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: Spanish Flu Cure Discovered, Telephone Service and Spanish Flu, Khaki University Established, Quintin Boyd Awarded Military Medal, Arthur Cousins’ Body Arrives, Charles Andrew Simpson Returns Home, Roy Ernest Gould Dies of Pneumonia, Chiropractors Handle Influenza, Poster for Victory Loan

The Intelligencer October 12, 1918 (page 1)

“ ‘Cure’ for Spanish Flu Discovered. Pittsburg. Dr. George F. Baer, of the Homeopathic Hospital here, announced this afternoon that he has found a successful cure and preventive for Spanish influenza. Dr. Baer said tests on patients suffering from the disease and having fever of 103 have recovered under the treatment which also has proved a successful inoculation against the malady. In announcing the result of experiments since the epidemic began, Dr. Baer said the preparation used is not a scientific secret, but a combination of iodine and creosote.”

The Intelligencer October 12, 1918 (page 4)

“ ‘Telephone Service And Spanish Flu.’ In common with the general community, the operating staff has been affected by the present epidemic of colds and influenza and has been seriously depleted in consequence.

At the same time the volume of telephone calls has greatly increased. So many people are ill at home that the telephone has been used continuously and the load of extra calls on our depleted operating force has been very heavy.

Please keep this extraordinary situation in mind and USE YOUR TELEPHONE ONLY WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. You will thus be helping to keep the service intact to meet the urgent needs of the community in the present emergency.

The Bell Telephone Company Of Canada.”

The Intelligencer October 12, 1918 (page 4)

“Khaki University Fully Established. Khaki University has been placed on an official and permanent basis. Acting on the recommendation of the Minister of Overseas Force, the Government has decided to establish a department for educational services in the Canadian Military Overseas Forces. …

Khaki University is the first of its kind to be officially established by any of the allied Governments. The order-in-Council under which it is created recites some of the educational work already accomplished among Canadian forces overseas. From October, 1917, to July 31, 1918, 9,000 members of the overseas forces registered in classes in England; 1,280 registered in correspondence work in England and France. During the same period, attendance at popular educational lectures was approximately 180,000, representing at least 45,000 individuals.

Owing to circumstances, statistics covering activities in France are not available. Were this possible, it is stated, the above figures would be very materially increased. Libraries and reading rooms established for educational purposes at the various centres were constantly in use during hours free from military duties. …  An allotment of $500,000 has been made by private contribution in Canada towards the work of education.”

The Intelligencer October 12, 1918 (page 5)

“Awarded Military Medal. Mrs. W. R. Taylor, Reid Street, city, has received a letter and a copy of an official notification from Mrs. Quintin Boyd, wife of Sergt. Quintin Boyd, that he had been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty in the recent fighting.

Sergt. Boyd before enlisting in the 8th Canadian Mounted Rifles as a private, was a fireman employed in this city on the Grand Trunk Railway, and was well known here. He was promoted to corporal and recently to the rank of sergeant for his good work and bravery in the field. The official notification from the Officer Commanding the 1st Canadian Machine Gun Corps is as follows:

Dear Mrs. Boyd:—’I have great pleasure in informing you that your husband, Sergt. Q. Boyd, of this battalion, has been awarded the Military Medal for his gallant behaviour in the recent operations for courage and devotion to duty in the capture of Beaufort and Rouvroy on August 9th, 1918. He was in charge of Machine Gun Battery Transports, and under great difficulty and enemy fire succeeded in keeping his transport well up with the attacking forces and thus assuring a constant supply of water and ammunition in the offensive action. All ranks join me in offering their heartiest congratulations. Yours sincerely, S. M. Watson, Lieut.-Col.”

The Intelligencer October 12, 1918 (page 5)

“Body Arrived Here. The body of Mr. Arthur G. Cousins who died at Oswego, accompanied by his wife and infant son, arrived here per G.T.R. at an early hour this morning, and was met at the depot by friends and escorted to his late home, corner of Wharf and Church streets.”

