100 Years Ago: Memorial Service for Earl Wallace, Gunner William Lancaster Wounded, 235th Battalion to Cease Recruiting, Campaign for Belleville Y.M.C.A.

The Intelligencer October 31, 1916 (page 1)

“Memorial Service. A memorial service was held Sunday in St. Andrew’s church at Gilead, Thurlow, in memory of Earl Wallace, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Wallace, of the 5th Concession of Thurlow, who fell at the Somme in France, on October the 2nd.

This service was of such an impressive and representative character that its influence and memory will not soon pass from the community. The young hero whose name by his sacrifice is thus called into prominence, was amongst the many young men of Thurlow to respond to the call to arms, and the first of the community where he lived, to give his life for the cause of his King and country.

When the news from the battlefield reached the sorrow-stricken home, it was only a matter of a few hours until the interest and sorrow of the whole community was aroused. Steps were immediately taken that expression to these sentiments should be given, and that the bereaved family might be made to realize, that when a Thurlow son falls, the community is not indifferent or forgetful of the fact.

Arrangements which would be in no sense sectarian or sectional, but expressive of the whole community feeling and interest, were at once put under way. St. Andrew’s church being the largest building in the vicinity, was chosen as the most suitable place of accommodation.

The services were held in the forenoon. The Rev. Mr. Mitchell preached a very suitable and helpful sermon. …  In the pulpit were also the Rev. Mr. Huffman of Plainfield, Rev. Mr. Sharp of Sidney, and the Rev. Mr. Wilson of Canifton, all of whom took part in the service. Rev. Mr. Huffman conveyed the condolence of the Orange brotherhood, largely represented in the audience. His words were very timely and appropriate.

Rev. Mr. Wilson followed, bearing to the sorrowing family the condolence of the congregation of Gilead Methodist church, where Earl Wallace was accustomed to worship; also, of the Young Peoples’ Society, of which he was a member, and of the community where he was known and lived. The united choirs of the Methodist and Presbyterian churches in the community, conducted the musical part of the exercises.

While representatives from every congregation for many miles around, from Cannifton, Sidney, Foxboro, Plainfield, Roslin, Thomasburg, bore in silent sympathy their condolence, placing their contribution tenderly and lovingly upon the hearts of sorrow-stricken friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Wallace have given three sons to the cause of the Empire. One has made the supreme sacrifice; another is face to face with the enemy, and a third is upon the way. …  The impressive occasion of Sunday last, will reveal beyond question, that the people of Thurlow will see that the name of her heroes will not be easily forgotten.”

The Intelligencer October 31, 1916 (page 1)

“Bellevillian Wounded. Mr. Edward Lancaster, residing at 95 Station Road, Belleville, to-day received the following message: Sincerely regret to inform you, 40443, Gunner Wm. Lancaster, artillery, officially reported admitted to No. 13, General Hospital, Boulogne, October 23, wounded in right arm. Will send further particulars when received. Officer in charge of Record Office.

Gunner Lancaster left Belleville with the 34th Battery, and has been in the trenches since February 1915, and had been engaged in several big battles. It is to be hoped that his wounds are not of a serious nature.”

The Intelligencer October 31, 1916 (page 4)

“Why? Col. Scobell, of the 235th Battalion, now stationed in Belleville, has received orders from Kingston to cease recruiting ‘forthwith’ in this county. Why? May fairly be asked. It is men who are wanted never more so than at present. It is said that recruiting by the 235th Battalion will interfere with the organization of the proposed new battalion. This is not a good reason. …

No jealousy existed about recruiting when the 80th and 155th were organizing in this city and county. …  There is another view to take of this, which should be considered, particularly by the Belleville people. Will not this action on the part of the Military authorities cause the removal of the 235th Battalion from Belleville to other quarters? Why should it be kept here for months doing nothing but playing soldier when the fullest energy on the part of everyone should be exercised in filling the ranks.

It is absurd to suppose that the 235th can secure men from their old recruiting ground if the Battalion headquarters are retained in Belleville. Let the recruiting area be extended, and men secured wherever they can be obtained, is the motto that should rule.

Who is responsible for this stupid movement? We have no desire, nor is it advisable to criticize, knowing as we do the difficulties surrounding the management and organizing of a volunteer force, but the present action of the authorities is, to our mind, in the wrong direction.”

The Intelligencer October 31, 1916 (page 5)

“Help a Good Cause. Charles Boardman Brown of New York City, Field Secretary of the Young Men’s Christian Association and conductor of Financial Campaigns, arrived in Belleville on Saturday last, to take charge of a special campaign in behalf of the local Y.M.C.A., the object being to raise $15,000.00, which amount will free the Association from all debt, liquidate the present mortgage, and take care of all the current expenses up to the close of the fiscal year ending May 1, 1918.

The Belleville Y.M.C.A. has come to a crisis from a financial point of view, and the directors feel that the very existence of the Association is at stake. In view of the seriousness of the situation, it has been deemed wise and necessary to inaugurate at once a campaign to raise the above amount.

It is felt to be a matter of civic pride, that this, one of the most deserving of all Belleville’s Institutions, be preserved. Indeed the character and reputation of our city requires the rallying to the support of the Y.M.C.A. of every citizen, without regard to creed or nationality. …

Not in its whole history has the Associations, the world over, been more favorably regarded by business and professional men, as well as those high in governmental affairs. The Y.M.C.A. has endeavored to measure up to the many opportunities presented, some of which are national in character and scope. The work however, the Y.M.C.A. is doing for the soldiers in the concentration camps and trenches of war stricken Europe, has won the approval and praise of the entire world.

A meeting was held on Saturday evening last at the Y.M.C.A., presided over by the President, P.C. MacLaurin. A list of twenty-five prominent business men was selected as a Campaign Committee, and arrangements will immediately be made to perfect an organization to conduct the proposed canvass of the city. The Campaign Committee will meet to-night, and every member is urged to be present.

The ministers of the Belleville churches held a special meeting yesterday morning, and agreed to co-operate in every possible way with the Y.M.C.A. in the campaign for funds. Next Sunday addresses in the interests of the Y.M.C.A. will be given in all the churches.”