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.

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: Ad for Autostrop Razor, Penny Bag Collections Continue, Canadians in Mercantile Marine and Naval Services, Poster for Sailors’ Day

The Intelligencer December 7, 1917 (page 5)

“Give your soldier this Military Razor. It was made especially for him. The AutoStrop Razor in its New Military Kit is the real soldier’s razor. Why?

Because it is compact and takes up so little room, because it is light and adds so little weight, because it is complete with its trench mirror all ready to be hung up on the nearest nail—but especially because it is the famous AutoStrop Razor, the only razor that is self-maintaining. It is the only razor that Sharpens its own blades Automatically.

Kits in two styles: Black or Khaki Leather. AutoStrop Safety Razor Co., Ltd., Toronto, Canada.”

The Intelligencer December 7, 1917 (page 7)

“Penny Bag Collections for November. The interest in the Red Cross Penny Bag collections is, we are pleased to state, still increasing. …  Some of our patrons have expressed surprise at the apparent falling off of the collections in Murney Ward, while heretofore frequently the world held first place in its givings. We therefore feel that some explanation is due and the fact noted that Murney, or perhaps more correctly speaking, the west side of the river, is in reality giving more than double its former amount, though not through the channels of the original society—the Woman’s Red Cross and Patriotic Association.

Last spring a new organization for patriotic work was started on the west side. This society adopted the same means of collecting funds which had already been in use all over the city by the Woman’s Red Cross and Patriotic Association for a year and a half, that of placing little bags for coppers in the various homes. Unfortunately this has led to a good deal of confusion, and some (we feel sure) unintentional misstatements and misunderstanding, the idea having been spread that the Red Cross Penny Bags are not being used now on the west side.

This is not so. We still desire to have every family in Belleville, whether east, west, north or south Belleville participate in our original plan and give what coppers can be spared for comforts, hospital supplies, and wool for socks, sent by the Woman’s Red Cross and Patriotic Association to our brave soldiers at the front.”

The Intelligencer December 7, 1917 (page 9)

“Sailors’ Day Is Saturday, Dec. 8. If we are to have a mercantile marine in keeping with the important position among the nations Canada has won for herself of late, there must be men and materials upon which to build.

One of the functions of the Navy League is to encourage naval brigades for boys and young men in which they can receive practical and theoretical instruction in seamanship. This the League has done to an extent not generally appreciated. They have provided many men for the Navy and Mercantile Marine and have many others in training.

But other things are required if we are to help these pioneers in naval propaganda. The men they have provided to protect the High Seas and to carry our commerce must have an assurance that while they are facing the perils of the deep their needy dependents at home are not being neglected. …  Pension funds for the soldiers there are in abundance; the sailor is almost forgotten—yet his is the task that must first be accomplished before the final downfall of the Hun is assured.

It is known that the dependents of the crews of many torpedoed vessels are in dire necessity. Immediate relief is imperative. …  Calls without number have been made upon philanthropical Canadians, but there have been none more urgent than the one on behalf of the man at sea and his helpless dependents. Give liberally on Sailors’ Day, Saturday, Dec. 8th.”

The Intelligencer December 7, 1917 (page 10)

“ ‘Lend us a hand, Mate!’ Help the man who never quits—Sailors’ Day, Dec. 8.

Millions have been given to the Soldier—practically nothing to the Sailor—The Daughters of the Empire are assisting the Navy League by taking subscriptions on Sailors’ Day, December 8th.

Be Fair! Be Generous! Be Quick!”


100 Years Ago: Many Officers to Return to Canada, Poster for Sailors’ Day, No Christmas Parcels to Britain Except to Soldiers

The Intelligencer December 4, 1917 (page 3)

“Why Many Officers Have to Return to Canada—Rigid Medical Examination. London. Not a few Canadian officers who have never been part and parcel of some unit and done service at the front are preparing to return to Canada sooner or later. Officers in this position who are above the rank of lieutenant, and who wish to stay on, must revert to lieutenants. This, however, is not the sole requisite. No man over thirty-four years of age may revert. And lastly, no man may stay on unless he passes the medical examination for general service.

Needless to say, the age and physical restrictions will weed out many who would otherwise have stepped down in rank. People of Canada should bear this in mind when officers return. If these officers are over 34, and not A1 medically, they have simply been sent home whether they wanted to go or not. And physical defects quite unapparent to the public will cause the Medical Board to turn down an officer.”

The Intelligencer December 4, 1917 (page 3)

“Help the Sailors! The strong, right arm of human civilization—the unconquerable sailor of the British Navy and Mercantile Marine—He stands before you and asks your help on Sailors’ Day, December 8th. Why does he do this?

Because millions have been given to the Army by public and private subscriptions—worthily so—but practically nothing to the Navy and Mercantile Marine.

Won’t you be generous on Sailors’ Day, Dec. 8th.”

The Intelligencer December 4, 1917 (page 7)

“No Xmas Parcels Can Go to Britain. Britain Bans Everything Except to Soldiers. Ottawa. The British Government has declined to permit entry from Canada into the United Kingdom of Christmas parcels for civilians. …

The Canadian High Commissioner cabled: ‘Department declines permit entry Christmas parcels for civilians. Will allow important parcels strictly limited weight and size for Canadian Expeditionary Force.”

100 Years Ago: Over Two Million for Victory Loan

The Intelligencer December 3, 1917 (page 1)

“The success of the Victory Loan was beyond the hopes of the most optimistic worker. When the final returns are compiled it is expected that there will be more than $2,250,000 reported from the county. The original objective was $805,000, and the city of Belleville has nearly passed the fifth objective. No place in Canada has reported a better showing than Belleville. …

Mr. F. Buckley of Murney Street, was the lucky winner of the Victory Bond at Griffin’s on Saturday night. The theatre was packed and the choice of fate was a popular one. Next Saturday night another bond will be given away at the popular playhouse.

The workers of Belleville will be entertained at a supper at the Quinte tonight by Mr. W. B. Deacon, the County Chairman and the Victory Loan Organization Staff.

The publicity end of the campaign has been most successful, thanks to the co-operation of all the good people of the county. The press should be particularly thanked for the whole-hearted way in which they have turned in to help the cause. …  The merchants have also been most generous in lending their space in the newspapers, and display in windows.

The Griffin Amusement Co., through their popular representative here, Mr. Geo. Forhan, has been most generous in supplying publicity, by the introduction of slides, the playing of the ‘Miss Canada’ film, and in allowing the use of their stage for appeals from the members of the different theatrical companies that have played here. …

The most remarkable thing about the Publicity Campaign is the fact that it did not cost one cent.”

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