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.

Nurses of World War I: Mabel Helen Taylor

Mabel Helen Taylor was born near Corby’s Mill on the 4th Concession, Lot 8 in Corbyville on Aug 28, 1880 daughter of William Taylor and Elspeth Gordon. In her attestation papers she listed Belleville as her place of birth but her father managed the Distillery for Hon. Henry Corby’s business and they lived adjacent to the Mill.

Mabel Helen Taylor

She was educated locally, was a graduate of the Nursing School at the Hamilton City Hospital about 1914 and received her Certificate of Military Qualification at the Niagara on the Lake Camp on July 14, 1915. Miss Taylor was on staff of the Hamilton Military Hospital and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on Aug 7, 1916.

Height:  5’ 8”

Weight:  131lb

Age: 35 (stated age: 30)

Nursing Sister Taylor went overseas in July 1918, served at the hospitals in Shorncliffe and London, England and was admitted to the Canadian Red Cross Officer’s Hospital in London in Feb 1919 with influenza. She returned to Canada, setting sail on May 3, 1919 aboard the S.S. Royal George and was discharged on May 20, 1919. Engaged in private duty nursing in Toronto, Miss Taylor was united in marriage to Veteran Francis Oliver Lucas on June 28, 1922; they resided at 27 Whitehall Road.

Mabel Helen Lucas died on Feb 25, 1951 aged 70 years 5 months 27 days. She is interred at the Belleville Cemetery Section N Row 11 Grave 4.

Mabel Taylor grave marker


100 Years Ago: Coal Enough If Care Taken, Families Without Coal, Spanish Influenza Under Control, Campaign for Army Huts, Power of Dollars, Patriot or Shirker, Depot Battalion to Arrive, Weather Poor for Farmers, Gasless Sunday Tomorrow, Memorial Service for Privates Carter and Thibault, Great War Veterans Support Army Huts Campaign, Poster for Thrift

The Intelligencer September 21, 1918 (page 1)

“Coal Enough If It Is Husbanded. Ottawa. Unless the coming winter is one of exceptional severity the supply of coal available for use in Canada, in the opinion of Fuel Controller C. A. Magrath, should be sufficient if properly husbanded. Of anthracite coal Canada’s allotment is somewhat smaller this year than last, but of bituminous coal some 1,200,000 tons more are being brought into the country. …  Municipal authorities, he holds, must do their part by appointing fuel controllers to ensure proper distribution of coal available for consumption in their own localities. …

Representatives of firms engaged in the manufacture of musical instruments, automobiles, liquors and clay products were here to-day conferring together and with the Fuel Controller respecting the manner in which the proposed limitation of coal consumption by those industries is to be carried out.”

The Intelligencer September 21, 1918 (page 2)

“Families Without Coal. To The Editor of The Intelligencer: Dear Sir:—It is reasonably certain that there are many families in the City of Belleville without fuel at the present time.

Would it not be a good suggestion for the editors of both papers to select five representative citizens in each ward and ask them to make a canvass of the poorer class of people in their ward with a view of ascertaining what supply of coal they have on hand, what their requirements for the year would be, why they have made no purchases? etc. After this information has been ascertained a report to the Local Fuel Controller could be made with a view to supplying the needs of these citizens. …  In collecting this information special attention should be given to the needs of soldiers’ wives. Yours truly, W. E. Shuster.”

The Intelligencer September 21, 1918 (page 3)

“Spanish Influenza Now Under Control. Toronto. ‘The department is doing everything possible to check the outbreak of Spanish influenza which was reported to us from the Polish camp at Niagara, and we feel that we have this new but aggravating complaint well under control,’ was the statement made by Col. J. W. S. McCullough, Chief officer of the Provincial Board of Health.”

The Intelligencer September 21, 1918 (page 4)

“Last Call—Is Your Name Written There? The campaign to raise funds for the Knights of Columbus Army Comfort Huts for the soldiers on the firing line has swept forward with enthusiasm and success. The publicity part of the local campaign is in charge of Mr. W. L. Doyle, who has been so successful in previous campaigns for various patriotic purposes, and as a result of Mr. Doyle’s ability and novel advertising methods no one who can read will be able to say that the aims and objects of the campaign were not strikingly brought forth. …  What we owe the brave soldier boys can never be measured in money and the slogan of ‘Give, Give, Give ‘Till it Hurts’ is but a reminder of one more opportunity to pay a small installment on our great debt to our soldier protectors. …

There are no creed barriers on the battlefield and only one God to bless the religion of service in the great cause of humanity. The K. of C. workers are welcomed beside the Y.M.C.A. and Salvation Army and all will work in perfect harmony and co-operation ministering to the needs of the soldiers and by their unselfish services inspiring the soldier to even greater efforts in the cause of world freedom. …

This is the last day of the Drive and those who have not as yet given in their subscriptions can do so this evening at Campaign Headquarters, corner of Bridge and Front Streets.”

