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.

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: Congratulations to Hastings County on Victory Loan, First Draft in Khaki on December 28, Special Dishes for One-Armed Veterans

The Intelligencer November 24, 1917 (page 5)

“Congratulations to Hastings County. The following telegrams were received at the local Victory Loans headquarters on the occasion of Hastings County passing the million dollar mark:

Toronto, Nov. 23, 1917. W. B. Deacon, Esq., Chairman, Canada’s Victory Loan, Belleville, Ont. Many happy return of your first million; may your greatest troubles be many millions. Your good old county is responding splendidly to leadership and determination. May the last half of your campaign be even more intensive than the first for the need is great and Ontario’s dollars must back Ontario’s sons. G. H. Wood, Chairman Ontario Committee.

Toronto, Nov. 23, 1917. W. B. Evans, Organizer Canada’s Victory Loan, Belleville, Ont. Last night our campaign passed the half-way post with Ontario having rolled up the magnificent total over seventy-six millions. Accept for yourself and those working with you my heartiest congratulations on your part in this great showing. The next half of the race will be the hardest, but we have utmost confidence in your county and in the power of good old Ontario to keep up the splendid present pace until the finish. G. H. Wood, Chairman Ontario Committee.”

The Intelligencer November 24, 1917 (page 9)

“First Draft Will Be in Khaki. On December 28—three days after Christmas—several thousand young Canadians coming within ‘Class A’ under the Military Service Act will lay aside their semi-Norfolk suits, white collars and colored ties and don the sober khaki habit of a new way of life. At least this is the approximate date, according to the latest forecast of the Government’s plans.

With the memory of Christmas turkey and plum pudding still lingering pleasantly in their minds these young men will line up, form fours, and march off to an entirely new world, where one eats out of a mess tin and sleeps o’ nights on a palliasse filled with straw.”

The Intelligencer November 24, 1917 (page 14)

“Special Dishes For One-Armed Boys. Dishes designed to keep the food of the one-armed veteran within bounds until he masters the finesse of single handed feeding are now being manufactured in England. Dr. Edward A. Bott, director of functional re-education at Hart House, has brought samples from England for the consideration of the authorities of the Orthopaedic Hospital in North Toronto, where the crippled Canadian soldiers returned from overseas as convalescents are being treated under the direction of the Military Hospitals Commission. …

Dr. Bott brought back a soup plate and a plate designed for general service. The soup plate differs from the ordinary soup dish in having a second declivity into which the last two or three spoonfuls run and may be secured without tipping the plate—a breach of good manners common enough among busy, hungry men to warrant serious consideration.

The plate for general service in turn resembles a very shallow soup plate, the centre being sunk slightly so as to prevent the food from slipping over the edge as the fork pursues it.

A combination knife and fork which has also been devised, works with great success, and one armed men are able to prepare their own food for eating without difficulty.”

100 Years Ago: Poster for Victory Loan, One Million Dollars for Victory Loan, Reuben Sero Killed in Action, Gerald Spafford Tenders Thanks to Belleville Ladies, Hours for Selling Beef and Bacon

The Intelligencer November 23, 1917 (page 1)

Poster for Victory Loan“Mrs. Canuck is making up a box for Daddy at the Front. Private Canuck, Victory Ridge, At the Front. There’s Room For Your Share Here.

Wage Earners’ Share in Loan. Farmer. Salary Earner. Victory Loan. Business Man’s Share in Loan.”

The Intelligencer November 23, 1917 (page 1)

“Hastings County Passes the Million Mark. The good old County of Hastings has upheld its traditional patriotism in a grand manner. More than one Million Dollars has been subscribed to the Victory Loan in ten days …  and now we are on our way to double our objective. …  If this can be accomplished our boys overseas will have cause to be proud of the spot where they were born. …  They have given Canada reason to be proud of them, and now it’s up to us at home to make them proud of Canada.

There are only six working days left to pile up the remaining half a million dollars, and it is to be hoped that the people will forget everything, but the success of the Loan. Belleville is falling back badly the past couple of days. Of course, Belleville has done nobly so far, having more than doubled its objective, but there must be no let-up any place in the County if we are to get Half Million Dollars in the next six days.”

The Intelligencer November 23, 1917 (page 1)

“Clever Victory Loan Window. The Angus McFee jewellery store has an added attraction to its Victory Loan window. An aeroplane is floating in mid-air with an arrow pointing to figures upon a larger arrow pointing upwards to $1,611,000, Hastings new objective and as the subscriptions pour in the aeroplane will rise. It is quite a novel idea, and Mr. [Victory] Tulley who is responsible for the entire display deserves the highest congratulations as he has received the thanks of the Publicity Committee of which he is a member.

The aeroplane, which is a work of art, was made by Master Fred Jones, 13 year old son of Mr. Arthur Jones, manager of Molsons Bank. Master Jones is to be congratulated upon his clever achievement.”

The Intelligencer November 23, 1917 (page 2)

“Gave His Life. Mrs. Eliza Sero, residing on the Mohawk Reserve, Tyendinaga Township, has received official notification that her son, 637,184, Pte. Reuben Sero, was killed in action on October 30th. He went overseas with the 155th Battalion from this city, and was transferred to the Princess Patricia regiment. The young soldier was only 20 years of age. The sympathy of many will be extended to the mother in hour of sorrow.”

