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.

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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: Charles Barnett Dies in English Hospital, Frankford Women’s Institute, Military Medical Board Examines Eligibles

The Intelligencer October 10, 1917 (page 2)

“Belleville Soldier Died in England. Leaving a widow and five children in Belleville, death called Pte. Charles Barnett on October 5th in an English military hospital. The sad news was broken to Mrs. Barnett at her home, 18 Emily street, this city, on Sunday and came as a great shock to the little family. Five children, the eldest being thirteen years of age, are left fatherless.

Pte. Barnett was 47 years of age and a veteran of the South African war, for which he proudly wore his service medals. He enlisted and went overseas with the 80th Battalion, but was taken seriously ill in England and death was the results of haemorrhage of the lungs. Great sympathy is felt for the bereaved family.”

[Note: Private Charles Barnett died on October 5, 1917. He is commemorated on Page 196 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer October 10, 1917 (page 3)

“Frankford Women’s Institute. At the regular monthly meeting of the Frankford Women’s Institute held in Orange Hall on October 2nd the following report was given by the Secretary for the month of September:—

Sent to the Belleville Cheese Board Red Cross Society: 24 Service Shirts. Sent to the Frankford boys in the trenches in France:—2′ pairs of socks.

Receipts from the Red Cross on Frankford fair grounds:—Sale of flowers by little girls $20.00; Sale of lunches, ice cream and confectionery 140.00; Cash donations 21.00; Making a total of $181.00.

To the knitters we would say we have on hand a good supply of yarn and hope they will keep the needle flying. We have plenty of sewing work on hand for all who will help. M. E. Porter, secretary.”

The Intelligencer October 10, 1917 (page 6)

“Examining Eligibles. The members of the Military Medical Board in this city, yesterday afternoon and evening were kept exceptionally busy examining eligibles for the first draft. Some 60 were examined during the periods above mentioned. Already some 350 have been examined, and of this number the great majority are in Class A. This afternoon a number from the country were being examined.”

100 Years Ago: Thomas Victor Dack Invalided Home, Thanksgiving Dance, William Lowery Is Wounded, A Turkeyless Thanksgiving, Letters of Sympathy for Mrs. Archibald Lambert, In Memoriam, In Memoriam

The Intelligencer October 9, 1917 (page 2)

“Invalided Home. Private Dack of this city, has been invalided home, and arrived here from the east at 5 o’clock last evening. He was met at the station by acting-Mayor Ald. Woodley, and escorted to his home on Yeomans Street.

Pte. Dack enlisted and went overseas with the 155th Battalion from this city. While on active service he was badly wounded on the right leg, and as a result was for some time in a hospital in England.”

The Intelligencer October 9, 1917 (page 2)

“Thanksgiving Dance. A most successful dance was held last evening in the Johnstone Academy on Campbell street, under the efficient management of Professor and Mrs. Johnstone. A very large number were present and all enjoyed the popular dance music rendered by the large orchestra. A number of guests were present from out of town, and Prof. and Mrs. Johnstone were untiring in their efforts to make the affair the success that it was. Dancing was continued until after midnight.”

The Intelligencer October 9, 1917 (page 2)

“Lieut. W. W. Lowery Wounded. Mr. John B. Lowery, of Frankford, has been notified that his son, Lieut. Wm. Lowery who went overseas with an Edmonton infantry battalion was wounded on Sept. 29th. Lieut. Lowery was educated at the Stirling High School and taught school in North Hastings before going to the West.

He was in the same battalion in France as his brother Major Jas. Lowery, M.L.A., who is at present on sick leave in Canada having been wounded at Vimy Ridge last April. No report as to the nature of his wounds has yet been received.”

The Intelligencer October 9, 1917 (page 2)

“Thanksgiving turkey dinners were scarce this year as the price asked on Belleville market was thirty cents a pound. Toronto people were worse off, however, for the price at St. Lawrence market started at 32 cents and ended somewhere among the clouds in a millionaire’s dream. Ducks were plentiful on Toronto market at $1.25. Chickens joined the pluto class at 35 cents per pound, with eggs food for kings, scrambled for at 50 cents, 55 cents and 60 cents per dozen according to the pedigree of the hen, apparently and the age of the egg.”

The Intelligencer October 9, 1917 (page 6)

“Belleville Soldier Instantly Killed by a Shell—Highly Spoken of by His Officers. Mrs. A. Lambert has received the following letters of sympathy in the death of her husband, who was killed in action. From the King. The King commands me to assure you of the true sympathy of His Majesty and The Queen in your sorrow. Derby, Secretary of State for War.

