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: War Badges to Be Issued, Gunner Jack Clark Gassed, Memorial Service for Bert Post, Poster for Food Service Pledge, King’s Message to Canada on Food

The Intelligencer September 17, 1917 (page 2)

“Ottawa. An order-in-Council providing for the issue of war badges by the Canadian Government to members of the Canadian Forces who have been honorably discharged, or who have been rejected as medically unfit, was tabled in the Commons. …

The first class consists of members of the C.E.F. who have seen active service at the front, and in case of officers, have been honorably retired, or in the case of N.C.O.’s and men, have been honorably discharged, or been returned to or retained in Canada on duty.

The second class consists of officers or men who have been honorably discharged on account of old age, wounds or sickness, which would render them permanently unfit for further military service.

The third class consists of members of the C.E.F. not included in the preceding classes, who have been honorably retired on account of old age, wounds or sickness.

Class four consists of men who, prior to Aug. 10 offered themselves for active service and were rejected as and still are medically unfit. …  Penalties for misrepresentation, falsely wearing a badge, or illegally manufacturing them, are provided.”

The Intelligencer September 17, 1917 (page 3)

“Gunner Clarke Gassed. Mrs. Wm. Clark, College Street, received the following telegram from Ottawa yesterday: ‘Regret to inform you that 300324 Gunner Jack Clark, artillery, gassed Sept. 9, and admitted to No. 3 Ambulance Depot. Will send further particulars when received. Officers of Records.”

The Intelligencer September 17, 1917 (page 3)

“Memorial Service. At Christ Church yesterday morning a portion of the service was devoted to a memorial service for the late Pte. Bert Post, who recently died from wounds received in action in France. The service was of an impressive nature, and the rector, Rev. Dr. Blagrave, spoke feelingly and sympathetically of the bereaved family, two of whom have made the supreme sacrifice within a year. Mrs. Col. Campbell presided at the organ, and the Dead March in Saul was played as the congregation remained reverently in attendance. Many were in attendance at the service.”

The Intelligencer September 17, 1917 (page 3)

“Canada! Ypres, April 22-24, 1915. They Also Serve Who Sign and Live Up to The Food Service Pledge! Woman’s Auxiliary, Organization of Resources Committee, in Co-operation with The Hon. W. J. Hanna, Food Controller.”

The Intelligencer September 17, 1917 (page 4)

“The King’s Message to Canada. ‘I learn with the deepest gratification of the effective steps being taken in the Dominion of Canada towards providing those increased supplies of food which are absolutely essential to the defeat of the enemy’s devices and to a speedy and successful termination of the war. I have no doubt that the self-sacrifice displayed on the battlefields of France by my heroic troops will find its counterpart in the efforts of those who, at home in the Dominion, are devoting themselves to this work. All those thus loyally engaged contribute in important measure towards assuring victory.’—George R.I.”


100 Years Ago: War Menus, Military Supplies, Fenton Brownell and Charles Danford Killed in Action, Poster for Canadian Naval Patrol, First Anniversary of Temperance Act, Poster for Food Service Pledge

The Intelligencer September 15, 1917 (page 1)

“War Menus. How to Save Wheat, Beef and Bacon for the Men at the Front. Issued from the office of the Food Controller for Canada.

Menu for Sunday. Breakfast: Fresh Fruit, Oatmeal Porridge, Toast, Marmalade, Tea or Coffee, Milk, Sugar. Dinner: Cold Roast Veal, Tomato Catsup, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Bread and Butter, Oatmeal Cookies, Jelly. Supper: Tomato Salad, Bread and Butter, Fruit in Season, Cake, Tea, Milk, Sugar.”

The Intelligencer September 15, 1917 (page 3)

“Supplies for Soldiers. The specifications governing the tenders for military supplies for the battery which will winter in Belleville, embrace a period of four months from October 1.”

The Intelligencer September 15, 1917 (page 3)

“Death of a Hero. Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Danford of Farady [Faraday] Township were officially notified that their eldest son, Pte. Charles Danford, had been killed in action ‘somewhere in France’ on Aug. 15th. He went overseas with the 155th battalion from Belleville and was one of the heroes who helped take Vimy Ridge. He was operating a machine gun and was killed while bravely doing his duty.

During the battle of Vimy Ridge a comrade, Pte. Finton Brownell, was killed while operating this gun and Pte. Danford took his place and kept a constant fire into the German lines till the enemy was routed and the victory won.”

[Note: Private Fenton Brownell of Coe Hill, Ontario died on April 9, 1917. He is commemorated on Page 209 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

[Note: Private Charles William Danford died on August 15, 1917. He is commemorated on Page 225 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer September 15, 1917 (page 3)

“If You Hold A 4th Class Engineer Certificate as issued by the Department of Marine or its English equivalent and are a British Subject you are probably eligible for one of the vacancies as Engine Room Artificer in the newly commissioned ships of the Canadian Naval Patrol. It is an effective way to place your qualifications at the service of your country during the War.”

