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

100 Years Ago: Recruiting Rally on Sunday, Wounded Soldier Discharged, Complaint about Published Letters

The Intelligencer November 1, 1915 (page 1)

“Recruiting Rally on Sunday Night. The Opera House was last night the scene of an unusual gathering for Sunday. The Speaker’s Patriotic League introduced an innovation as far as Belleville is concerned and arranged for a recruiting meeting, and the novelty attracted a large crowd. The house was packed in every part and the meeting was an eminently successful one. …

The chair was taken by Col. Lazier. …  he said that when Mr. religion and Mr. civilization were at stake no day could be considered too sacred to prepare to fight the dragon of military despotism and brutality. …

He spoke of the work of the women of Canada, who he said had set a noble example. The only class in the community who had not sized up to their responsibility was the young men. It was to them that the country looked to. When he saw crowds of young men attending pool rooms or picture shows, or standing at street corners, he wondered how it was they had withstood the clarion call of duty. It was to reach their hearts and consciences that the Patriotic League was called. …

A strong appeal for recruits was made by Corp. Sandford. ‘Mothers you will have to make up your minds to let your sons go. I am going back in December. I have secured several recruits since I have been here and I want more. If a man gets there once he will never want to come back.’ ”

The Intelligencer November 1, 1915 (page 2)

“Home From Front. Private Rawlinson, of this city, who enlisted as a member of the 15th Regiment, and left here with the first contingent, arrived in the city yesterday, having been invalided home. At the battle of Langemarck, Private Rawlinson was injured and was for some time confined in a hospital owing to the injuries he received. The unfortunate man is also suffering from other ailments which are of a painful nature and necessitate his retirement from active service.

He has not only received his discharge but has been granted a certificate of a clean record and will receive a pension from the Old Country in recognition of the services he rendered for the Empire.”

The Intelligencer November 1, 1915 (page 3)

“Signaller C.M. Sprague. Trenches, Oct. 18, 1915. Dear Sir:—Some time ago I was handed an extract taken from your paper, and referring to a letter I had written from Flanders to Canada. At any time we are adverse to having our letters made public reading matter, and it is regrettable that at times we see, printed over our own names, statements which we have never written but rather are the results of some misguided faker. …

I think it would be well for all papers to make sure that any extract published from soldiers’ letters are genuine. I am Sir, yours respectfully, Chas. M. Sprague.

We would point out to our gallant correspondent that most of the soldiers’ letters appearing in The Intelligencer are sent to this office just as they come from the front—in the original envelopes. In a few cases parents send us copies of the letters, so there is very little opportunity for the ‘misguided faker.’—Ed.”