From Lieut. Jackson. In The Field, Sept. 11th, 1917. Dear Mrs. Lambert:—I find it very hard to find words to convey to you my sympathy and the sympathy of Mr. Lambert’s comrades in your sad loss.

Mr. Lambert was killed in the early hours of this morning by a shell, while on duty, and I know you will be glad to know that he did not suffer, death being instantaneous. We have experienced a double loss as his officer, Mr. Edwards, was killed by the same shell.

Mr. Lambert was an excellent soldier, and well spoken of by his officers, while he was greatly respected by all the men. I have had the body brought out by his chums, and will attend personally to the details of his burial; the location of the grave will be sent you from Ottawa. Assuring you of my heartfelt sympathy, I am Yours sincerely, Jas. Jackson, Lieut., O. C. No. 4 Co.”

From Lieut. P. B. D’Esterre. Somewhere in France, Sept. 11th, 1917. Dear Mrs. Lambert:—It is with regret I write this letter to you to express my deep sympathy for the loss of your beloved husband.

He was instantly killed at 11.50 on the night of September 10th, 1917, by an enemy shell, when he was facing his country’s enemies, taking his share in the glory of that which will be the pride of Canada for ages. Lieut. Gilbert Edwards of Port Hope, was also killed with the same shell.

Your beloved husband was as brave and as gallant a soldier as ever put on a uniform for Canada. He was in my platoon and left with my party at 8.30 P.M. on that fatal night. I will write you later if any other particulars can be found. With deepest of sympathy for you I remain P. B. D’Esterre, Lieut. O. C. 16 Platoon, 2nd Canadian Brigade.”

From Lieut.-Col. McLaughlin. Field, Sept. 12th, 1917. To Mrs. A. Lambert, 337 ½ Front Street, Belleville, Ont., Canada. Dear Madam—You will doubtless already have received official notification of your husband’s death in action. May I extend my sincerest sympathy to you in your great bereavement, which has caused you so much sorrow and grief. Rest assured the sacrifice is not in vain, nor will it be forgotten.

Your husband had won very high commendation from his officers—and, although he had been with us a comparatively short time, he had proven himself a thorough soldier and a good and true friend. As such he will be greatly missed by us here. Yours in sympathy H. H. McLaughlin, Lt.-Col., Commanding 2nd Can. Inf. Bn., East Ontario Regiment.”

The Intelligencer October 9, 1917 (page 7)

“In Memoriam. In loving memory of my only son, Sidney Hollgerson, aged 20 years, a member of the 58th Battalion, killed in action at the Somme, October 8th, 1916.

With every smile he said good-bye, / Went forth the bravest of the brave, / Alas! alas! went forth to die! / And now he fills a hero’s grave.”

The Intelligencer October 9, 1917 (page 7)

“In Memoriam. Pte. Andrew Stark, 59th Batt., C. E. F., killed in action, 8th October, 1916.

My husband is gone but not forgotten, / Never shall his memory fade, / Sweetest thoughts shall ever linger, / Round the spot where thou are laid.—His sorrowing wife and Children.”

100 Years Ago: Ad for Fry’s Cocoa, In Memoriam, Soldiers Will Get Fruit

The Intelligencer October 6, 1917 (page 6)

Ad for Fry's“Fry’s Makes muscle for the munition worker. The Great Food Drink. Most drinks are mere stimulants. FRY’S Cocoa, however, is a complete food in itself. It acts quickly too. Remember—nothing will do but FRY’S.”

The Intelligencer October 6, 1917 (page 7)

“In Memoriam. Lance-Corp. W. A. Dingham, 2nd Battalion, killed in action, Oct. 6th, 1916.

Far and oft our thoughts do wander / To the Battlefield away. / Where now lies our dear Brother / Killed one year ago to-day. / Sleep on dear brother, in your distant grave, / Your life for your country nobly gave, / No loved one near to say good-bye, / But in God’s keeping now you lie.—Inserted by Brother and Sisters.”

The Intelligencer October 6, 1917 (page 9)

“Soldiers Will Get Fruit. Provincial Government Will Send Abroad Two Million Packages. According to information contained in the latest issue of the fruit circular, the provincial government will this year send to convalescent Canadian soldiers in the hospitals overseas about 2,000,000 parcels of fruit, of which 800,000 will consist of canned fruits and jams.

The consignment of canned goods is being put up at the Vineland experimental station, and will consist largely of peaches, plums and peas. The remainder of the shipment will consist of 27,000 boxes of apples, and will be put up by the fruit branch in Eastern Ontario

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