- Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County - http://cabhc.ca -

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.”