a greater extent than is generally believed, the boys from the back concessions also have been volunteering for service abroad.

And now the call comes for 275,000 additional men. From where are they to come? ‘From the rural districts,’ answer the recruiting officers in chorus. …  They do not realize that the cities have already swallowed up a big percentage of country boys, until now there is no surplus labor in the country, young or old. …

In many rural sections, every rural young man who enlists leaves a 100-acre farm unworked or only half worked. Is it the part of wisdom to take these workers from the land?—Farm and Dairy.”



By | January 31st, 2016|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: News from Within the Military Circle

The Intelligencer January 25, 1916 (page 7)

“Free trip to Germany. Apply at the Armouries.

The officers of the Khaki Club intend giving a dance in Johnstone’s Academy on Feb. 1st.

Lieut. Cauldwell gave a lecture to the officers and N.C.O.’s of the 80th Battalion last evening on ‘Machine Gun Tactics.’

The School of Infantry for the 155th Battalion will commence at 8.30 tomorrow morning. The class will be in charge of Lieut. Elliott and will be instructed by Sergt. Dowe. About 40 men of the 155th Battalion will take the course.

The strength of the 155th Battalion is now about 500.

At the request of the chairman of the Soldiers’ Aid Commission in the Province of Ontario, the Mayor, as convenor, is inviting the heads of all the municipalities in Hastings County as well as the Parliamentary representatives and leading citizens generally to meet at the lecture room in the armouries on Friday evening, the 28th inst., at eight o’clock to form a branch of the Soldiers’ Aid Commission of Hastings County, Belleville and Trenton. …  The object of this branch, like the parent association, shall be to take care of and to find employment for members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force who return to Canada during the period of the war, particularly those who have returned to our county and city.”

By | January 25th, 2016|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Letter of Thanks and Christmas Menu, Frederick Palmer to Lecture

The Intelligencer January 24, 1916 (page 3)

“Letter Received from Harry Wiseman. Former Student in E. Guss Porter’s Law Office. Belgium, January 1st, 1916. Dear Mr. Porter:—I wish to thank you ever so much for the parcel you so kindly sent me. It was unfortunately held up at the base too long to reach me by Christmas, but it arrived a couple days later and I can assure you the contents were thoroughly enjoyed, not only by myself but by my friends, Pat and Ted Yeomans. The three of us are at present living together in a little shack.

The people of Belleville and elsewhere have been extremely kind to us boys out here in devoting so much of their time to making and sending comforts and I’m sure I voice the sentiments of all when I say that our Christmas has been made most merry and bright by their kindness.

I am enclosing a copy of our Christmas programme and menu which may be interesting in view of the fact that it was carried out while the Battery was in action. With kindest regards to Mrs. Porter and Roger, and with many wishes for a happy New Year, I am, sir, Respectfully yours, C.H. WISEMAN.

Following is the copy of the Christmas programme and menu:—”

Christmas Menu

The Intelligencer January 24, 1916 (page 7)

“Palmer Coming to Griffin’s Jan. 31. Frederick Palmer, the World’s greatest War Correspondent, a man who has exceptional opportunities to gain information first hand, and who is the author of ‘My Year of The Great War,’ and the only officially accredited representative of the entire press of America with the British forces on the continent, will portray with moving pictures and thrilling narratives, the Great World War, at Griffin’s Opera House, Belleville, Monday evening, Jan. 31st, under the auspices of the 80th Overseas Battalion, C.E.F.

This will be an entertainment that the citizens of Belleville will appreciate, and a packed house is sure to greet Frederick Palmer. Capacity houses have been the rule wherever he has appeared, and Massey Hall of Toronto, and the Lyric Theatre of Hamilton, are completely sold out. Mr. Palmer will be assisted by an orchestra of 18 pieces, under the leadership of Lieut. H.A. Stares, Mus. Bach. The prices will be $1.00, 75c., 50c. and 25c.”