The Intelligencer October 12, 1918 (page 5)

“Arrived Safely Home. The many friends of Pte. Charles A. Simpson of this city, will be pleased to learn that he has arrived safely home. He came to the city yesterday.”

The Intelligencer October 12, 1918 (page 5)

“Answered Final Roll Call. Private Roy Gould, who was a member of the Depot Battalion stationed in this city, died at the hospital here last night from an attack of pneumonia. Deceased was 24 years of age, and was born at Napanee. Previous to enlistment Pte. Gould was for a year and a half a fireman on the Grand Trunk Railway. He was deservedly popular with his former employees and also with the members of the battalion. A father, brother and sister survive. The body, after being prepared for burial, was to-day taken to Napanee.”

[Note: Private Roy Ernest Gould died on October 11, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 417 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer October 12, 1918 (page 6)

“Influenza. Many people read the instructions in the paper from different health officers. The first rule was Go to bed and call a Physician; later in the same article they stated there was No Specific for the disease; also The After Effects of Influenza are worse than the disease.

The medical profession in making such statements don’t seem to give the public credit for even common intelligence. What’s the idea? Demand we have him call, look, ho-hum, and pay for doing nothing? Now how about the after effects? The most common one is Pneumonia. This is an old time disease, almost as old as the medical profession. Why don’t they do something?

Many people are inquiring as to whether Chiropractors handle influenza. We have a number of patients and they are all doing fine and not one case has developed any serious after effects. We also claim that Chiropractor adjustments are a preventative if taken in time. Drs. Redick & Redick. Phone 900. 26 Victoria.”

The Intelligencer October 12, 1918 (page 10)

Poster for Victory Loan

“Why Canada must borrow money to carry on—a nation at war must make tremendous expenditures in cash to keep up her armies and supply them with munitions, food and clothing; Canada must finance many millions of dollars of export trade in food, munitions and supplies which Britain and our allies must have on credit.

For these purposes Canada must borrow hundreds of millions of dollars. And, this money must be borrowed from the people of Canada. Therefore, Canada will presently come to her people for a new Victory Loan to carry on.

Be ready when the call comes to see your country through in its great war work.

Issued by Canada’s Victory Loan Committee in co-operation with the Minister of Finance of the Dominion of Canada.”


100 Years Ago: Minister of Labor to Speak Tonight, Letter of Thanks for Socks, Antoine Labarge Killed in Action, Trafalgar Day, Lorne Edward Young Wounded

The Intelligencer October 11, 1918 (page 1)

“Meet Minister of Labor Tonight at High School Hall. Workingmen, organized or unorganized, and citizens generally, are invited to meet the Hon. T. W. Crothers, Minister of Labor in the Dominion Cabinet, at the High School Assembly Hall, this evening, where he will give an address on the labor situation in Canada. …

The Minister of Labor is a Bay of Quinte ‘Old Boy’ and as such alone is worthy of a hearty and cordial reception from Belleville citizens. …  Members of labor organizations, railway employees and workers generally, men and women, are invited to be present. The meeting will begin at 8.15 o’clock and is under the auspices of the Belleville Board of Trade.”

The Intelligencer October 11, 1918 (page 1)

“Appreciated Socks. France, Sept. 6th, 18. Mrs. L. Massey, R. R. No. 2, Belleville, Ont. Dear Friend: Through the kindness of the member of the Queen Alexandra Red Cross Society and Mrs. Frank Aikens (nee Nellie Spafford) I received last night through the War Contingent Association a parcel containing six pairs of socks. Owing to the nature of the fighting at present and the fact that we have been ‘hard at it’ for a month the members of the gun crews on which I serve were just about stranded for socks this morning when I gave a pair to each of them, keeping one pair, of course for myself. In the pair I kept I found your helpful and cheering note.

The socks were as much appreciated as they were needed—they could not have reached us at a better time. But even more appreciated were your words of cheer. We know that we have the people at home at our backs and it helps more than you can imagine. Thanking you again, I remain, Yours faithfully, Earl W. VanBlaricom.”

