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: Boxing Bouts at Armories, George Stringer Wounded, Poster for War-Savings Stamps

The Intelligencer December 7, 1918 (page 1)

“Boxing Bouts At Armories Furnish Interesting Sport. At the Armories last night a smoker and boxing tournament was held under the auspices of the Great War Veterans Association of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties and it proved to be a most entertaining function. There was a good attendance and all present were well repaid. Previous to the bouts the 15th Regimental Band gave a number of suitable selections to the delight of the spectators. …  Previous to the main bout being staged Mr. W. E. Turley of Toronto, Provincial Secretary of the Great War Veterans Association gave an address and proved that he was an orator of no mean calibre. …  Mr. Turley referred to the reconstruction period and the returning of soldiers to civil life. They did a great part in the winning of the war of destruction. A war of reconstruction is beginning, and the G. W. V. A. will be found to be assisting in this great task. …  Statues may be erected to the memory of those who have fallen, but it will be better to have a club house for the living than a stone or a memorial of brass. In conclusion Mr. Turley stirred those present by reciting in a dramatic manner that well known and stirring selection by the late Col. John McCrae, ‘In Flanders Fields.’ ”

The Intelligencer December 7, 1918 (page 7)

“Gunner Stringer Wounded. Mr. Peter Stringer, Fort Stewart, North Hastings, received word recently that his son, Gr. Geo. Stringer, had been wounded. Gr. Stringer has been at the front nearly since the outbreak of hostilities, and was wounded just at the close of hostilities. He was a former member of the 34th Battery of this city.”

The Intelligencer December 7, 1918 (page 11)

War Savings Stamps

“What is a WAR-SAVINGS STAMP? It is a stamp for which the Dominion of Canada will pay you $5.00 on January 1st, 1924.

A War-Savings Stamp costs you $4.00 if purchased in December, 1918, or January, 1919, and the price increases one cent each month after January.

Every man, woman and child in Canada should invest in War-Savings Stamps all the money that he or she can save by STRICT ECONOMY.

W.-S. S. are on sale at Money-Order Post Offices, Banks, and other places displaying the W.-S. S. sign shown at the top of this announcement. Look for the Sign.”


100 Years Ago: King George V, War Veterans as Employees, Red Cross Penny Bag Collection

The Intelligencer December 6, 1918 (page 1)

George V“His Majesty the King, who, while other thrones are crumbling, retains the love and admiration of his subjects of the British Empire.”

The Intelligencer December 6, 1918 (page 4)

“War Veterans as Employees. One of the largest concerns in Canada has issued the following notice to its foremen in reference to proper treatment of returned soldiers as employees. If all employers realized the truth of its statements there would be fewer remarks about the alleged unreliability of returned soldiers as workmen. This uncertainty is only a phase of short duration and the man who has had sufficient conscience to offer his life for the principles for which the British Empire is at war, is pretty sure to have enough conscience to do this work faithfully. Here is the notice:

‘How do you treat a returned soldier working under you? Do you consider him as an ordinary workman, let him shift for himself and look on his mistakes only as you would an ordinary employee? If so you are assuming that he is in all respects just a normal man and should be able to do the same work as quickly and as well as the average employee. If you do, you are wrong.

Most returned soldiers’ constitutions are broken down. They have been gassed, shell shocked, and tortured by wounds, and consequently, are highly strung and nervous, and will be for some time to come. What they make of themselves depends upon you. If one of these men makes a mistake and is roughly reprimanded, he is likely to shake like a leaf, get excited, etc., and be very difficult to make anything of; this is wrong. The greatest tact, care and attention that you can give these men in helping them to become useful employees is what the Company expects, and moreover,—YOU OWE IT TO THEM.

There are bound to be some exceptions, and some men will fail to make good. The success or failure of the majority, however, depends on you, and it is your privilege to help your country in this national crisis by endeavoring to make useful citizens out of the nerve-shattered men that are commencing to come back to us from the Front.”