By | January 24th, 2016|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Soldiers’ Pay Held Back, Poster for Belgian Relief Fund

The Intelligencer January 22, 1916 (page 1)

“Part of Soldier’s Pay Held Back. Ottawa. Jan. 21.—It has been found necessary in the interests of discipline and of the men themselves to withhold a portion of the pay of the troops on overseas service until their return to Canada. This statement was issued by the militia department today.

From the beginning of the year, therefore, 50 per cent of the pay of the rank and file is withheld from those who have not made any assignment of pay. As regards those who have assigned less than 50 per cent of their pay, the difference only between the portion assigned and 50 per cent of their pay is being withheld.

The pay so withheld will be paid to the men in Canada at the termination of their engagement, but the cases of men invalided home, the overseas paymaster in London is authorized to issue it before the soldier sails, if the latter so desires.”

The Intelligencer January 22, 1916 (page 4)

Belgian Relief Fund

“We must not let these Belgian Children Starve. Their fathers are with King Albert in the trenches—or dead. Their mothers, destitute and probably homeless, are striving hard but helplessly to save these children on whom Belgium’s future depends.

Nearly 2,000,000 old men, women and children in Belgium are absolutely dependent on help from Britain and America. Unless we feed them, hundreds of thousands must starve to death! The Belgian Relief Fund has saved them so far. …  $2.50 Feeds a Belgian Family One Month.”


By | January 22nd, 2016|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Ad for Scott’s Emulsion

The Intelligencer January 21, 1916 (page 3)


“How Soldiers Keep Strong. Preparedness against sickness is the big, important thing to fighting soldiers. A sick soldier cannot work with vigor any more than you can work with energy when you are weak, tired, almost sick.

The government of one of our allies is giving each soldier a vial of cod liver oil every day. …  Cod liver oil is scarce and high-priced this season and many inferior grades may be offered. But remember that Scott’s is the one Emulsion which guarantees pure cod liver oil—free from harmful drugs. Scott’s Emulsion is Made in Canada.”


By | January 21st, 2016|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: 80th Battalion News

The Intelligencer January 19, 1916 (page 1)

“A concert will be held by the 80th Battalion, Sunday afternoon and evening at the Griffin’s Front St. Theatre. A fine war film ‘Fighting for the Colors’ has been secured and will be shown here for the first time. The 80th orchestra will play at both concerts.

The authority from headquarters has been received by the 80th Battalion to equip a recreation room for the men. The room is being erected at the rear of the barracks and will contain a canteen. Great credit is due to Col. Ketcheson and Capt. Watson in securing the requisite authority for the room and it shows that these two officers are looking after the welfare of their men.

Hockey and Basketball Leagues are being organized in the 80th Battalion. A series of matches are being made between civilian and military teams. The work is in charge of Lieut. Phelan who expects to form a good hockey team that will clean up all the local aggregations.”

By | January 19th, 2016|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Tea Room at Ritchie’s Opens Again

The Intelligencer January 18, 1916 (page 1)

“Tea Room Is Auspiciously Opened. Under the auspices of Quinte Chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, in Belleville, a tea room was yesterday afternoon opened in the spacious millinery room of the Ritchie Company’s establishment, on Front street. The room which is in every respect an ideal place for such a function, was tastefully decorated with bunting and flags, whilst daffodils were the flowers used. Yesterday a number of citizens attended and partook of the tempting refreshments provided by the ladies.

The convenors this week will be Mrs. Dr. Marshall and Mrs. Walter Lingham; the second week, the Regent, Mrs. E.G. Porter and Mrs. F.B. Smith will be convenors; the third week, Mrs. R.J. Graham and Mrs. J.W. Johnson will be in charge and the fourth week, Mrs. Judge Fraleck and Mrs. C. Bogart. A number of ladies who are members of the Chapter, acted as waiters.”

