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. Call us at 613-967-3304.

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

Archives News

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: Belleville Wins Honor Flag, Night Classes Popular, Active Madoc Worker, Tram Car Model, Walter Renfrew Awarded Victoria Cross, Poster for Victory Bonds

The Intelligencer November 16, 1918 (page 1)

“Belleville Wins Honor Flag. Goes Over Top Today. Belleville reached its objective of $700,000 this morning, and at two o’clock this afternoon a presentation of the Honor Flag was made in front of the City Hall. While it is a great relief to the people of the old city to know that they have not failed in the last call on their patriotism, our total is not much that we boast of it. Therefore, everyone should come and buy Bonds to their utmost before twelve o’clock tonight. …

In Deseronto last night at Naylor’s Opera House an enthusiastic rally for the Victory Loan was held in the course of a picture show. Pte. Wm. Davies made his usual forceful appeal to the citizens of Deseronto to come forward at the last minute and buy Bonds to maintain the honor of their town and County of Hastings. The reply to his appeal was large and enthusiastic. Over a dozen members of the audience came to the front and gave their applications.”

The Intelligencer November 16, 1918 (page 1)

“Night Classes Popular. The business brought before the Board of Education meeting last night was despatched with precision and the session was soon concluded. …  A memorial was presented from Mr. J. M. Greene of Peterboro, requesting the Belleville Board to assist in petitioning the Government to change the word Kindergarten as it was of German origin.

Principal McLaurin of the High School wrote that there was enrolled 204 pupils at the night school. The average attendance per night for October was 113. The communication outlined the subjects being taught and who were teaching them.”

The Intelligencer November 16, 1918 (page 5)

“An Active Worker. Miss Cross, of Madoc, who has now completed 463 pairs of hand-knitted socks for the soldiers at the front, attended both the morning and the parade in the evening on Monday as a guest of honor in the Red Cross car with the officials of the branch. Miss Cross not only knitted constantly, but gave substantially in every way to all the calls of the society, the officers and members of which have a warm spot in their hearts for her work.”

The Intelligencer November 16, 1918 (page 5)

“Artistic Scroll Work. A correct model of a tram car such as are in vogue in the City of London, England, and possibly in other places is on exhibition in the window of Mr. J. Fenn’s store, in this city. It is scroll work artistically executed and was made by Mr. Harry Lennox of this city. At the back the words carved out are ‘Buy Victory Bonds.’ The model is complete in all of its details and it certainly reflects great credit upon Lennox, who made it.”

The Intelligencer November 16, 1918 (page 5)

“Awarded Victoria Cross. Sergt. Harry Renfrew of Hybla, North Hastings, has just received the pleasing intelligence that his son Walter has been awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery on the field. It was at the battle of Amiens. The commander of the machine gun section, of which the young hero was a member, got hit, and while attending him, Renfrew saw a body of Germans approaching. He took charge of the gun and mowed down twenty of the enemy before he got a wound that put him out of business. He was the youngest boy in the battalion, and went overseas when he was eighteen years of age. His wound was not serious, and he is recovering rapidly.”

The Intelligencer November 16, 1918 (page 7)

“To-Night On the Stroke of Twelve. This is the last day you can buy Victory Bonds—1918.

Your last chance to help Canada wind up the war as she fought it. To help Canada bring her soldier sons home to wives, mothers and children. To help Canada in her big peace problems of demobilization and re-establishment of our soldiers in civil life.

This is probably your very last chance to buy at par Canadian Government Bonds bearing 5 ½ per cent interest and free from Federal Taxation.

For your country’s sake—in your own interest, Buy Victory Bonds Now.”


100 Years Ago: County’s Honor at Stake, Demobilization to Begin, Soldiers’ Christmas Parcels, Ads for Victory Bonds, More Ads for Victory Bonds, Scholars Buy Bonds, Depot Battalion Soldiers to Siberia, Oliver William Munnings Wins Military Medal, Special Thanksgiving Postponed, Tag Day, Boosting Victory Loan, Deer Season Extended, Ad for Grape Nuts, Protest of Ministerial Association, Ad for Gillette

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 1)

“Last Opportunity To Uphold The County’s Honour. The County of Hastings has subscribed $1,071,000 of the Victory Loan. This includes special subscriptions. The Honor Flag objective is $2,500,000 with special subscriptions. Can we reach it? If not, the County of Hastings will be distinguished by the absence of its name on the Honor list of the Fifth Victory Loan Campaign of Canada. …

