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: Victory Bonds, The King’s Message, Poster for Victory Loan, Nine Members of Ritchie’s Staff Answered Call, Andrew B. Docherty Awarded Military Medal, Mohawk and Rathbun Aviators Celebrate, Ad for Grape Nuts

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 1)

“Only Three Days Left To Buy Victory Bonds. The total returns to date from the County of Hastings is $1,414,500. This includes all special subscriptions. With special subscriptions included Hastings County to reach its Honor Flag objective  needs $2,500,000. There is still a shortage in Hastings County of over $1,000,000 which it is to be hoped will be made up in the next three days. That would mean over $300,000 a day. This is a heavy task, but it is hoped that the objective will be reached. Every citizen should help to bring the County of Hastings where it belongs in this great war effort. If we fail to reach the objective we will have the disgrace of being about the only County in the Dominion of Canada to fail. Let’s get busy.

Belleville’s total to date is $475,000. $325,000 is needed still in Belleville by Saturday night, midnight. This is over $100,000 a day. It can be done, but it will require some hustling.

Congratulations of Hastings County is due to Wollaston Township and the village of Coe Hill, for they have won the Governor-General’s Honor Flag. Reeve S. C. Rollins, the energetic and popular Victory Loan canvasser for that District has brought the old Township to the front once more in this magnificent patriotic effort. The objective for Wollaston was very high being $35,000 as it is very thinly populated. However, no objective is too high for that good old Township where patriotism is concerned. It is unlikely that there is another community in the Dominion of Canada that has given its blood and treasure to a greater extent than Wollaston. …

A special subscription was received from the Canada Cement Company for $50,000 of Bonds. This is a great help to the County of Hastings. …  Mr. W. H. DeBlois advises headquarters that the Nichols Chemical Company of Sulphide subscribed $25,000 of the Loan. The employees of the Nichols Chemical Company have taken very liberally of the Bonds, and the special subscription of $25,000 brings Sulphide’s record up to the front. We can now stand a few more Sulphides. …

There are three more days left in which to buy Bonds. The campaign closes at midnight Saturday night. …  Your money is needed to bring back the boys—buy bonds!!!”

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 1)

“The King’s Message. ‘The whole Empire pledged its word not to sheathe the sword until our end was achieved. That pledge is now redeemed. …  the end of the struggle finds the Empire still more closely united by common resolve, held firm through all vicissitudes; by suffering and sacrifices; by dangers and triumphs shared together. The hour is one of solemn thanksgiving and of gratitude to God.’ King George to the people of the British Empire.”

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 3)

“How Many Crowns for YOUR Honor Flag? Of course, every city, town and district will earn its Honor Flag. But how about the crowns? For every twenty-five per cent, in excess of its quota, each city, town and district will be entitled to add a crown to its flag.

Can you do fifty per cent better than your quota – – – – that means two crowns for your Honor Flag. But double your quota and it means four crowns.

Hang a flag in your hall, that for years to come will show that your city, town or district did better than well – – – –

That was a real factor in the huge success of Canada’s Victory Loan 1918.

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

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 6)

“They Truly Helped to End the World’s Greatest Struggle. Nine Members of The Ritchie Company Staff Who Heard Their Country’s Call And Answered It.

Gunner William Patterson. A Member of the ‘Immortal First Contingent.’

Flt. Lieut. Harold M. Reid. Killed in Aeroplane Accident Feb. 23, 1918, Eastchurch, England.

Driver Percy Palmer. Who has Seen Two Years of Active Fighting.

Gunner Vernon Doolittle. Enlisted with the 33rd Battery. Kingston, December, 1915.

Pte. Roy Buck. Killed in Action, Sept. 3, 1918. Awarded Military Medal for Bravery.

2nd Lieut. C. D. Reid. Aviation Instructor at Eastchurch, England.

Sergt. J. J. O’Brien. A Member of the C.A.D.C. Stationed at Camp Mohawk.

Sig. Duncan Montgomery. Left Belleville with the 80th Batt. Over Two Years Active Service.

Driver H. Wolfe. Now Stationed in Reserve Battery, Whitley Camp, England.”

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 7)

“Won Military Medal. Mrs. A. B. Docherty, daughter of Mrs. J. Hutchinson, residing on 11 Harriet Street, received word a few days ago that her husband, Sergt. Andrew B. Docherty of the Railway Corps was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry on the field on September 23rd. In a letter addressed to him his commanding officer says:—’Will you please accept my heartfelt congratulations on receiving the Military Medal. Your conduct of September 23rd was admirable and reflects great credit upon the battalion.’ Sergeant Docherty was formerly of Hamilton, and has been nearly three years in France.”

