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: Daylight Saving to Start Sunday, Notice from British Food Controller, Farmers’ Exemptions Conditional, Back Yard Gardens, Ad for Gillette, Ad for McLaughlin Motor Cars, Ad for Ford Motor Cars

The Intelligencer April 13, 1918 (page 1)

“Daylight Saving Effective From Sunday Morning at Two. Ottawa. The going into force of the daylight-saving measure has been definitely fixed for 2 o’clock on Sunday morning, April 14th. It will remain in effect until 2 o’clock on the morning of Thursday, October 31st, 1918. This afternoon Sir Charles Fitzpatrick, Deputy Governor, attended in the Senate and gave the Royal assent to the bill.”

The Intelligencer April 13, 1918 (page 4)

“British Food Controller Says Food Supply Is Up to Canada. The following message addressed to the Organization of Resources Committee has just been received: London, April 5th, 1918.

‘In these stern days it is inspiring to learn that Ontario is tackling the food problem with redoubled energy. …  Germany hoped first to starve the old country by the submarine campaign and then to smash her land forces. She has failed to starve us and she will fail to smash us, but we cannot achieve victory without food. There never was a time when it was more needed.

The Canadian farmer and the Canadian farm hand now have the opportunity to make an effective reply to the enemy’s present onslaught by bending their undivided energies to the increased production of those food supplies for which we depend to such vital extent upon your great Dominion.’ ”

The Intelligencer April 13, 1918 (page 5)

“Must Raise Food or Go and Fight. Ottawa. The need for troops cannot be exaggerated. On the other hand, the necessity of maintaining food production is likewise pressing. The exemption granted farmers is granted solely because of the conviction that they are, or may be, more useful in food production than as troops at the front. …  All such exemptions are for a fixed period, usually until June 1 or July 1 but in some cases until Nov. 1.

In all such cases the person exempted has the privilege of applying for an extention of the exemption period, when it ought to be shown what efforts the applicant has made and is undertaking for the greatest production possible.”

The Intelligencer April 13, 1918 (page 9)

“Get Busy Now on That Back Yard Garden. A new duty has come before the Canadian people. It may be national in its scope, but it is relentlessly personal in its responsibility. It is to shoulder a greater share of war’s burden by growing more food. No other part of the Empire can be Canada’s proxy: for no other part can be reached in the summer of 1918 by British shipping, depleted as it has been by the Hun submarine campaign, even if other parts could really grow the needed foods. …

Especially insistent is the warning of the Food Board that nothing elaborate in the growing of vegetables should be tried. The good old standards, things that man falls back upon when the appetite is cloyed with the fruits of our over-civilization, are the best to take up. …  For ever and again it must be repeated that this is a war measure, made as necessary as the making of munitions was, to make the ‘world safe for democracy.’ …

But one thing the first year man should cultivate besides his land: that is the spirit of community effort. He should join one of the local gardening or vacant lot associations. He will learn more in a week that way than by his own experience all the summer. Another thing to which attention should be drawn is the really splendid series of pamphlets and booklets issued by the Canadian and Provincial Governments.”

The Intelligencer April 13, 1918 (page 9)

Gillet advertisement“Where Life Itself Depends On A Clean Shave. The man who faces a 1918 gas attack with a mask that does not fit quite tight, comes out a casualty—if he comes out at all! Even a two or three days growth of beard under the rubber facing of the mask will let in gas enough to be dangerous—it can be fatal!

That’s why clean shaving means more to our boys than comfort—more even than morale—it means life!

Keen as our own troops are on shaving, our American Allies are going us one better. Every soldier under the Stars and Stripes will be supplied with a Safety Razor.

Gillette Safety Razor Company of Canada Limited.”

The Intelligencer April 13, 1918 (page 10)

McLaughlin advertisement

“War Service Is Demonstrating McLaughlin Efficiency.

Gentlemen: I arrived in France, April, 1917, with one of your cars (Model D45 Touring). Up to now it has covered over 18,000 miles over all conditions of roads, some so bad one would never think of taking a car in private life.

Local Show Rooms. 2 Bridge Street.”

The Intelligencer April 13, 1918 (page 11)

Ford advertisement

“The Ford Saves the Hay and Oats the Horses Eat. It has been estimated that five acres of land are required to maintain one horse for a year, and that the same five acres would produce nearly enough food for two people.

A Ford car also saves the farmer a week or more of valuable time each year, which can be used for further productive work. The Ford travels three times as fast as a horse and rig—costs less to run and keep, and is far easier to take care of.

Ford Runabout $575; Touring $595; Coupe $770; Sedan $970; Chassis $535; 1-Ton Truck $750.

Riggs Garage—Dealers—Belleville. Stirling Garage—Dealers—Stirling.”

100 Years Ago: Long Service Medal for Capt. J. V. Doyle, John Bradshaw Wounded, Poster for Bell Telephone, William Gillespie Killed in Action, Daylight Saving

The Intelligencer April 12, 1918 (page 3)

“Long Service Medal. Lieut.-Col. Barragar has received the long service medal of Capt. J. V. Doyle which he is forwarding to him to France where he is on active service. Capt. Doyle left Belleville with the 155th Battalion and was transferred to another Battalion for service at the front. Capt. Doyle has been connected with the Canadian militia for twenty-one years.”