The Intelligencer October 11, 1918 (page 7)

“Pte. Labarge Killed. Mr. Frank Labarge of Faraday, North Hastings, received a message on Monday that his son, Pte. Antoine Labarge, had been killed in action. Pte. Labarge went overseas with the 254th Battalion from Belleville.”

The Intelligencer October 11, 1918 (page 7)

“ ‘Trafalgar Day,’ October 21, will be observed in the schools of the Province of Ontario with appropriate exercises tending to awaken interest among the children in historical events, the glorious traditions of the British navy, and national patriotism. The Ontario Navy League has prepared an interesting program of song and recitations to be used in the schools and Mr. Alex Ray, local representative of the Navy League is to-day consulting with the local Board of Education and teachers in regard to a fitting observation of ‘Trafalgar Day’ in the Belleville schools.”

The Intelligencer October 11, 1918 (page 7)

“Pte. Lorne E. Young Wounded. Mrs. Matilda Young of Perth, received word on Monday, that her son, Lorne Edward Young, No. 3057657, was officially reported admitted to the 30th Casualty Clearing Station, on Sept. 28th, suffering from gunshot wounds in the right thigh. Pte. Lorne Young entered the service at Belleville, last spring, and sailed for overseas on the 5th of April, arriving in England on the 20th, and went to France on the 4th of September. He was evidently engaged in the heavy fighting of Canadians in the assault upon the city of Cambrai.

Lorne gave up a good position in The Intelligencer Office, and learned his trade as printer in the Expositor Office, Perth. He worked for some time on the Regina Leader. The many friends of Pte. Young in Belleville will hope for him a speedy recovery.”

100 Years Ago: Request to Lift Liquor Ban for Pneumonia Cases, Ross Ketcheson Killed in Action, Restriction on Coal for Pleasure Clubs, Veterans’ Grievances, Ad for Grape Nuts, Lindsay Gripped by Flu, Soldiers Arrive Home, Clement Carl Clarke Killed in Action

The Intelligencer October 10, 1918 (page 1)

“Suggest Lifting Ban on Liquors. Ottawa. On account of the wide prevalence of influenza the suggestion is being made to the Government to remove, as a purely temporary measure, the ban on liquors. Whiskey is used extensively in the treatment of pneumonia with which many of the influenza cases become complicated, and in Ontario, for example, it can be secured only from a Provincial Government vendor acting upon a prescription from a physician. The prescription costs $2 and the liquor from $2 upwards per imperial quart. …  The matter has not yet been considered by the Cabinet.”

The Intelligencer October 10, 1918 (page 3)

“Ross Ketcheson Was Killed in Action. Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Ketcheson, of Madoc, have received the following letters from France giving particulars of the death of their son, Ross Ketcheson, who went overseas with the 80th Battalion from Belleville, and was killed in action last month:

‘In the Field, France, Sept. 9, 1918. Dear Mrs. Ketcheson:—Being a chum of Ross ever since the battalion came to France, I take the liberty of writing to you. I was right handy when Ross got fatally wounded. We were all together at the time and under heavy shell fire. We kept close to one another because of that reason, for we never know when our time may come. His death was instant, I am glad to say, and he suffered no pain.

The boys of the running section which Ross was in, are very much cut up over it. Every body liked him very much. We took his body out with us and the boys in the section have given him a good burial with a wreath. They don’t know the exact location, but will find out and let you know. I have a few of his trinkets that he packed around with him, which I am forwarding at the same time as this letter. One is a paper knife, also three badges. My home is in Toronto and if I am spared at the end I will call and see you.

The boys send their sympathy. We shall never forget what a good comrade he was with us all. A boy and a soldier to be proud of. I will close now, assuring you that his grave will be well looked after while we are in France. I remain, Yours sincerely, Albert Shred, No. 161251, Runners, 102 Canadian Battalion, France.’