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 7)

“Sky Soldiers Celebrate. The aviators from Mohawk and Rathbun camps had a celebration all of their own last evening. They formed a parade at the Victoria Park and marched up Front Street, Bridge St., Victoria Avenue and many other main streets, in a zig zag fashion, paying a visit to the Palace Theatre, pool rooms, cafes, Hotel Quinte, Armory grounds and many other places which happened to be open. The Palace Theatre was soon evacuated by the movie fans. The music consisted of tin cans, pie plates, baking dishes and pieces of tin clashed together and pounded by sticks and pieces of steel. Flags were also carried and various signs the leading one being one of the ‘Intelligencer Peace Extras’ which was published Monday morning with its big heading ‘the war is over,’ ‘Bring on your wild, wild women,’ ‘Where do we go from here? HOME,’ ‘We fly tomorrow, MAYBE,’ ‘A fly in the air is worth two in the soup,’ ‘Injuns from Mohawk,’ and many others.

They proceeded to the back of the various business places and carried off large numbers of boxes, barrels, paper and cardboard saturated them with oil and placed a number of fire crackers in the boxes and had an enormous bonfire on the corner of Front and Bridge Streets. The birdmen are to be congratulated on their orderly conduct.”

The Intelligencer November 13, 1918 (page 7)

“More than one way to save the Wheat. Make every atom work.

A soggy biscuit or a half baked cake is a slacker. It is indigestible and half the good grain in it is lost by faulty cooking. It isn’t how much you eat, but how much you digest that counts.

Grape:Nuts is a fine example of nourishment efficiency. Its flavour is delicious and Every Atom Works. Canada Food Board License No. 2-026.”


100 Years Ago: Joyful Celebration, Bancroft Wins Honor Flag, Victory Parade, Poster for Victory Bonds, Christ Church Peace Service, Two Editions of The Intelligencer, Charles Herbert Brooks Wounded

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 1)

“Dawn of Peace Celebrated with Prayer, Thanksgiving and Joy. Yesterday was a day long to be remembered in Belleville when enthusiastic joy broke over the surrender of Germany, broke loose in a riot of noise and exuberance, which grew in strength as the day advanced and continued far into the night with friendly, good-natured crowds on Front Street, many in carnival attire, jostling each other in a friendly way, while the air was thick with talcum powder and confetti—a regular Mardi Gras night of joy unrestrained. The formal part of the day’s celebration began in the morning, with a service of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, Who alone giveth the victory.

At 11 o’clock in the morning a union Thanksgiving Victory Peace Service was held on the court house lawn and was attended by hundreds of citizens of all classes. It was thoroughly union in its nature, as Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist clergymen took part also the local Salvation Army officers. …  The service closed by the singing of the National Anthem and cheers for the King.

It was anticipated that the afternoon procession would be of considerable magnitude, but it eclipsed the sanguine anticipations of those who had it in hand. It was formed on the market square and was over a mile in length. A large number of autos were in the parade also many horse-driven vehicles and all were decorated in a manner to bring forth most commendable remarks. During its progress through Front Street that thoroughfare was lined by thousands of spectators, who were not slow in cheering. It was a sight that all who witnessed it will never forget. The parade moved off in the following order:

Dr. D. H. Ackerill leading a bull dog and carrying a broom to which was the motto: ‘What we ‘Ave We’ll ‘Old.’

Marshall Mr. J. J. B. Flint. 15th Regimental Band. Munition workers in trucks, bearing motto: ‘We helped to do it.’ Members of the G.W.V.A. in autos. Members of the G.W.V.A. on foot. Salvation Army Band. Members of the Army. Company of the 1st Depot Battalion. Johnstone’s Pipe Band. Truck with soldiers and two rough boxes with the effigies of the Kaiser and Crown Prince inside. Albert College faculty and students. Boy Scouts. School children with flags. Bell Telephone float. City Fire Brigade. Decorated bicycles. Decorated autos. Marsh and Henthorne steam whistle.

After parading up Front Street to the vicinity of the G.T.R. station the procession returned and wended its way to the Armories lawn where speech making was the order of the day. A large platform was erected near the main entrance to the Armories and was covered with bunting. Above the entrance of the Armories were two large streamers namely: ‘God Save the King’ and ‘Britannia Rules the Waves.’

Col. Ponton was chairman of the meeting and associated with him on the platform were members of the City Council, prominent citizens and a number of ladies, who have been prominent in patriotic work.