The Intelligencer September 21, 1918 (page 4)

“The Power of the Dollar. Never were extravagances and useless buying regarded as so serious an evil as today. A greater evil still is the spending of one’s money on silly pleasures. Canadians carry too serious a determination to ride through to Victory and to vindicate the stalwartness and endurance of the men at the front to tolerate any such laxity in their expenditures.

Our people generally are sizing up the power of the dollar as never before, and are investing their surpluses against a possible landslide after the war. This is real patriotism. It is carrying common-sense into national business. It is proving that the strength of a nation lies in her saving citizens.”

The Intelligencer September 21, 1918 (page 4)

“The Patriot or The Shirker. To save and serve or to spend and shirk—that is the question. If we decide—as we will—on saving and serving, then we must cut down on all luxuries to the limit.

Motoring for pleasure is a luxury. Most of the Sunday motoring is for pleasure, and as long as the Fuel Controller asks us to desist from Sunday motoring, it is our patriotic duty to respond.

By refraining from pleasure-motoring to-morrow we discharge a double duty. We save the gasoline needed overseas. We save the money which Canada must have to finish the war. The car in the garage tomorrow is the Patriot’s car. The car on the Highway, if there for pleasure, is the car of the Shirker. Which is YOURS?”

The Intelligencer September 21, 1918 (page 7)

“Soldiers Next Week. The Depot Battalion, which is being transferred from Kingston to Belleville, did not arrive yesterday as anticipated, quarters not being quite ready for them. They will arrive early next week.”

The Intelligencer September 21, 1918 (page 7)

“Anxiety for Farmers. The past couple of weeks have been anxious ones for the farmers in this section, many of whom have a great deal of grain in the fields yet. Wheat is commencing to sprout and the straw will be almost useless for feed. While the weather does not look any too favorable yet it gives promise of improving and a few days of sunshine would change the aspect considerably.—Bancroft Times.”

The Intelligencer September 21, 1918 (page 7)

“Everybody Walks But—the call comes strong and insistent from those in a position to know that there is urgent necessity to save gasoline for war purposes. This is not the time to argue the pros and cons of Sunday pleasure riding in automobiles. Canadians are placed upon their honor and requested to save gasoline tomorrow by cutting out the use of motor cars except for deeds of necessity and mercy. …  Let’s make it unanimous and ALL WALK. What say? Yes, of course—YES!”

The Intelligencer September 21, 1918 (page 7)

“Memorial Service. A memorial service will be held at the S. A. Citadel on Sunday evening next at 7 p.m. for Ptes. Carter and Thibault, who were both killed in action this week. They were adherents of the Salvation Army and the wives and family reside in the city, the former on Boswell street and the latter on Murney street.”

The Intelligencer September 21, 1918 (page 7)

“War Veterans Endorse K. of C. Army Hut Fund. Toronto, Sept. 20, 1918. E. D. O’Flynn, Esq., Standard Bank Chambers, Belleville, Ont. Dear Comrade:

The following letter was given to the representative of the Knights of Columbus in the City of Toronto, after consultation with the President and Vice-President: ‘We who have shared in the mud, misery and blood of trench warfare know the need of such aid to courage and endurance as the Knights of Columbus Huts afford to the soldiers over there. We have no hesitation in urging Canadians to support the work. …  The folks who give the last cent of their last dollar for the welfare of the boys over there have given less than the man who gives his life.

The Great War Veterans Association in Ontario will support and encourage the money raising campaign of the Knights of Columbus.’

I regret the matter was so urgent I was unable to consult all the members of the Executive before making a departure from our policy to withhold endorsation of the work of other organizations, but I trust the worthy nature of this endeavor will lead to your approval of my action in this matter. Yours fraternally, W. E. Turley. Sec. G.W.V.A. (Ont. Prov. Branch).”