By | January 18th, 2016|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Christmas Letter from P.A. Boland

The Intelligencer January 17, 1916 (page 3)

“The following letter has been received from Pte. P.A. Boland, by his mother: Belgium, Dec. 25, 1915. Dear Mother—Just a few lines to let you know I am still alive and well.

This is Xmas day. We are in the front lines but there is not much doing in the way of fighting. The Huns have hardly fired a shot to-day. Our boys are just waiting for them to start something. They, I mean the Huns, have never showed their heads above the trenches. A few stray bullets are about all they got from us. Last night we could hear them singing some kind of lingo. In return our chaps kept shouting to them that we were going to have turkey for dinner to-day. By the way our X-mas dinner consisted of beef-steak, plum pudding, cheese, jam and tea. Some class to us!

The weather over here is not so bad at present. If it wasn’t for the mud we would just be fine. We are up to our necks in it. Still we don’t mind it much after three months and a half. The boys are as hard as nails, although it is a hard old game. You never hear any of us kicking. We know it won’t last for ever. As long as I am in good health I don’t care.

Well, Mother, I think I told you I received all your boxes so far. The next time you send me a box I would like very much if you would put in some short-cake. You know the kind I mean, those home-made chaps. We are getting lots to eat over here, but the same thing day after day don’t go very good. I spend nearly all my month’s pay in food. There is a little store behind the lines where we order our groceries. They charge us eighty-five cents a dozen for eggs. That’s going some, isn’t it?

Tell Kathleen I received her letter of December 1, also Minnie’s card. I will write to you often, so cheer up! Better days are coming. I think I have told you all for this time. Give my love to all. I remain, Your son, Pte. P.A. Boland.”

By | January 17th, 2016|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Belleville Hospital Nurses’ Graduation

The Intelligencer January 15, 1916 (page 7)

“Graduating Exercises at Belleville Hospital. A number of ladies and gentlemen of the city yesterday afternoon assembled at the Belleville hospital for the purpose of witnessing graduation exercises. …  Previous to the exercises, the orchestra of the 80th Battalion rendered a number of selections which were much appreciated.

The three nurses who, having completed a three years’ course and graduated were Miss Crozier, of Lindsay, Miss Howard, of Port Hope, and Miss Mastin, of Belleville. These talented young ladies offered their services for overseas work in connection with hospital work and were accepted. All are expected to leave Canada in the near future and will be taken to Cairo, Egypt. …

Mr. J.W. Johnson, M.P.P., was asked to preside, and did so in his usual affable and able manner. The proceedings were opened by an appropriate prayer, being offered up by Rev. A.M. Hubly, rector of the Reformed Emmanuel church. …

Mr. Johnson then gave an address, speaking as follows: The great war …  has given those sons of Canada …  the opportunity to prove their valour and tenacity as soldiers. …  Equally with the great Canadian fighting man, the surgeon soldier and the soldier nurse from Canada have given proof of possessing skill and bravery, indifference to danger and devotion to duty such as were never even dreamed possible before the war began. Yesterday’s papers tell how the King has honored them and we are proud beyond expression to know that our Belleville’s Matron Ethel Ridley and Kingston’s Dr. Ross are among those whom his Majesty has chosen for signal distinction. …

Dr. MacColl was called upon to present the diplomas and did so in a most graceful manner. Previous to handing the nurses their diplomas, he spoke briefly, but appropriately. …  Upwards of 1,500 Canadian nurses have gone to the front and what a name they have made, not only for themselves but Canada. This was an auspicious occasion as the nurses receiving their diplomas had volunteered their services for the work of attending to the sick and wounded. What a noble work this was. …

The nurses were then presented with their diplomas by Dr. MacColl and Mrs. J.C. Moynes pinned a clasp pin upon each, stating she did so on behalf of the Hospital Board and the Women’s Christian Association. …  The graduates were each presented with beautiful bouquets by their sister nurses.”

By | January 15th, 2016|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments