Welcome to the Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County

The Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County preserves the history of our community through the records of local governments, individuals, families, businesses and organizations. Find us in the Belleville Public Library building at 254 Pinnacle Street, Belleville, Ontario.

The archives is open Monday to Thursday, 9.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm and on Friday and Saturday by appointment.

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Belleville in World War I

Follow the citizens of Belleville and Hastings County as they face the challenges of the home front during the First World War through excerpts from The Daily Intelligencer, August 1914 to November 1918.

100 Years Ago: Thomas Patrick Visited by Red Cross, Frederick Ashmore Wounded

The Intelligencer June 19, 1917 (page 2)

“Private Patrick Is Doing Well. Belleville Soldier, in an English Military Hospital, is Visited by Red Cross Workers. Mr. James Patrick, 70 Mill street, Belleville, has received the following letter from the Canadian Red Cross Society, in London, England, in regard to his nephew, Pte. Thomas Patrick, who was wounded in France:

Information Bureau, Canadian Red Cross Society, 14/16 Cockspur Street, London, 23, May, 1917. Dear Sir:—I beg to inform you that Private Thomas Patrick, who is now at Middlesex War Hospital, was admitted to the hospital here on the 22nd, having been wounded and in hospital in France. His wounds were shrapnel in left arm, both knees and right temple. Our report is that his progress is good, and he is walking about. He is slightly deaf and his voice weak. These are caused by shell shock.

If there are any extras he may desire we will see that they are supplied to him. Yours truly, Constance Scott.”

The Intelligencer June 19, 1917 (page 6)

“Gunner Ashmore Severely Wounded. Mrs. Olive Ashmore, 18 Murney Street, has received official notification that her son, Gunner Frederick Ashmore, has been severely wounded.

Gunner Ashmore left Belleville with the first contingent, and his many friends trust that he will have a speedy recovery. The Director of Records, Ottawa, sent the following telegram to Mrs. Ashmore:

Ottawa, Ont., June 18, 1917. Mrs. Olive Ashmore, 18 Murney Street, Belleville, Ont. Sincerely regret to inform you, Gunner Frederick Ashmore, artillery, officially reported admitted to No. 7, Canadian General Hospital, Letreport, June 9, with gunshot wounds in head and hand, (severe). Will send further particulars when received. Director of Records.”


100 Years Ago: R. J. Graham Refutes Rumours About Fire, Proceeds of Rose Day, Poster for 2nd Battalion C.E.F. Reinforcing Draft, N. W. Gibson Visited by Red Cross, Poster for War Savings Certificates, Ad for Gillette Safety Razor, Memorial Service for Brotherhood of Trainmen

The Intelligencer June 16, 1917 (page 1)

“False Rumors Are Refuted. The Facts in Connection With The Recent Burning of the Evaporator Plant. To the Editor of The Intelligencer: Dear Sir:—It has come to my notice that rumors are in circulation that some member of our Company or someone interested in our behalf caused the destruction by fire of our buildings in Belleville recently. …

There is no doubt in my mind that the fire was the work of an incendiary, and so far we have been unable to locate the guilty party. …  we indirectly lost a very large amount in replacing the dried potatoes and onions that were burned and we are still drying in several of our factories these vegetables at extremely high prices to fill our contracts for the dried product. All of which will be completed within the time specified in our contracts and at the prices agreed upon with the exception of 200,000 pounds of dried sliced potatoes, which were burned and most of which were packed ready to move out to our troops in India, and were being held for shipping instructions from the British War Office. For this reason, they were good enough to cancel the order for these 200,000 pounds.

Otherwise all of our contracts, since the war began, have been filled exactly as specified and within the time limited, for which fact, both the British and French Government have complimented us. The Graham Co. Ltd., Per R. J. Graham, President.”

The Intelligencer June 16, 1917 (page 2)

“The proceeds of Rose Day, held on Saturday last by the Quinte Chapter, I.O.D.E., amounted to the sum of $708.50. At the monthly meeting of the Chapter on Wednesday, it was decided to give $200 to the Canadian Red Cross Society; $100 to the Canadian War Contingent Association, and $100 to the Canadian Field Comforts Commission. The remainder of the money will be used to purchase materials for the soldiers’ comforts and hospital supplies which are being made by the Chapter all the time.”

The Intelligencer June 16, 1917 (page 2)

“Conscription Is At Hand. Join the 2nd Battalion, C.E.F., Reinforcing Draft now and fight beside your chum at the front. If you wait longer you cannot choose. The pay of the volunteer is settled, while that of the conscript is not.

Is it not better to do your bit voluntarily? This draft is commanded entirely by returned officers. Capt. John Downey, Commanding Armouries, Belleville, Ont.”

The Intelligencer June 16, 1917 (page 3)

“Wounded Soldier Receives Attention. Mrs. Gertrude Gibson, 16, Harriet Street, has received a communication from the information bureau of the Canadian Red Cross Society in London, which reads as follows: Dear Madam:

I beg to inform you that Private N. W. Gibson, 455099, 73 Canadians who is now at Dudley Road Hospital, England, has been visited in the hospital by our authorized Red Cross visitor M. Ellis, who reports he was badly wounded in the right knee and came in here at the end of last month. She says he had the splint removed from the leg but is unable to bear any weight on it at present, so is unable to walk yet.

Our visitor will go and see him regularly and we will report his condition from time to time; also should the many little comforts he may wish for which the Hospital does not supply she will let us know and we will send them to him. Yours Truly Constance Scott.”

The Intelligencer June 16, 1917 (page 6)

“Pay Your Debt To Your Defenders. Turn Your Luxuries Into Comforts For Those Who Have Sacrificed Most.

You can at least save—and lend your savings to the nation. Canada needs every dollar her loyal sons and daughters can spare, to meet the growing expenses of the struggle.

Every dollar you invest in Canadian War Savings Certificates helps the nation to deal generously with those who are defending you. The National Service Board of Canada, Ottawa.”

The Intelligencer June 16, 1917 (page 6)

“Thrift that brings Comfort instead of Sacrifice. Thrift, the paramount national duty, applies to time as well as to money—to small personal outlay as well as to larger family expenditure.

Applied to the daily shave, thrift means the use of a Gillette Safety Razor. The Razor of National Service. Gillette Safety Razor Co. of Canada, Limited.”

The Intelligencer June 16, 1917 (page 8)

“A memorial service under the auspices of the Brotherhood of Trainmen of this city and division, will be held at St. Thomas’ Church tomorrow afternoon. The rector, Ven. Archdeacon Beamish, will officiate, and deliver the discourse. The service is to the memory of members of the Brotherhood who have made the supreme sacrifice.”

100 Years Ago: Albert College Principal Speaks at Conference

The Intelligencer June 15, 1917 (page 1)

“Rev. Dr. Baker Says Close the College. ‘Let us close the college if necessary and let all our boys go to the war; for the main thing to do is to win the war,’ declared Rev. Dr. E. N. Baker, principal of Albert College, Belleville, to the Toronto Methodist Conference yesterday afternoon.

‘We have sent from Albert College 200 young men. Ten of them have been killed. And we have sent ten of our girls as nurses.’ Conference cheered his suggestion that the colleges should be closed if the crisis demanded it.

Albert College needed a quarter of a million for a new site and buildings, and another quarter of a million for an endowment. He was confident they would get it. ‘God will do whatever He wants done—if He gets a chance.’ He said that his aim was that no young man should be barred out of Albert College for lack of money. …  He told the conference to pray for him and the college, to give to it, and to ‘put a codicil in your wills to help us.’ “


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