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.

Nurses of World War I: Marguerite Merle Lazier

Marguerite Merle Lazier was born at Belleville on July 2, 1891 daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Lazier and Matilda Starling. The father of our subject was an officer in the 15th Battalion and was in command of a company of volunteers in the Northwest to do duty in the Riel Rebellion. At the turn of the century, the family resided at 219 Charles Street. Miss Lazier was aunt to Gwen Lazier, the ‘horsewoman’.

219 Charles Street, Belleville

She was educated locally and was a graduate of an unknown Nursing School about 1914. Miss Lazier enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on August 10, 1916 at Kingston.

Height:  5’ 1”

Weight:  110lb

Age: 25

Nursing Sister Lazier was stationed at Salonica, Greece where she nursed the wounded and after some months was transferred to Shorncliffe, England. She was hospitalized and treated for colitis, a condition that recurred over the course of several months. She was allowed to resign her commission on October 1, 1917 having been recently united in marriage to Captain Wilfred Tyrer, M.D. Mrs. Tyrer returned to Canada setting sail in July 1919 aboard the S.S. Carmania and the couple established themselves at Moosonee, Ontario where Dr Tyrer, a graduate of the University of Toronto in 1914, set up his medical practice and served as an Indian Agent. After her husband died in 1940 she lived the retired life in Chatham, Ontario with her daughter.

Marguerite Merle Tyrer died on December 12, 1975 aged 84 years 5 months 10 days. She is interred at the Barrie Union Cemetery.

100 Years Ago: Poster for Registration of Women, John Jones Invalided Home, Albert College Dramatic Club Performs in Madoc, Sydney Hector Wins Military Medal, James Dudley Invalided Home, Ad for Goodrich Tires

The Intelligencer June 8, 1918 (page 3)

Poster for registration of women

“Woman’s Outlook on Canada’s Future. The splendid spirit and patriotic endeavour of Canadian women has been one of the outstanding features in Canada’s war effort. They have unsparingly given of their time and energy in the interest of the Red Cross and innumerable other activities which have come as a result of the war.

Thousands of Canadian women have been anxious to devote part, if not all of their time, in directions where their work would prove of advantage. Registration will be the means of bringing to these women the opportunity they have desired.

Every Woman. On June 22nd, every woman of sixteen years and over must attend at one of the places provided for registration between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. and there truthfully answer all questions set forth upon the registration card. Failure to register means heavy penalties—as Registration is law.

Issued by authority of Canada Registration Board.”

The Intelligencer June 8, 1918 (page 7)

“Arrived Home. Pte. John Jones, 75 South John Street, arrived in the city yesterday after an absence of about 20 months overseas. He was wounded with gunshot in the right leg at the Battle of Passchendaele and it was necessary to have the leg amputated. Pte. Jones left Belleville with the 155th Battalion.”

The Intelligencer June 8, 1918 (page 7)

“A Pleasing Entertainment. The Albert College Dramatic Club under the direction of Miss Jessie Tuite, last evening at Madoc Village presented a play entitled ‘Down in Maine.’ At the Armouries, where the play was staged there was a large number present and all thoroughly enjoyed the drama. The entertainment was under the auspices of the I. O. O. F. of the village.”

[Note: I.O.O.F. = Independent Order of Odd Fellows.]

The Intelligencer June 8, 1918 (page 7)

“Awarded Military Medal. Mr. T. E. Hector, 190 Yeomans Street, has received information that his son, No. 637205 Pte. Sydney Frederick Hector, B Company, 2nd Batt., Canadian Infantry, France, has been awarded the Military Medal for meritorious conduct and strict devotion to duty, whilst on active service. This young man was wounded at the battle of Lens and fought at the two famous fights of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele.

He is at present at a Canadian school of instruction in France, taking a special course in the famous Vickers Maxim Machine Gun, where he was when he was apprised of the above award, by the Major of his company and Brigadier of the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade.”

The Intelligencer June 8, 1918 (page 7)

“Another Hero Home. Pte. James Dudley, whose home is on George street, in this city, arrived here yesterday, having been invalided home. He was severely wounded in France and as a result lost an arm. He left Belleville some months ago with the 155th Battalion.”

The Intelligencer June 8, 1918 (page 10)

Ad for Goodrich tires

“Who Began Trench Warfare? The trench, which always encircled the Roman castra, or camp, was brought to France by Julius Caesar and used by him on the very battlefield where to-day the Allies and the Huns have 25,000 miles of trenches.

Vauban, builder of Verdun, in 1673 employed the first parallel trenches, the system of the present war. Defeat, not foresight, turned the Germans to trench warfare. But Goodrich never had to dig in.

Since twenty-two years ago Goodrich manufactured the first American pneumatic automobile tire, Goodrich has driven ahead to the big, graceful, masterful—Goodrich Service/Value Tires.

The Belleville Vulcanizing Agency Exclusive Agents, 11 Moira Street. Phone 661.”

100 Years Ago: Ad for The Intelligencer’s New Serial Story, Bryon Fitchett Wounded

The Intelligencer June 7, 1918 (page 3)

Ad for serial story“A Tonic for War-Weary Nerves. ‘A Crown of Shame.’

The Intelligencer’s New Serial Story will begin with Saturday’s issue. A story of love and action, absorbing heart interest, mystery and thrilling situations. All the heart gripping glamour of life on a tropical island, intense love and fierce hate. Forget the anxiety of war conditions by reading the interesting story of strange places and bygone days.

Read The Intelligencer New Serial Story.”

The Intelligencer June 7, 1918 (page 7)

“Thrice Wounded. Mr. George F. Fitchett, residing at 429 Bleecker Avenue, has received the following telegram from Ottawa, which refers to his son: Sincerely regret to inform you 412109 Corporal Bryon Franklin Fitchett, Infantry, officially reported admitted to five field ambulance. May 27, 1918: Gunshot wounds in right leg. Director of Record.

Corporal Fitchett left Belleville with the 39th Battalion, and served 25 months in France with the 24th Battalion. This is the third time he has been wounded.”


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