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100 Years Ago: Central Recruiting Depot, Soldier-Postmen A.C. Burton and W.J. Holland, West Belleville Recruiting Rally

The Intelligencer September 25, 1915 (page 1)

“Recruiting at Belleville. Central Depot Established, Officers Will Tour District. A central recruiting depot has been established at Belleville. Capt. C.A. Bleecker, 49th Regiment, and Capt. R.D. Ponton, returned officer from the front on leave, will be in charge.

Capt. Ponton has arranged a programme of itinerary throughout this district, at which he will deliver recruiting speeches. Recruiting will be for all branches of the service.”

The Intelligencer September 25, 1915 (page 1)

“Soldier-Postmen. Wined and Dined by Their Comrades at Belleville. Last evening Branch No. 45, Confederated Association of Letter Carriers, Belleville, met at the residence of Mr. Geo. A. Irvine, 118 Dundas street west and held a social evening in honor of two of their number who are about to leave for active service. The evening, previous to 11 o’clock, was spent in games, music and songs. Miss Mabel Miller officiated as pianist in a most able manner. Dinner was served by Mrs. C. Hodges, Mrs. Kinch and Miss Jennie Irvine. …

Wrist watches were placed on the wrists of Mr. A.C. Burton and Mr. W.J. Holland by Misses Jennie Irvine and Mabel Miller. …  The party was brought to a close with the singing of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and the National Anthem.”

Bill Holland at bottom and Bennie Burton in middle, ca. September 1915 [1]

Bill Holland at bottom and Bennie Burton in middle, ca. September 1915

The Intelligencer September 25, 1915 (page 1)

“Patriotic Display in West Belleville. Under the auspices of the Women’s Institute of West Belleville, a meeting was held in Queen Mary School last evening, and the spacious auditorium was filled to the doors by citizens who were interested and edified by the addresses given. …

The chief events of the evening were the addresses given by Capt. R.D. Ponton and Corp. Sandford, both of whom were in active service at the front and have been invalided home. Capt. Ponton’s narrative was of especial interest and evoked much enthusiasm. …  Corp. Sandford’s brief remarks were also much appreciated. It is needless to state these two returned heroes were accorded a hearty reception by the audience. …

Col. Ponton spoke a few words on patriotism, loyalty and imperial services. At this stage of the proceeding, Marion and Anna Wiseman two little Misses came forward and presented Capt. Ponton and Corp. Sandford with bouquets. They were rewarded by salutations from the heroes. Master Jack Andrews also presented them with bouquets. …  The singing of the National Anthem brought the meeting to a close.”