[Note: Private Reuben Sero died on October 30, 1917. He is commemorated on Page 323 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer November 23, 1917 (page 3)

“Kindly Welcome Was Appreciated. To the Rainbow Knitting Circle of the Woman’s Red Cross and Patriotic Circle Sergt.-Major Gerald Spafford tenders his heartfelt thanks for the beautiful bouquet of flowers sent as a token of welcome home by Mrs. H. A. Yeomans and Miss A. Hurley on behalf of the above organizations; also to Miss Anna Ponton for her kindly thought in sending a basket of ‘goodies’ appropriately decorated with miniature flags and patriotic colors.

Miss Florence Clark, 61 Grier street, gave a surprise party in honor of the returned soldiers, a delightful evening of surprises too numerous to mention—music, songs and tales of adventure, during which refreshments were served.

The returned soldiers find it difficult to express in words the language of the heart; suffice it to say to the numerous friends, and particularly the ladies of Belleville to whom they are indebted not only at present but in the past for the royal and sincere welcome accorded not only in words and greeting but through so many sources of expression that it is difficult to express the inspiration and encouragement which fills the war-worn souls of the soldiers to find their loyal lady friends, after months and years of patriotic endeavor still faithfully administering to the wants and comforts of the brave lads in the trenches in far off Flanders.

We thank you, ladies. We often shout ‘Long live the King!’ We go a bit further and shout ‘Long live the loyal and true patriotic women of Belleville.’

Belleville has good cause to be proud of her soldier boys; but let me say the soldier boys of Belleville have good cause to be proud of the ladies of Belleville who have so very loyally supported the organizations which have done so much for the comfort of our boys, and by so doing have done much to win the war, writes Sergt.-Major Spafford to The Intelligencer.”

The Intelligencer November 23, 1917 (page 5)

“Saving Bacon. A meeting of the restaurant and the hotel proprietors of the City of Belleville, will be held at the Police Court Rooms Monday the 26th day of November, 8 p.m. for purpose of defining the hours at which beef and bacon might be served under the Food Controller’s regulations owing to the food shortage, and to the fact that there are no settled hours at which beef or bacon may be served, some people are in the habit of going to one restaurant for beef or bacon at one meal and to another restaurant for beef or bacon for a second meal, thus evading the regulations and working hardship on the law-abiding restaurant keeper. It is suggested that the breakfast hours should mean from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., the dinner hour 11.30 to 2.30, with no hours specified for supper.”

100 Years Ago: Driver Charles Saunders Returns, Great War Veterans Association of Belleville, David Rightmyer Wounded

The Intelligencer November 22, 1917 (page 2)

“Return of Driver Saunders. Word was received in the city last night by Mrs. Chas. Saunders, stating that her husband, Driver C. Saunders, will arrive home to-morrow, Friday, on the 1.30 from Kingston. Driver Saunders left Belleville with the 34th Battery in 1914, and is now returning after being in hospital for several months.”

The Intelligencer November 22, 1917 (page 3)

“Aims and Objects of War Veterans. Madame Nelli Gardini, the great Metropolitan singer is giving her services, gratis on Wednesday evening, the 28th of November next, for an operatic concert in aid of the Great War Veterans Association of Belleville. The Griffin Amusement Co. are giving the use of the Opera House at a very low rental and every assistance possible to the G.W.V.

For the benefit of the Great War Veterans Association the H. Corby Distillery Co. has given their splendidly fitted office building for a club or meeting place for the returned boys free of rent.

A number of our citizens have given donations to assist in furnishing these quarters, and perhaps there are some of our people who do not know we have a Great War Veterans Association in our midst, and still some others who are not conversant with its noble aims and objects. For the information of the public in general, let us state briefly, that the work of the association is an effort on the part of the returned soldiers to help themselves and their comrades who are returning daily.

It is their desire to have a comfortable, home-like meeting place for the betterment of the returning men, where topics of common interest may be considered and discussed, to see that justice is done in so far as can possibly be effected by wise and reasonable administration to those who are disabled by reason of wounds received or unfortunate circumstances met with in their country’s service and defence; and that the lives of those whose breadwinners have been taken away from them, may be made as free from care and anxiety for the future as it is possible for a grateful people to render them. …

The local organization is not at the present begging, but with the assistance of the local newspapers trying to ‘Do’ for themselves, and at the same time giving the citizens of Belleville and surrounding country, the musical feast of the season in presenting Madame Gardini and her company on the 28th inst., Wednesday next. …

Come along and help the boys out and get double value for your dollar; they guarantee every cents worth in a musical meal, and many thanks for your assistance financially to them.”

The Intelligencer November 22, 1917 (page 5)

“Pte. Rightmyer Wounded. Word has been received in the city stating that Pte. David Grant Rightmyer, 1093081, infantry, wounded right foot. Pte. Rightmyer is a son of Mrs. Emma Rightmyer, 34 Wharf Street. Previous to enlisting with the 254th Battalion he was employed with the Downey Coal Company of this city.”

Load More Posts