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: Souvenirs from the Somme, Martin Deibert Enlists

The Intelligencer June 14, 1917 (page 2)

“Souvenirs from Somme. Three brooches, souvenirs of the battle of the Somme, and twenty finger rings, all made from aluminum taken from German shells, have been received by F. B. Naylor, of this city, from Gunner A. Bochetey, Somewhere in France, who enlisted at Belleville and went overseas with the first Canadian Contingent.

Gunner Bochetey acknowledges with thanks receipt of boxes of good things from Mr. and Mrs. Naylor, and says he is ‘doing his bit’ to drive the Huns back to Berlin.”

The Intelligencer June 14, 1917 (page 5)

“Young Belleville Artilleryman Was Honored by His Church Associates. Martin Deibert, of Belleville, who has enlisted with the Cobourg Heavy battery was on Sunday last at Holloway Street Church Sunday School presented with a fountain pen and the following address:

Dear Martin: It is with deep regret that we learn of your leaving us, but we are proud that another member of our Sabbath school has so nobly answered the call of the colors and enlisted, not only to fight for King and Country, but that the demon militarism which breaks pledged words and oppresses the weak may be crushed out, so that abiding peace may come to the world as a blessing to us and to the unborn generations.

As a teacher and member of our school you have always been a cheerful willing helper and not only your class which you have endeared to you through example and painstaking teaching, but the whole school feel they are suffering a distinct loss in your departure. …

And now as a memento we ask you to accept this fountain pen, which we hope will prove of service to you, and that its use will recall to mind the knowledge that although far away, and seas divide, the thoughts and prayers of the superintendent, officers, teachers and scholars of Holloway St. Sunday school shall follow you.

Our hope and prayer is that this war may soon cease and that you may be, through God’s mercy, spared to return, and resume work with us. Signed on behalf of school. G. T. Woodley, Supt. Kerr, Secretary.”

100 Years Ago: Leroy Madden Dangerously Ill

The Intelligencer June 13, 1917 (page 2)

“Reported Dangerously Ill. Mr. George Madden, of this city, is in receipt of a communication from the Record Office, Ottawa, which conveys the intelligence that his son, Sergt. Leroy Madden, is dangerously ill.

Sergt. Madden, left Belleville with the 155th Battalion last October and has been in France about three months. Roy was previously wounded and it is thought that the sickness was brought on through the wound.”

100 Years Ago: Private Charles John Stevens Wins D.C.M., Ad for Gorman’s Boot Shop

The Intelligencer June 11, 1917 (page 2)

“Won the D.C.M. Private C. J. Stevens, who when in Belleville, was commonly called ‘Dad,’ today visited the Intelligencer Office, where once he was employed. Pte. Stevens has done his bit at the front and is now home on three months’ leave. He is the possessor of a Distinguished Conduct Medal, which he wears with pride.

The young veteran enlisted with the 51st at Edmonton and was drafted to the 15th Canadian Battalion. He left for the front in April 1916, and was in the trenches some months. Five times he was hit and his last wounds were of a rather serious nature, being in the chest. The medal was awarded him for bravery on the field of battle. Pte. Stevens still has a desire to return to the scene of warfare.”

The Intelligencer June 11, 1917 (page 3)

“Boot Bargains! Gorman’s Boot Shop. 20% Discount Sale!

Bang down go Prices. Sale Commences Tuesday Morning, June 12th. Closes Saturday Night, June 30th. Bargains for all the family. $30,000 Stock.”

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