The Intelligencer September 21, 1918 (page 9)

Poster for thrift

“Fellow Canadians! How much thought do you give to the War—I mean honest, sincere thought on how we should live in order to win the war?

You have no idea what it means to stand knee-deep in mud—in a dirty trench—with a cold drizzle chilling you to the bone. But you know these things are.

And we—the soldiers who make those armies. Do you think we could ‘carry-on’ if we thought for a moment you were not backing us to the limit?

If you could know—as I know—all that war means—you’d stint yourselves down to the barest necessities—so that Canada’s money and Canada’s material and Canada’s labor could all go into guns and shells and boots and uniforms and food—for our boys over in France to fight with.

Published under the authority of the Minister of Finance of Canada.”



100 Years Ago: Private Roy Buck Killed in Action, Army Huts Campaign Total Climbs, Frank Sweet Killed in Action, Howard Black Dies of Wounds, Spanish Flu Enters Ontario, Letter from Nursing Sister for A. E. Baldwin, Salvation Army Campaign, Soldiers Arrive in Belleville, George Thibault Killed in Action, William Neilson Casselman Five Times Wounded

The Intelligencer September 20, 1918 (page 1)

Roy Buck

“Killed in Action. Private Roy Buck. A former member of the Ritchie staff, killed in action on September 3, 1918. His mother resides at 18 Everett Street.”

The Intelligencer September 20, 1918 (page 5)

“K. of C. Army Hut Fund Reaches $3,200. With one day left in which to obtain the objective of $5,000 for Belleville District the workers connected with the K. of C. Army Hut Fund are redoubling their efforts to reach that mark. Canvasses are being made night and day, and at headquarters corner of Bridge and Front street, the secretary is on the job all the time. Last night the total had reached $3,200. This is most encouraging. …

To-day and to-morrow canvassers in Trenton will cover the British Chemical Co., where it is expected that a large sum will be realized. This is the first time a direct canvass of these works has been made for any fund, and the committee of the Knights of Columbus Army Hut Fund appreciates the very great favor that is being shown them by the management. The management in turn realizes the very great work that is being done by this Army Hut Fund.

The works of the Canada Cement Plant at Point Anne will also be canvassed this afternoon, through the kindness of the management. If everyone will get together for one more day, Belleville will surpass the $5,000 objective.”

The Intelligencer September 20, 1918 (page 5)

“Pte. Frank Sweet Killed in Action. Uncle of Pte. Howard Black Who Recently Died of Wounds. Mrs. Richard Black, 24 Hillside street, has received the following notice: (413035) Pte. Frank Sweet. Dear madam:—I regret to have to advise you that notice has been received here that the above mentioned soldier has been reported to have been killed in action on the 8th of August, 1918. Yours truly, E. Baker. For Director of S.A. & A.P.

Frank Sweet enlisted with the 39th Battalion in this city, and went overseas with that battalion. In England he was transferred to another unit, and went to France, where he served his country faithfully for over a year as a sharp shooter, and later as military police. He was invalided to England with trench rheumatism and he remained there until April, 1918, when he again went to France and on August the 8th made his supreme sacrifice for King and country. He was the fifth and youngest son of the late Wm. Sweet of Bancroft, and brother of Mrs. R. Black of this city.

The Intelligencer September 20, 1918 (page 5)

Howard Black“Pte. Howard Black. This family has been doubly bereaved as this is the second loss within a few days. Frank Sweet was an uncle of Pte. Howard Black, whose death from gun shot wounds was previously announced. Howard was a bright and promising student. He received his education at Queen Mary School and was a pupil of the High School when he enlisted at the age of 16 in the bugle band of the 155th Battalion. He was with this battalion while it was in camp at Barriefield, but did not go overseas with it as he was too young.

On being transferred to the Special Corps he was sent to Lindsay as bugler to the Arsenal Guard and volunteered to go with the 252nd Battalion in May of 1917 which battalion went overseas at the same time as the 254th from this city.

In England he attended the Signalling School at Seaford, graduating fourth in a class of fifty. In March of this year he went to France where he very cheerfully and faithfully performed all duties, and September 5th gave up his brave young life for the liberty and peace of all nations. In religion he was a Presbyterian, being identified with John Street Presbyterian church.”