The Intelligencer April 12, 1918 (page 3)

“Wounded in the Shoulder. Mrs. John Bradshaw, residing at 158 Church street in this city today received the following telegram which refers to her husband: Sincerely regret to inform you, four one two nought eight seven Pte. Jno. Bradshaw, Infantry, officially reported admitted to field ambulance depot, April 3rd 1918; gunshot wound right shoulder; will send further particulars when received. Director of Records.

Pte. Bradshaw enlisted and went overseas with the 39th Battalion from here in 1915, and had been in the firing line for some months.”

The Intelligencer April 12, 1918 (page 5)

Ad for Bell Telephone

“Telephone Economy. The Need of the Hour. The telephone, by the very nature of the work it does, is a powerful agent making for economy and efficiency. Without it, business would slow down with a fatal reaction on war effort.

But the increasing scarcity of telephone material of all kinds, and of skilled labor demands that our subscribers should practice a rigid telephone economy.

We ask your co-operation in our efforts to keep our service equal to war-time demands.

The Bell Telephone Company of Canada.”

The Intelligencer April 12, 1918 (page 7)

“Made Supreme Sacrifice. Mrs. John Gillespie, residing at Plainfield, Thurlow township, has received notification from the Director of Records at Ottawa that her son, Private William Gillespie had been killed in action. Deceased was about 35 years of age and unmarried. Some months ago he enlisted at Kingston and was engaged for a considerable time in assisting in the bakery in connection with a military camp in England. He had not been at the front for any great period when he was killed.

Private Gillespie was well known in this vicinity where he was born and lived all his life. His father died some time ago. In addition to the mother, two brothers and a sister survive. Mr. Thos. Gillespie, residing on Catherine street in this city is an uncle of the deceased.”

[Note: Private William John Gillespie died on April 2, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 414 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer April 12, 1918 (page 7)

“Daylight Saving. Commencing Monday 15th the leading Merchants of Belleville will open their places of business at 8.30 and close at 5.30 to enable their staffs to get on the land.”

100 Years Ago: Daylight Saving Act to Pass, Belleville Council Requested to Raise $5,000 per Month for Patriotic Fund, Richard J. Gernon Wounded, Quinte Chapter I.O.D.E. Meeting

The Intelligencer April 11, 1918 (page 1)

“Summer Time Begins Monday Morning. Ottawa. Without any playing of trumpets, but as a simple development from wartime conditions, the Act to economize in daylight is being put into shape for final passage. Between now and Friday the Senate, where the measure is now, will put through the Bill, and the deputy Governor-General will come down and give an immediate assent so that the announced plan of the reform becoming operative next Sunday night will be carried out.

There will be absolutely no introductory ceremony attendant upon the new and much discussed departure. On Sunday night, when father puts out the cat and winds the clock, he will move the hands forward an hour. The solar time will be midnight, but the timepiece will make it one o’clock. Daylight will be reached that much earlier, and people at large will, it is believed, reap a great resultant benefit.”

The Intelligencer April 11, 1918 (page 2)

“City Council Requested to Raise $5,000 per Month for Patriotic Purposes. A public meeting of ratepayers and citizens was called to discuss means of raising money for patriotic purpose. …  At 8 o’clock, the hour called for the meeting, there were seven present, including the newspaper representatives and the city messenger. Later a few more assembled, but the Council Chamber where the meeting was held, was by no means filled. …

Col. Lazier spoke of the necessity to raise funds for patriotic purposes. To meet our requirements this year $65,000 would be necessary. There are two ways to raise this money, namely, for the City Council to procure it by taxation or to raise it by public subscription. Personally he would favor the Council procuring the sum required by taxation. …

Suggestions covered a wide range from taxing tenants to placing a poll tax of five dollars each on young men. …

Col. Lazier moved, seconded by Mr. E. H. Tickell, the following resolution which was unanimously adopted: …  the City Council to levy through the municipal taxation a sum sufficient to pay $5,000 a month during the continuation of the war.

The Council to adopt means of taxation if possible to reach all classes in the community so as to make the assessment equitable.

And that a subscription list be opened to allow those to subscribe to the fund who do not pay what they think they ought to pay through their taxation.”

The Intelligencer April 11, 1918 (page 5)

“Pte. Gernon Wounded. Mr. Richard Brown, Canifton Road, received the following telegraph despatch from Casualty 413127 Pte. J. Gernon. Canadian Expeditionary Force. Sir:—I beg to inform you that an official report received by cable from England, states that the marginally noted soldier, was reported slightly wounded on March 21st, 1918, remaining at duty. Director of Records.

Pte. Richard Gernon is a nephew of Mr. Brown residing on the Canifton Road. He left Kingston with the 39th Battalion and has been in active duty since then. He was well known in this city where he had always resided and his many friends will hope that his wounds will prove to be not of a serious nature.”

The Intelligencer April 11, 1918 (page 5)

“An Interesting Meeting. A large number of members and friends were present yesterday afternoon at the monthly meeting of the Quinte Chapter I.O.D.E. in the Y. M. C. A. After the business of the meeting was concluded, the large audience enjoyed a most entertaining talk by Mrs. Parkes Hutchison, on her Y. M. C. A. work overseas. Many interesting experiences were related and showed the great work which is being done by this organization. Mrs. Parkes Hutchison then sang very sweetly several songs which are favorites of the soldiers. After a vote of thanks had been given and the singing of the National Anthem the meeting adjourned.”


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