The proceedings were opened with prayer by Ven. Archdeacon Beamish. Col. Ponton spoke briefly referring to how proud he and all were of the day. All were proud of the fact that with God’s guidance the victory had been achieved. …  All the speakers were accorded a hearty reception and their remarks were much appreciated by those who were able to hear them.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 1)

“Bancroft Wins Honor Flag. Bancroft district, consisting of Faraday and Dungannon townships, is the third district in the county to win the coveted Governor-General’s Honor Flag. They have reported not only enough to win the Honor Flag but also a crown, which represents 25 per cent more than the objective. Congratulations are due Dr. A. T. Embury, who is responsible for this magnificent result from the old townships of North Hastings. North Hastings has ever been true to every call made on her.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 3)

“All of Belleville Joined in The Parade. The peace procession yesterday for length, novelty and variety has never been equalled in the history of Belleville, led by Marshal John J. B. Flint on a spanking black charger. Every kind of vehicle profusely decorated was in line besides many people on foot. Many from the country also took part in the parade.

The school children bearing flags formed an interesting feature of the parade.

The empty coal carts bringing up the rear emphasized the necessity of filling up the coal bins.

The little girl on the pony had no difficulty keeping up with the procession.

Fish helped to win the war, and Ben Sanford was there to prove it, a case of Fish and Foch.

The Public and High School cadets were well represented.

The Bell Telephone Co. was represented by a float showing phone poles with linemen at work.

Chief Brown’s fire laddies made a gallant appearance.

The bull dog carrying in his mouth the British flag and seated on the radiator of an automobile emphasized ‘What we have we’ll hold.’

The Salvation Army Band and soldiers lent color and music to the occasion.

The 15th Regimental Band played up to the best tradition of this patriotic organization.

Many returned veterans of the great war bearing the scars of conflict were conspicuous in the parade.

Albert College students were there with bells on led by the principal Dr. Baker. Old Albert has a proud war record.

Mayor Platt and members of the City Council were prominent in the parade.

Effigies of the ex-Kaiser, Crown Prince and Hindenburg were numerous and there were many striking mottoes.

A horse with overalls adorning his legs was a funny feature. The equestrian wore a plug hat of ancient vintage.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 3)

“ ‘The Day’ The war is won. The guns are silent—the trenches are vacant—bloodshed has ceased—Democracy is triumphant—freedom is assured.

In this day of thankful joy and glorious triumph let us not forget the imperative duty lying immediately before us. Let us manfully, dutifully and determinedly round out the nation’s splendid effort.

Let us be as big in this triumphant day as our men have been heroic in the fiery din and blood peril of battle. Buy Victory Bonds.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 5)

“Christ Church Peace Service. When the news of the signing of the armistice terms became known yesterday, Rev. Rural Dean Swayne, Rector of Christ Church immediately notified as many of his parishioners as he could reach by telephone that a service of Thanksgiving and praise would be held in Christ Church at nine o’clock in the morning. The result was a large congregation and complete choir at the special service which was of a very interesting nature.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 5)

“Two Editions Before Noon. An Intelligencer extra edition was on sale before ten o’clock yesterday morning and copies were sold as fast as the big web press could turn them out. The extra was very much appreciated by the citizens who were eager to get the details not supplied by the bulletins. The final edition was published at noon after which the staff joined the celebration. Every copy of both editions was eagerly snapped up and early in the afternoon not one of the four thousand papers printed was left.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1918 (page 6)

Charles Herbert Brooke“Lieut. Brooks Wounded. Mr. Charles Herbert Brooks residing at 78 Victoria Avenue, city, is in receipt of the following telegram: Sincerely regret to inform you, Lieut. Chas. Herbert Brooks, M.M. infantry officially reported wounded on Nov. 4.

Lieut. Brooks left Belleville with the 80th Battalion, and had previously been wounded.”



100 Years Ago: The War Is Over, Belleville Celebrates Victory, Poster for Victory Bonds, Poster for Victory Loan, Poster for Victory Bonds, Mopping Up After War, Peace and Then What? Downfall of Kultur, Celebration Notes, Ad for Sinclair’s, Thanksgiving Services, William Henry Finkle Awarded Military Medal

The Intelligencer November 11, 1918 (page 1)

Front page of Daily Intelligencer on 11 November 1918


The Intelligencer November 11, 1918 (page 2)

Program for Victory Peace Service

CABHC: TR 2215

“Belleville Celebrates Great Allied Victory. Union Thanksgiving Service on Court House Lawn, Participated in by All Churches—Procession, Speeches and Fireworks.

Thanksgiving Service. At 11 o’clock a Thanksgiving Service under the auspices of all the city churches was arranged for Court House Lawn, participated in by all the clergymen of the city, opening with the singing of the Doxology, readings of appropriate Psalms and singing of hymns appropriate to the occasion, accompanied by band music and assisted by church choirs.