The Intelligencer December 6, 1918 (page 6)

“Red Cross Penny Bag Collection Oct. Nov. Owing to the severe epidemic of influenza which visited our city in October it was deemed wise to omit the collection of the pennies for that month and collect for the two months at the end of November. While not double our monthly amount, still the collection just completed is a considerable increase on any individual month of the year, and we are very grateful for the added amount, as the money is still badly needed. …

Our heartfelt thanksgiving goes out at the prospect of peace which has come to us during the past month, and we hope that before long the work of the penny bags may cease. …

The Red Cross Society is still making needed hospital supplies, still doing knitting, though not so much as formerly, still sending parcels to the boys and in addition, are now making clothing for the little children, whom this awful war has rendered homeless and destitute. The materials for these things cost much money, and we must do our part to supply it. Won’t you all continue to help by saving your pennies for us, as long as the Red Cross work proves necessary?”


100 Years Ago: Movies Must Show Canadian and British Troops, Many Food Regulations Rescinded, Victory Loan Honor Flag to County Council

The Intelligencer December 5, 1918 (page 1)

“ ‘Canada First,’ Order Of Ontario Govt. To Movies. Toronto. Hon. T. W. McGarry, Provincial Treasurer, intends to put a stop to the existing practise of many moving picture theatres in the Province showing war films which portray almost exclusively the actions of the American army, while ignoring the part played by the British and Canadian forces. He has advised the film exchanges that unless more films depicting the part played by Great Britain and Canada in the war are shown on the screen, that he would instruct the censors to cut out much of the material such as that which has been recently shown throughout the province. …

While he was prepared to admit the part taken by the American army in the war, particularly in the last few months, the Minister said the fact that Great Britain and Canada have both been in it since its commencement must not be overlooked. ‘I do not see why the film exchanges cannot obtain material such as I have indicated, and certainly our Canadian citizens will not much longer stand for the exaltation of an army of another nation and forgetfulness of our own.’ ”

The Intelligencer December 5, 1918 (page 6)

“Rescind Many of the Food Regulations. Ottawa. Changes in the food regulations following upon the armistice of November 11th, in so far as they affect the general public, are summarized in a Canada Food Board statement as follows:

Compulsory restrictions of the amount of flour which may be held in store by dealers, householders and others have been rescinded.

The compulsory purchase of a proportion of substitutes for wheat flour has been rescinded.

The use of substitutes by manufacturers, bakers, public restaurants and households are no longer compulsory, but in view of the necessity of conservation, and in order to prevent waste of stock of substitutes already on hand, the Food Board urges the greatest possible voluntary use of them to be continued.

Sandwiches may now be served in public eating places during the noon meal hour.

Restrictions on the quantity of bread served at public eating places are now removed.

Manufacturers may make and sell doughnuts, biscuits, crullers, Scotch shortbread or cake, and French pastry, provided they are vegetable fats only.

Manufacturers, provided they do not exceed 40 pounds of sugar in every 100 pounds of flour may make and sell seed cakes and biscuits filled with icing, so long as they do not increase the total amount of sugar used as allotted.

Restrictions on the manufacture of wheat in the form of breakfast food, alimentary paste, buckwheat and self-rising flours, etc., have been rescinded.

Conservation regulations of beef are still in force and are still important, in view of the requirements at the present time and in the future.

Conservation of butter and animal fats is still very important.

Until the end of the year the regulation of the consumption of sugar will be necessary, after which it is hoped the new crop will be available.”

The Intelligencer December 5, 1918 (page 8)

“Victory Loan Honor Flag Presented to County Council. W. B. Deacon of Belleville addressed the council, saying it was his duty and pleasure to present to the Hastings County Council the Governor-General’s flag won by the county for going beyond the objective in the recent Victory Loan Campaign. …

Mr. H. W. Ackerman said there was considerable rivalry amongst the municipalities and several honor flags were won. In some places not only were the honor flags won, but many places won crowns. The county had certainly done good work.

Warden Montgomery said the Council accepted with pride the honor flag. The canvassers worked hard and their efforts were crowned with abundant success and a glorious end had been achieved. He accepted the flag and it would be held in remembrance for the good work achieved by the county in the Victory Loan Campaign of 1918.”


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