[Note: Private William John Howard Black died on September 5, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 369 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer September 20, 1918 (page 5)

“European Scourge Enters Ontario. Toronto. Spanish influenza which raged throughout large sections of Europe and made serious inroads upon the German armies in France, has made its appearance in Ontario. So far most of the cases reported in the province are in the camp of the Polish Legion at Niagara, and the authorities there have had to place part of the camp in quarantine and confine all the Polish soldiers to barracks.

The disease has already become epidemic in certain parts of the United States, particularly in one or two cantonments, and in order to prevent it getting established here Hon. W. D. McPherson, Provincial Secretary, and Col. J. W. S. McCullough, Provincial Officer of Health, had an extended conference. As a result steps will be taken to warn the public and to circularize all the physicians in the province regarding the matter. …

The disease resembles influenza, the most important symptoms being sudden onset with chills, severe headache with pain in the back and limbs, and a general feeling of malaise. The face is flushed and herpes appears on the lips in some cases. The fever runs from 99 to 102 and occasionally to 103 or 104. The highest point is reached on the second day when there is a sudden drop, and by the fourth day the patient is well. Many cases develop a harsh cough with thick sputum and some develop into pneumonia.

Dr. McCullough stated that the disease is spread by germs carried in the nose and throat and the infection is generally passed from one person to another by direct personal contact, drinking utensils, the use of common towels, etc.

The Provincial Officer urges people to avoid contact with persons with the disease or showing symptoms and those infected are advised to remain in bed and have a physician called.”

The Intelligencer September 20, 1918 (page 7)

“Recommended for Medal. Mrs. A. E. Baldwin, 22 Green St. has received a letter from Nursing Sister L. E. Walker, of the Third Western General Hospital, at Neath, S. Wales, of which the following is a part: ‘I am writing a few lines to you for your husband, who is in this hospital, and who at present is not able to write himself. He was admitted here on August 21st. He had been gassed and was suffering from some burns.

He is now going on well, but his eyes are still very troublesome and he cannot stand the light, and has to have them bandaged up; but you must not worry, he is getting on quite all right, though of course it will take time to get over the effect of the wretched gas the Germans use. The burns take some time to heal, but he is progressing well and steadily, and before long will be writing to you himself.

He would like you to know he got recommended for the Military Medal on the 9th of this month when he went over the top. He sends love to the children and yourself. I must tell you he is a very good patient.’ ”

The Intelligencer September 20, 1918 (page 7)

“S. A. Campaign. The Salvation Army local workers have received much encouragement in their appeal to the public this week, many of the small envelopes being returned without a call being made. There is every indication that the objective will be reached and the good work of the S. A. continued. …

It looks as if Belleville is to lead the list of cities and towns of Ontario in the annual Harvest Thanksgiving financial effort of the Salvation Army. The men in khaki, 32 in number, who were active members or adherents of the local branch, will have the satisfaction that those at home who ‘stay by the stuff’ are also doing their bit. The Salvation Army makes a specialty of helping the wives and children of these men who are away.”

The Intelligencer September 20, 1918 (page 7)

“Soldiers Arrive Today. Two hundred members of the Depot Battalion at Barriefield Camp under Lt.-Col. Smart leave Kingston today for Belleville, and will be quartered in the Armouries until the new barracks at Barriefield are completed. It is thought that the barracks will be finished in eight weeks, and then will be ready for occupation. Four hundred men will shortly be at work at the new buildings at Barriefield and already bunk-houses to accommodate that number have been erected.”

The Intelligencer September 20, 1918 (page 7)

“Killed in Action. On Monday Mrs. G. Thibault residing at 18 Murney street, city, received a telegram stating that her husband, Pte. George Thibault, was reported missing on August 28th. To-day she received a message stating that he was killed in action on the above date. In 1915 he enlisted and went overseas with the 59th Battalion of Peterboro.”

[Note: Private Georges Thibault died on August 28, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 511 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer September 20, 1918 (page 7)

“Five Times Wounded. Mr. George Casselman of this city, is in receipt of the following official telegram, which refers to her son: ‘Sincerely regret to inform you Pte. Wm. Neilson Casselman, infantry, reported admitted to Nov. 4 General Hospital, Dannies-Camiers, Sept. 4th, gunshot wound in right shoulder.’

Pte. Casselman enlisted and left Belleville with the 39th Battalion three years ago. Since being on active service he has been wounded five times.”


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