Up to last night the City of Belleville reported $564,750, which leaves $135,250. Yesterday the subscriptions in Belleville totalled $61,050. This will be increased today and tomorrow. There is little doubt but that Belleville will win the coveted Honor Flag. However, every dollar subscribed will help the County over the hump. Get together Belleville and work hard to uphold the fair name of our old County.”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 1)

“Demobilization Will Soon Begin With Soldiers in Canada. Ottawa. There are at present 33,000 Canadian soldiers in hospitals in England and 10,000 in France. These it is proposed will be returned as their condition permits and as accommodation is provided in Canada to receive them. …

But demobilization is to start at home first. There are in Canada at present 71,000 men in khaki. Of these 10,000 are returned men in hospitals and 16,000 are men on harvest leave from the draft. These latter will simply be called upon to report and secure their medical examination so that they need be discharged without the danger of subsequent claims for pension being made on the Government.

It is expected that the demobilization of those in camps at present will take but a few days and may start soon. Little dislocation will follow their absorption back to civil life as there is at present a demand for labor in most branches of industry and business. It is possible that four or five thousand of them will be retained in khaki some time.”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 1)

“Soldiers’ Christmas Parcels Should be Mailed At Once. Ottawa. Dr. Coulter, Deputy Postmaster-General, advises people to forward all Christmas parcels for soldiers immediately. It is doubted whether any troops will have returned before Christmas, so that it is felt that parcels should be forwarded. It is not expected peace will improve the transportation situation, so that it is strongly advised that parcels should be sent without delay. …  Parcels for France should at the very latest be mailed by the 15th of this month. Those for England should be posted not later than the end of November to ensure delivery near Christmas.”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 2)

“ ‘Your Investment. Can you feel the pinch? If not, keep on buying Victory Bonds. Buy Victory Bonds To Your Limit. Adams The Shoeman.’

‘Line Up Belleville For the great Victory March past our objective. Buy Victory Bonds and Buy More of Them! Angus McFee, Mfg. Optician.’

‘Canada Needs Your Dollars. Hurry and Buy Victory Bonds. Arthur McGie Merchant Tailor. 208 Front St., Belleville.’

‘Be a True Patriot and Buy Victory Bonds to the utmost of your ability. Wallbridge & Clarkes. Canada Food Board Licenses 8-2252 & 8-2253.’ ”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 7)

“ ‘Line Up Belleville. Line Up for the Greatest Cause in Canada Today. Buy Victory Bonds. This Week is Our last Chance to Show Our Patriotism So Lend, Lend, Lend. The Haines Shoe Houses, Belleville, Napanee, Smith’s Falls.’

‘For Canada. Most men will lend to their friends in time of need. Every man should lend to his country in her need—for ‘her need is his’—so let’s show our patriotism. Buy Victory Bonds. ‘The Beehive’ Chas. N. Sulman.’ ”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 7)

“Scholars Buy Bonds. The teachers of Christ Church Sunday School assisted by Rev. Rural Dean Swayne have been calling on the parents of the scholars and other members of the congregation this week and will continue to do so this evening to try and obtain enough money to take at least two ‘VICTORY BONDS’ in honor of the boys who have answered Duty’s call.”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 7)

“Off for Siberia. Thirty-seven members of the First Depot Battalion which is stationed in this city, have been selected to go to Siberia. Lieut. Lord will be what is termed the conducting officer. Twenty-one members of the Second Depot Battalion at Ottawa arrived in Belleville today to join those who are leaving here. It is expected that the party will leave here at 4.45 tomorrow for Toronto, where they will join a contingent and proceed to Vancouver, B. C., which is the mobilizing centre.”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 7)

“Won Military Medal. Mrs. O. W. Munnings, who resides at 85 Lewis Street, city, received a letter from her husband, Sergt. O. W. Munnings, stating that he had been awarded the Military Medal for an act of bravery on the field in France, and also three stripes. Sergt. Munnings left Belleville with the 254th Battalion known as ‘Quinte’s Own Battalion.’ His many friends will be pleased to learn of the honors bestowed upon him.”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 7)

“Special Thanksgiving Postponed. The special day of Thanksgiving for Victory authorized by the Government has been postponed until Sunday, December 1.”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 7)

“Tag Day Tomorrow. The headquarters for the Argyll Chapter I.O.D.E. during their tag day, Saturday, will be the association rooms of the Great War Veterans in the Corby building. The Veterans’ Association have offered their rooms to any of the ladies’ societies who have always assisted the veterans in their various ventures.”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 7)

