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

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 [1]

“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.”