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.

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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: Thanksgiving Day on December 1st, Myrehall Red Cross, Allan Colbert Desislets Wounded

The Intelligencer November 27, 1918 (page 1)

“Thanksgiving Day On Sunday Next. Ottawa. Hon. Mr. Burrell, Secretary of State, is anxious that as great publicity as possible shall be given to the fact that Sunday, the 1st of December, has been named by proclamation as a day of solemn Thanksgiving to Almighty god for the victories won by the allied armies in the war against the Central Powers of Europe and for the armistice which has been signed by the contending nations involving a general surrender of the enemy.

Immediately after the signing of the armistice it was proposed that Sunday, 17th of November, be named as the day of thanksgiving, but the prevalence of Spanish influenza, particularly in the Western Provinces, rendered this impossible, as the churches in many districts were closed by order of the health authorities. In many places, however, the 17th was so observed.

On former occasions, it has been the practice of the State Department to notify the heads of religious denominations of days of prayer, but the shortness of the time did not permit of this course at this time.”

The Intelligencer November 27, 1918 (page 7)

“Shipment for Overseas. The Myrehall Red Cross met at the home of Mrs. E. C. Carter on November the 7th, thirteen members being present. The following were sent to Foxboro: 2 quilts, 16 day-shirts, 9 suits of pyjamas, 6 pairs of socks, 37 towels, 9 Xmas boxes, check for $15.”

The Intelligencer November 27, 1918 (page 7)

“Lt. Desislet Wounded. Lieut. Allan C. Desislet of Toronto, is reported wounded. He enlisted as a Pte. in the 123rd Battalion of Toronto, was transferred to the C. M. R.’s, and went to France in July 1916 and gained his commission on the field. Lieut. Desislet was born in Belleville twenty years ago and resided here until 1911, when he went to Toronto. He attended Grier Street School in this city, and is a nephew of Mrs. H. Brown 2nd Concession of Sidney. His parents reside at 93 Millicent St., Toronto.”

100 Years Ago: Christmas Boxes for Sailors

The Intelligencer November 26, 1918 (page 3)

“Christmas Boxes For The Sailors. An interested and well attended meeting of the Belleville Branch of the Navy League of Canada, was held in the High School Room, Friday evening, Nov. 22nd. …  Acting under instructions from head quarters a new department was formed, that of ‘Convenor of Sailors’ Comforts.’ Mrs. Alexander Ray was elected convenor of this department, which will be more particularly under instructions from headquarters from time to time as conditions may develop.

This department with the promised assistance from the other patriotic societies of the city hope to send a number of Christmas comfort bags to Halifax early in December. The convenor will be glad to receive any private donations for this purpose either in articles or cash; the articles specified are socks, mufflers, mitts, handkerchiefs, brier and clay pipes, tobacco, matches, safety razors, cards or puzzles, small books, writing pads, pencils, housewives, etc. …

In making up parcels for loved ones overseas, do not forget that every parcel sent overseas only reaches its destination through the bravery of the merchant marine and the protection of the British Navy. In thinking of those ‘over there,’ think also of those ‘out there.’ ”

100 Years Ago: Female Workers Must Yield Places to Men, Memorial Service at Christ Church, Memorial Service at Holloway St. Methodist Church, Memorial Service at St. Thomas’ Church, Thanksgiving Service at Tabernacle Methodist Church

The Intelligencer November 25, 1918 (page 6)

“Twenty Thousand Women In Munition Plants To-day. Ottawa. It is feared that the women will be the first to feel the pinch of readjustment. There are thousands of women in munition works who will no longer be needed and will not be required in the old lines. Fortunately in the last year there has been a reduction in the number of women employed on munitions. The number at one time ran as high as forty thousand, but at present will probably not run more than twenty thousand.

Then there are many women in banks, offices, etc., who are taking positions of soldiers at the front. These places have been promised to the old employees, and the women will be dismissed. In Ottawa there are many girls in war work who have already been notified that their services can no longer be continued. The problem of the women is regarded as likely to be the most serious this winter. Committee of women interested will be formed to advise and assist the repatriation committee.”

The Intelligencer November 25, 1918 (page 7)

“Memorial Services. A memorial service was held yesterday morning at eleven o’clock for the late Ptes. McGlashon and Green, and Sergeant Clarke of Coe Hill, in Christ Church. The service was conducted by the Rev. Rural Dean Swayne, assisted by Rev. A. L. Geen. The officers and men of the Depot Battalion attended and when the service opened there were few vacant seats in the church. Special and appropriate music was rendered by the choir and a member of the Depot Battalion accompanied the hymns on a cornet. The Dead March in Saul was played by the organist, Mrs. Campbell and the Last Post sounded by one of the Depot men.”

The Intelligencer November 25, 1918 (page 7)

“At eleven o’clock yesterday morning a memorial service was held in Holloway St. Methodist Church for the late Ptes. Cecil Brown and John Canniff, killed in action. Rev. J. N. Clarry, B. A. conducted the service and the choir rendered beautiful and appropriate music. The church was filled and every one realized the high price paid for our victory in the lives of our soldier heroes.”

The Intelligencer November 25, 1918 (page 7)

“In St. Thomas’ Church last evening at 7 o’clock, a memorial service was held for the late Pte. John Hutchinson, who died of pneumonia in Scotland, on November 18th. The service was conducted by Ven. Archdeacon Beamish and special music was rendered by the choir. The spacious church was filled with sympathizing friends of the bereaved family.”

The Intelligencer November 25, 1918 (page 7)

“Inspiring Service. Special Thanksgiving services were held in the Tabernacle Methodist Church yesterday to commemorate victory and peace. Rev. S. C. Moore, pastor, was in charge. The pulpit, organ and chancel of the sacred edifice was appropriately draped with the flags of the allies and presented an inspiring and patriotic appearance. In the evening a large congregation was present and the discourse by the pastor was in keeping with the occasion. …  During the service appropriate hymns were sung and the choir rendered suitable selections.”

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