At 1.30 a grand procession will be formed on the Market Square. …  Procession will end at the Armories, where speeches will be made from the lawn. In the evening there will be fireworks and general rejoicing. It will without doubt be a day in the city long to be remembered.

Front street this morning presented an animated appearance as all business places were decorated with flags and streamers. All over the city, private residences were adorned with flags.

Prof. Wheatley, organist of St. Thomas’ Church and an ardent Britisher, born and bred on the old soil, was one of the first to respond to the glad cry of the city hall bell and went at once to St. Thomas’ Church, turned on the lights for worshippers and playing the Hallelujah Chorus on the organ and as the grand notes of this triumphal chorus swelled out from the heart of the organ and the heart of the organist at 4.30 o’clock this morning, passersby fortunate enough to hear the music were treated to a masterpiece.

HC09386 - dog on car hood

CABHC: HC09386

An automobile profusely decorated attracted wide and favorable attention this morning on Front street. On the radiator was a bull dog carrying in his mouth a stick to which was attached the Union Jack. The dog acted as calmly as if this was a regular occurrence, and symbolized the British slogan, ’What we have we’ll hold.’ ”

The Intelligencer November 11, 1918 (page 2)

“Help Haig to Hurry. Buy Victory Bonds.

Arthur McGie, Merchant Tailor. 208 Front St., Belleville.”

The Intelligencer November 11, 1918 (page 2)

“For Canada. Most men will lend to their friends in time of need. Every man should lend to his country in her need—for ‘her need is his’—so let’s show our patriotism.

Buy Victory Bonds.

‘The Beehive’ Chas. N. Sulman.”

The Intelligencer November 11, 1918 (page 2)

“ ‘If ye break faith—we shall not sleep’

Break Faith? Never. The memory of their noble deeds is seared into our hearts, and will live in the hearts of our children, generations hence.

We Canadians must carry on. Before us, as a nation, as individuals, our way lies clear. Afar off along the path that leads to Right we hear the cry of those who fell. We will follow on. We will finish the work they so nobly began.

Buy Victory Bonds.

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

The Intelligencer November 11, 1918 (page 4)

“Mopping Up. Now that the fighting is over there will be several years mopping up to be done. …  Unselfishness, the religion of the trenches, must be the religion and practice of all peoples and nations if the war is to be worth while—a brotherhood and sisterhood of helpfulness which should go far to banish poverty, distress and false pride of caste from the world must be established. Government must be of the people by the people and for the people with equality of opportunity and opportunity unshackled. …

If a new and better world does not arise from the ruins of war then all this sacrifice of blood and tears and treasure will have been in vain.

Individual responsibility is the keynote of reconstruction for better or for worse. If every individual will endeavor to model his or her life upon rules of unselfishness and helpfulness and consideration of the rights and feelings of other people, communities and nationals will quickly respond to a new and better impulse which will result in the greatest good to the greatest number.”

The Intelligencer November 11, 1918 (page 4)

“Peace, and Then What? Victory Loan Bonds will help to make peace permanent and prosperous. When war industries cease peace production must begin. Take the soldiers along transferred from a war to a peace footing, from uniforms to civies. Millions of suits of clothes will be needed—millions of pairs of boots, millions of hats, overcoats and all the rest of the wardrobe of a civilian. They will need many more things unknown to the soldier who carries only necessities. …

Peace and then what? Stagnation? Not by any means; the mighty forces which have welded together into an efficient fighting machine on land, on sea and in the air—millions of men cared for and directed as efficiently as fifty could be—can be just as efficient in making a happy and prosperous world in peace times.”

The Intelligencer November 11, 1918 (page 4)

“The Downfall of Kultur. The abdication of the House of Hohenzollern on Saturday closed the career of the Kaiser as the greatest menace to the liberty of the world since time began, deprived him of all power, and branded him as a criminal outcast, bearing the burden of responsibility for so many crimes that no country will care to give him shelter.

Such is the downfall of Kaiserism and German Kultur which for more than four years has been responsible for a huge orgy or murder and unspeakable atrocity, forming the darkest pages of the history of the world since creation.”

The Intelligencer November 11, 1918 (page 6)

“Celebration Notes. The proclamation of Mayor Platt that to-day be observed as a public holiday was generally observed but a few places of business being opened. …

The first response to the City Hall Bells was in the illumination of residences which were speedily a blaze of light. …

One happy woman, wife of a soldier appeared on Front Street shortly after four a.m. wearing a large Union Jack wrapped around her.