The Intelligencer September 15, 1917 (page 6)

“Tomorrow the Temperance Act will have been in force one year, and the advocates of the reform are well satisfied with the results. Premier Sir William Hearst is especially pleased with the way in which the people have observed the law. …  ‘Reports from all parts of the province indicate the success of the measure as well as the great benefits that are resulting from it. One very gratifying result of the act is the increased efficiency of the workers of this province in every branch of production. …

This is a good thing for the workers and for their families and for their employers as well, and is a great thing for the country at a time when all our energies are required to save the empire from destruction. In this way a patriotic purpose of the highest order has been served.’ ”

The Intelligencer September 15, 1917 (page 10)

“Once More Canada Must Stand in the Gap, Once More Must Hold the Lines of Communication.

Next week a Food Service Pledge and Window Card will be delivered to you. The Pledge is your Dedication to War Service—the Window Card is your Emblem of Honour.

Serve Our Heroes—Sign the Food Service Pledge.”



100 Years Ago: Supplies for 73rd Battery, Percy Ketcheson Welcomed Home, Food Conservation Campaign Begins, Ad for Lifebuoy, Poster for Food Service Pledge, Letter of Thanks

The Intelligencer September 13, 1917 (page 2)

“Supplies for Soldiers. Tenders have been called for supplies for the 73rd Battery which will be stationed in Belleville this winter. The battery will leave Petawawa camp this month.”

The Intelligencer September 13, 1917 (page 2)

“Welcomed Home. Major Percy K. Ketcheson, son of Mr. and Mrs. T. E. Ketcheson, of this city, who has been invalided home, arrived here yesterday afternoon by G. T. R. and was met at the station by a number of relatives and friends and escorted to the home of his parents.

Ald. Woodley, acting Mayor in the absence of Mayor Ketcheson, was present, and on behalf of the citizens extended to the young hero a hearty welcome home.

Major Ketcheson had many exciting and interesting experiences on the firing line and was finally put out of action by a dose of German gas and wounds. After receiving medical treatment in English military hospitals, he was invalided home.”

[Note: It is reported in The Intelligencer on September 14, 1917, that Major Ketcheson was not gassed, but was wounded in the trenches.]

The Intelligencer September 13, 1917 (page 2)

“Save Food and Help To Win the War. The thrift campaign under the auspices of the Food Controller of Canada to conserve food and prevent waste in the interest of keeping the armies and allied countries supplied with food so that the war may not be lost through lack of necessary supplies, is now actively begun and members of Belleville patriotic societies will make a house to house canvass to enlist the active co-operation of all citizens.

Citizens who subscribe to the food service pledge are requested to display the ‘Win the War’ card prominently in a window where the public can see it. The Food Service Pledge is to be hung in the dining room.

The distribution of the pledge cards begins next Monday, Sept. 17th in every city and town in Ontario. …  Each president or her representative is to be a captain of a number of workers from her society and will plan with the other captains of her own ward just what streets they will take.

All the captains are earnestly requested to attend a lecture or talk at the City Hall on Monday evening, when the subject will be very exhaustively dealt with by Dr. Helen McMurchy of Toronto. Dr. McMurchy is one of the members of the board in her own city along this same line of work, and her remarks will be of great help.

The clergy of the city are co-operating heartily along this line of thrift and food conservation and the subject will be mentioned in all the churches on Sunday, Sept. 16. It is to be hoped there will be a large attendance of the women of Belleville Monday evening to hear Dr. McMurchy, and citizens should read carefully all the references to food conservation in the local papers, so that those who are distributing the pledge cards will not have to give a long and detailed explanation with every card handed out.

Be ready to sign the card and return at once to the canvassers. We must learn to save time as well as food and money.”

The Intelligencer September 13, 1917 (page 3)

“Lifebuoy for the ‘Counter-attack.’ All day long he’s been standing the attacks of dirt, dust, grime, germs and microbes. Now for the counter-attack. Lifebuoy to the front! Its rich, creamy lather for skin, shampoo and bath—or for socks, shirts, handkerchiefs, etc., makes short work of ‘the enemy.’ Lifebuoy Health Soap.”

The Intelligencer September 13, 1917 (page 6)

“They Shall Not Pass. The Immortal Cry of Canada at the Second Battle of Ypres.

Thou Shalt Not Want. The Undying Pledge of Canada’s Mothers to Her Sons.

Sign and Live Up To Your Food Service Pledge.”

The Intelligencer September 13, 1917 (page 7)

“Letters from Overseas. From Chas. H. Brook. My Dear Mrs. MacColl:—I have just received the second trench box to-day, and have just finished distributing the contents. I had notification of its arrival some days ago, but was not in a position where I could look after it until to-day. I was anxious to get it because I knew just how welcome the parcels would be as the boys are in great need of socks, notepaper and tobacco, and the lucky ones whom I gave the parcels to are greatly pleased. …

I see several of the boys answering the cards which were enclosed, and they come to me to ask me if I know the address, which in most cases I do. The playing cards and scrap books will mean much to the boys, Mrs. MacColl, for there is often a little time when one longs for something to read.

I must tell you that I felt very proud of Belleville and the girls of the St. Julien Chapter, when I was giving the parcels out, for their work is greatly appreciated, I assure you, and I have not seen in France any evidence of greater work being done by any other society or chapter of its kind, than that of the St. Julien, and I feel very proud of the Chapter and the city. …

We have been very busy the past couple of months and are looking forward to a little rest soon. Again thanking you on behalf of the boys, for the kind work of the chapter. I am Very sincerely, Chas. H. Brook.”

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