“Boosting Victory Loan. The following telegram was received this afternoon: ‘To Victory Loan Headquarters, Belleville, Ont.: Our employees at Belleville have subscribed for $18,400 Victory Bonds to be credited to your section. The Steel Co. of Canada Limited.’ ”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 7)

“Deer Season Extended. An extension of the open season for deer to November 30 is announced by the Department of Game and Fisheries. The causes given are the influenza epidemic and the Victory Loan campaign. The territory affected is that lying north and west of the French River.”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 7)

“A Combination of Good Qualities invites your attention to Grape:Nuts. No sweetening required. No cooking. Needs but little milk or cream. Fine with evaporated milk. Keeps indefinitely. Not a particle of waste. A wonderfully attractive flavor.

‘There’s a Reason’ for Grape-Nuts. Canada Food License No. 2-026.”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 8)

“Public Protest of Ministerial Asso’n. The Ministerial Association of Belleville met this afternoon and at the conclusion of the meeting the following was handed to the press:

‘In view of the fact that an item appears in our city papers intimating that the trustees of the colors of the 39th Regt. have ordered them to be deposited in St. Thomas’ Church, we the members of the Belleville Ministerial Association register our protest against this proceeding.

The members of all our churches in Belleville were proud when their boys responded so fully and so heartily at their country’s call. They were no less gratified that no one church could claim exceptional devotion to duty in military service on the part of its sons. We believe these colors will be treasured memorials to all who enlisted for service under them. We regret therefore that their final disposition has not been settled in some democratic way. We believe that the concentration of the colors of various regiments enlisted in this city in one particular church is an injustice done to the boys of our several congregations who on their return from the war will worship God in the churches of their choice. It is on their behalf that we raise this protest.’ C. T. Scott, Pres., D. C. Ramsay, Sec.”

The Intelligencer November 15, 1918 (page 11)

“Shop Early Ship Early. Especially Soldiers’ Gifts. Consider this! The Canadians are still on the move. In any event, it will be months before they are all home. Meanwhile many a soldier leaves behind and loses part of his belongings.

A great many soldiers are anxiously hoping that the folks at home will send them a Gillette Razor or Blades for Christmas. You cannot do better than decide to send a Gillette Safety Razor. The Useful Gift. There need be no fear of duplication, for if a soldier has not lost the Gillette you gave him before, the Gillette set you send him now will be in great demand by less fortunate pals, and he can readily convert it into cash.

Send Your Christmas Parcels for the Front within the next week.

Gillette Safety Razor Co. of Canada, Limited.”






100 Years Ago: Hastings County Needs One Million, Ritchie Store Wins Honor Flag, Ad for Sinclair’s, Trenton Celebrates, Voluntary Aid Corps Report, Community Dance, 39th Battalion Colors, Americans Aid Victory Loan

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 1)

“County Needs a Million In Two Days Left. The County of Hastings still needs nearly one million dollars to reach the Honor Flag objective. There are only two days of the campaign left. A tremendous effort is needed to reach this gigantic total, and everyone who has the honor of the old county at heart should pitch in and try to put it over the top in this, to be hoped, last patriotic effort of the war. …

From now until the end of the campaign all persons buying additional bonds will be presented with a ribbon to be worn under the button. This ribbon has the word ‘PLUS’ written on it, and shows that the wearer has come back for more Bonds. How many people in Belleville will wear the plus ribbon? …  Headquarters will be open day and night for the next two days, or until midnight Saturday, Nov. 16th. …

At Griffin’s Palace Theatre tonight in addition to the regular programme, two excellent Victory Loan Pictures will be shown, Lillian Gish and Norman Talmadge being the stars. Private Wm. Davies will also address the audience for five minutes between the pictures. The thanks of the people of Belleville are due to the Griffin Amusement Co. for its wholesome support in this Victory Loan Campaign. Mr. Tom Forhan, the popular local manager, has been tireless in his efforts to assist the Victory Loan Committee in every way, and his staff has been the same. Belleville won’t forget them.”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 2)

“Ritchie Store Goes ‘Over the top’ For Victory Loan. It was a proud moment for The Ritchie staff last evening when they gathered together and were informed that they had been awarded the first 100 per cent Honor Flag that had been presented in Belleville or the county of Hastings during the present Victory Loan campaign. That is an honor and a distinction which they can well be elated over, and from all reports they are proud of their efforts toward the success of this most worthy of causes in Canada today.