‘France, Sept. 9, 1918. Dear Mrs. Ketcheson:—Just a few lines to tell you how sorry we are to lose Ross and to sympathize with you. He was an ideal comrade  and friend; always bright and happy. It was a pleasure to have him with us. He was always ready to do anything asked him, whether work or play, and we all miss him very much. His body was brought down to our transport lines, and you will be notified of his grave location. I was over to see it, but of course, I can not tell you until we are away from here, just where it is. All the officers and men thought a great deal of him.

Hoping that it will bring you comfort in your bereavement in knowing that your son was one of the best, I remain, Yours truly, J. A. Hall, Cpl., 101167, 102 Batt., Runners, France.’ ”

[Note: Private Ross Stanley Ketcheson died on September 2, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 441 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer October 10, 1918 (page 3)

“Pleasure Clubs’ Coal Restricted. Regulations to restrict the fuel consumption of private country clubs, golf, yacht and canoe clubs, have just been approved by order-in-council, at the instance of Mr. C. A. Magrath, Fuel Controller. During the period from December 15, 1918, to March 15, 1919, no country club, golf, yacht or canoe club is to burn or use fuel of any description or to use power derived from any such fuel for purposes of heating and cooking. There is no restriction, however, on the use of peat by any such club when such wood or peat is available.”

The Intelligencer October 10, 1918 (page 3)

“Veterans’ Grievances Will be Investigated. The Belleville Branch of the G. W. V. A. had one of the largest meetings since its inception on Monday night at their spacious club rooms in the Corby building. Many matters of importance to returned soldiers and dependents were taken up and discussed and the reports show many cases of pension, separation allowance that have been adjusted satisfactorily by this organization.

A most important Committee was appointed consisting of Comrades Ponton, Harris, Carter, and Edmonson, to investigate all complaints and grievances with reference to pensions in this district. This committee invite all returned soldiers whether members of the Great War Veterans’ Association or not, or any dependents of soldiers, to interview any member of the Committee, when the case or cases will be thoroughly investigated and sent to the representative of the Great War Veterans’ Association in Ottawa to take up personally with the Board of Pension Commissioners. …

After the meeting refreshments were served and all the Comrades present entered into the spirit of the Association. The Great War Veterans of this city are greatly indebted to the Corby Company Limited for the magnificent gift and privilege of allowing them to use this beautiful building gratis.”

The Intelligencer October 10, 1918 (page 7)

Ad for Grape Nuts

“Why Worry About Sugar. Grape:Nuts is not only nearly solid nourishment, but is rich in sugar developed from its own grains in the making. This feature, absent in the usual prepared cereal, not only saves the use of sugar but provides food material especially adapted to the cooler weather of autumn.

‘There’s a Reason’ for Grape:Nuts. Canada Food Board License No. 2-026.”

The Intelligencer October 10, 1918 (page 7)

“Lindsay in Grip of Flu. Medical Health Officer McAlpine of Lindsay has ordered all schools and moving picture houses closed for the balance of the week, owing to the Spanish influenza in the town.”

The Intelligencer October 10, 1918 (page 7)

“Soldiers Arrive Home. A number of Belleville soldiers who have been overseas for some time arrived home at an early hour yesterday morning. They were Privates George Ashworth, Nelson J. Babcock, M. Brown, William Hayes, James M. Morton, Isaac Murdoff, Wm. Goulabia, B. Latour and Corp. George Belcher. A number from the vicinity of Belleville were among the party.”

The Intelligencer October 10, 1918 (page 7)

“Killed in Action. The sad news was received this morning by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Clarke, 77 Mill street, in an official telegram from military headquarters at Ottawa, that their son Clement Carl Clarke (8193) had been killed in action on September 27. This young soldier went overseas with the Originals in 1914 as a member of the 2nd Battalion and passed through some of the hardest battles of the war. He had many friends here who regret deeply his death and great sympathy is felt for the bereaved parents.”

[Note: Private Clement Carl Clarke died on September 27, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 385 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]


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