At a few minutes after 9 o’clock, the 15th Regiment Band paraded up and down Front Street playing national airs. The band was followed by decorated autos and other vehicles while crowds which lined the sidewalks on either side of Front Street cheered vociferously. It was indeed an inspiring sight. Joy beamed from the eyes of all. Man grasped the hand of fellow man, and all were as one grand brotherhood. It was a scene which will live in the memory of all who participated. …

Did the citizens of Belleville and district celebrate? They certainly did and in no small degree. The ringing of the fire bell, and church bells and blowing of the whistles in the grey dawn of morning awoke all from their peaceful slumbers but the noise was a joyful one. At 5 o’clock a number were on Front street and from that hour onward crowds commenced to assemble. At 8 o’clock Front street presented an animated appearance. Employees of stores were soon about. In an incredibly short time flags and bunting were displayed from every point of vantage. Later streamers were strung at intervals across the streets making the principal thoroughfares attractive in appearance. At an early hour autos and conveyances garb decorated were upon the streets all filled with enthusiastic men, women and children, cheering, laughing and waving flags. Everything conceivable was called into requisition for the purpose of making a noise.

The local Salvation Army Band turned out this morning and followed by about fifty lads and lassies made an attractive parade. The Salvation Army was represented on the firing line by seventy thousand blood and fire soldiers, besides the lads and lassies with a word of cheer, accompanied by a hot cup of coffee, pumpkin pie like mother used to make and other appreciated treats. The Salvation Army kept so close to the firing line that the Hun captured a truck load of pumpkin pies on one occasion.

Oh, the joy of the wives, mothers, fathers, sisters and children of the soldiers over there—husband, son, brother, daddy coming home. Isn’t it glorious?

This is a new day for the Allied soldiers—while we are rejoicing at home how they must rejoice over there at the sure and certain prospect of seeing their homes and dear ones again! What a homecoming! The next great celebration will be when the conquering heroes come marching home.

What a relief to the soldiers as calm descends upon the trenches like Sunday at home! The big guns cease their barking, gas masks are discarded, enemy bombing planes no longer hum their advance warning. No ‘over the top’—at last there is ‘a quiet night and day’ along the front line.

Almost at daybreak to-day enthusiastic citizens were on Front Street voicing their joy at the glad tidings and many of them sought entrance to the Victory Loan Headquarters corner of Bridge and Front Sts. to get in on the last opportunity to buy Victory Bonds and earn the right to shout over the Victory our boys have won. The headquarters will be open all day to-day and this evening to receive subscriptions, and no more fitting way could be found to celebrate the Victory Loan than to put money into Victory Bonds at 5 ½ per cent. The money is needed to Bring the Boys Home and to treat them right when we get them home.

A great many of our citizens are wearing the sign ‘We Helped To Do It,’ and some of them are not wearing Victory Bond Buttons, what does this mean? If you haven’t fought and haven’t bought Bonds you haven’t ‘helped to do it.’ Get busy To-day. Buy Victory Bonds and when the boys come marching down Front St., home again you can truly say ‘We helped bring them home.’ If you can’t wave a Bond, don’t wave the Flag.

The immediate release of Canadian and other allied prisoners in Germany is one of the principal conditions of the Armistice, and one of the greatest reasons for joy particularly in homes where soldier-members of the family have long been prisoners of the Huns.

The girl and boy students of Albert College marched in a body down Front street this morning each carrying a flag. They were singing and giving the College yell.”

The Intelligencer November 11, 1918 (page 6)

“Sinclair’s. Cheering Notes in Late Frocks. To keep in tune with these cheerfully optimistic days Fashion suggests vivid color touches on the Fall and Winter Frocks.

A wide range in color and style to choose from and at prices that will not conflict with a war-time income.

Prepare For Peace. Buy Flags and Bunting now and hang them out to every passing breeze!

Cash in on Canada—buy Victory Bonds. Sinclair’s.

The Intelligencer November 11, 1918 (page 7)

“Thanksgiving Services. In the various churches of the city yesterday thanksgiving services were held and were heartily participated in by large congregations.”

The Intelligencer November 11, 1918 (page 7)

E. and W. H. Finkle“Awarded Military Medal. Lt. Wm. A. Finkle, 52nd Battery, C.F.A., B. E. F. has been awarded the Military Medal for great gallantry and devotion to duty on the field of battle. Lt. Finkle who is a Belleville boy, the son of Mrs. W. H. Finkle, 214 George Street. He won his commission on the battlefield at Cambrai and is now in England, attending an officer’s training class and school of gunnery.”

Load More Posts