Mr. W. B. Deacon, chairman of the local Victory Loan committee, made the presentation and congratulated the employees and members of the firm on their splendid showing of practical patriotism. Mr. Deacon then unfurled the much coveted Flag of Honor and presented it to the store and staff, a symbol not only for the present but for all time to come that The Ritchie Company and employees served Canada faithfully and well in her time of need. …  When the count had been taken after the last application had been signed it was found that $7,100.00 had been subscribed—it showed the Ritchie staff was 100 per cent patriotic and fully entitled to display the Honor Flag, which is now to be seen in one of their show windows. …

Three hearty cheers for Mr. W. B. Deacon and ‘God Save the King’ brought the happy meeting to a fitting close.”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 2)

“Sinclair’s. Dresses For Every Peace Time Need.

Handsome Plush Coats At Moderate Prices. It is the dream of many women to possess a Plush Coat.

Please Bring Back Our Flags. Carried away by their enthusiasm on Monday, some person removed two large woollen flags used as decoration for this store. As these flags have been used for every celebration for the past twenty-five years we would be pleased if they were returned so that they could be used when the boys come back. No questions asked.

Buy Victory Bonds and Bring the Boys Home Sooner. Sinclair’s.”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 5)

“Trenton Celebrates The Signing Of Armistice Terms. Trenton citizens turned out en masse Monday afternoon to celebrate the glad tidings which were ushered in by the ringing of bells and the blowing of whistles about six a.m. The soldiers, headed by the band, started from the munition plant and paraded the principal streets, the boy scouts were out in fine form and a long parade of school children joined in the general good cheer by the singing of songs, shouting and blowing of horns and flag waving, and a large number of decorated autos. The Mayor and the town councilmen added to the festivities.

The Chemical works were closed down and many were the demonstrations of labor, the boys of the ‘Lab’ giving a fine representation equally by the men of the T.N.T. who were down town with huge pieces of boilers which had survived the explosion, loaded on gaily decked wagons and appropriately, as well as humorously, labelled ‘T.N.T.’ and ‘We Did Our Bit.’ ”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 5)

“Voluntary Aid Corps. This organization which was formed for the purpose of helping those afflicted in the recent epidemic has practically finished its work. One hundred and fifteen cases were reported and every one of these were investigated, nursing help sent to 84 and nourishment to 96 different cases. There were 43 persons who volunteered to assist as nurses, thirty-four people who offered the use of their cars to convey the nurses to their work and also in the distribution of nourishment.

The High School Science Kitchen was in operation for almost three weeks for the purpose of providing nourishment and hundreds of gallons of broth and soups were made and distributed in addition to puddings, custards, etc. This work was carried on by Miss Libby and Miss Dulmage of the High School staff who were assisted by a great many ladies who volunteered their services to help in the kitchen, and a great many others sent in delicacies ready for distribution. The urgency forbade time being taken to keep a detailed list of the help given and the great amount of supplies of all kinds that were sent in.

The Executive wish to take this opportunity of thanking all those who in any way assisted either with donations of money, supplies, giving their time or supplying care. It was only by the excellent response of the citizens that the organization was able to do the large amount of work that was done.”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 5)

“Community Dance. An unsigned communication to The Intelligencer suggests that public rejoicing be continued with a ‘community dance’ held on Front Street with a block roped off for joy purposes and the dancers to wear fancy costumes.”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 5)

“The 39th Batt. Colors. The Trustees of the 39th Battalion Colors have communicated their wish to Ven. Archdeacon Beamish, Rector of St. Thomas’ Church, to present and deposit the regimental colors next Sunday at eleven o’clock in St. Thomas’ Church. The commanding officer Col. Preston, of Orangeville, is expected to be present, and to be assisted by Col. Smart, O.C., who was second in command of the 39th Batt. And by the officers and men of the Depot Battalion, who will parade to St. Thomas’ Church to assist in the ceremony.”

The Intelligencer November 14, 1918 (page 5)

“Americans Are Aiding. The Special Subscription Committee representatives of the Victory Loan organization, who have been getting in touch with the American institutions doing business in Canada are now beginning to send in their reports, which are proving most gratifying. At the head of the list is the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, with a subscription of $5,500,000. This is the largest subscription received from the United States, and is in addition to $5,000,000 subscribed to the last loan. The local Metropolitan staff are 100 per cent subscribers to the Victory Loan.”



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