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: Wartime Cook Books, Victory Bread, Price of Fish, Men of 19 Can Enlist, Vincent Asselstine Seriously Ill

The Intelligencer July 9, 1918 (page 2)

“Food Board Flashes for Feminine Folk. Do you know that four new booklets which every Canadian woman should possess for herself have now made their bow to the public? Hundreds of so-called war-time cook books have come out during the last two or three years until women are a little bored with what other people are trying to tell them.

But these are different. They deal with bread-making, cooking of fish, the cooking of fruit and vegetables, and preserving and canning. They have attractive covers which are but the outward index to the authoritative and practical contents. In short, they are distinctive from any of the war-time cook books which have been issued in Canada, up-to-date and each is prepared by an expert.

A nominal five cent fee is being charged for each, on the principal that people value more highly what they have to pay for. Send to the Food Board, Ottawa, without delay for these books. Every woman should give them a place of honor in her home and follow their advice day by day in her kitchen.”

“Victory Bread for Canada. How many people realize what it means? For one thing, after this, no woman will be able to buy flour without at the same time buying a certain proportion of substitutes. In effect it means that no bread can now be made in Canada, either in the bake-shop or the home, without a specified percentage of substitutes.

For those who are doubtful about the use of substitutes and the proportions necessary to make bread, a special booklet containing bread recipes and dealing with all the substitutes available on the market, has been issued by the Canada Food Board. It can be obtained direct from any of the provincial committees at five cents a copy.

Let every woman watch out for the ‘Victory’ label on the loaves she buys. If it is not there then it is her duty to report the baker for he is breaking the law.”

The Intelligencer July 9, 1918 (page 2)

“Not Cheap Fish, but Fish Cheap! ‘Cheap fish or fish cheap!’ Sounds the same, doesn’t it? But there is a difference. In substituting fish for meat, Canadian housewives have become very discriminating. ‘Cheap fish’ sounds like it. It is invariably associated with cheap dress goods, cheap furniture and cheap other things. In fact it falls under the odium of cheapness as applied to mean and worthless articles.

The Canada Food Board in the early days of food conservation, made the pardonable mistake of advocating ‘cheap’ fish as a substitute for beef and pork. It hadn’t learned the psychology of the human and feminine mind with regards to the term and their efforts suffered a little in consequence.

The housewife who was offered ‘cheap’ cod, haddock, pullock, skate, whitefish or flatfish by the local fish dealer disliked the sound and passed these varieties by for the luxurious and expensive salmon and halibut. These fish, because of their high price must necessarily be much superior in quality and food value, she reasoned but at the same time registered a strong protest at the prices charged. …

Then someone—a woman probably—said to a Food Board official, ‘The women of Canada don’t want cheap fish. They want fish cheap!’ This terse remark opened up an entirely new point of view and the Board realized that its members would have to do some educational work, and explain.”

The Intelligencer July 9, 1918 (page 2)

“Boys of 19 Given Chance to Enlist. Men of the nineteen year of age class will be permitted to voluntarily enlist in any branch of the service open for recruits is the information contained in a report from Militia Headquarters. Permission is also given for men in category B to enlist as mechanics in the R. A. F. …  There is an opening for a large number of B men in forestry and similar battalions and it is possible that a call for them will be made very soon. The permission to enlist in the R. A. F. only holds good as long as the infantry do not require men.”

The Intelligencer July 9, 1918 (page 5)

“Seriously Ill in England. A telegram received from the Record Office to-day conveyed the news that Private Vincent Asselstine of this city, was seriously ill in England from an attack of pneumonia. Pte. Asselstine left Canada with the 59th Battalion, and was at the front for some time. On the 30th of October last he was severely wounded, since which time he has been in England. He was about to be invalided home when he was taken seriously ill.”

[Note: Private Vincent Asselstine died on July 10, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 361 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]









100 Years Ago: Most Disabled Soldiers Making Good, Successful Garden Party

The Intelligencer July 6, 1918 (page 3)

“Returned Disabled Soldiers Nearly All Making Good. Toronto. Mr. Fred Holmes of the Invalided Soldiers’ Commission addressed a joint meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Ontario section, and the Engineering Institute of Canada, Toronto branch, at the Engineers’ Club on ‘The Training of Disabled Soldiers in the Industries.’ He described the advantage that has already accrued to many returned disabled soldiers by re-education in industry. …

It would pay the Government, he said, inside of five years to spend $20,000,000 on this work, by the saving in pensions, and the advantage to the men would be incalcuable. Eighty to ninety per cent of the men made good, and with the remainder it was largely a question of patience and experiment.”

The Intelligencer July 6, 1918 (page 7)

“Successful Garden Party. A very successful garden party was held on the lawn of Mr. and Mrs. F. E. O’Flynn east Bridge street yesterday afternoon and last evening in the interests of the Red Cross and Patriotic Association. The grounds were tastefully decorated with flags and bunting, and at the entrance, and in prominent places in the decorations the American flag was in evidence.

A large variety of flowers in the terraces, consisting of roses, pansies, sweet peas, forget-me-nots, primroses, were greatly admired by the guests and added to the beauty of the scene. Tea and refreshments were served and the head table was presided over by Mrs. (Col.) Lazier, President of the Association, and Mrs. E. Guss Porter. The table of homemade cooking was in charge of Mrs. Boyes, with a splendid group of assistants, and the demand for the homemade products was so great that the stock was entirely disposed of.

The flower tables were in charge of Miss Corby, Miss Ida Thompson, Miss Kelso and Miss Rathbun. The many beautiful flowers were artistically arranged and very much admired by the many who were present and were sold for the benefit of our boys overseas. The ice cream table was in charge of Mrs. J. A. Borbridge and an able band of assistants, and they were the hardest worked ladies on the ground. The fish pond was an attractive corner of the ground and Mrs. Waddell, Mrs. Horie, Miss Corbett and Miss Newton, who so successfully managed it, was ample proof of its success.

The day was an ideal one ‘just enough shadow to temper the light of the sun.’ A pleasant feature of the afternoon was the presentation of certificates of life membership in the Red Cross Society from the members of the Red Cross and Patriotic Association to Miss Annie Hurley, the secretary, and Miss Clara Yeomans, the treasurer. The presentation was made by Mrs. (Col.) Lazier and Mrs. (Dr.) Yeomans.

In the evening the band of the 15th Battalion, A.L.I., furnished a program of music and the decorations, flowers and music, together with the tables and many things presented a beautiful and animated scene.

The playing of God Save the King at 9.30 brought to a close one of the most successful garden parties held by the association.”


100 Years Ago: Magazines for Soldiers

The Intelligencer July 3, 1918 (page 4)

“Magazines for Soldiers. The call comes strong and urgent from overseas for books and magazines for the soldiers. Sir Douglas Haig writing of the need of reading matter for the soldier says that ‘the demand to be met is very great’ and underlines that sentence. The Earl of Derby writes on the same subject that ‘the matter is urgent.’

In the United States the Post Office Department makes the sending of magazines to American soldiers very easy by providing that the placing of a one-cent stamp upon a magazine without wrapping, and depositing the same in a post office will ensure the delivery of the magazine to one of their soldiers overseas. There does not seem to be any good reason why this method can not be adopted by the Canadian and British Post Office authorities.

The soldiers need reading matter—the kind that is light and cheery, entertaining rather than educational. Let us give them what they ask for.”



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