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: Public Meeting on Food Production, Daylight Saving, Jack Foley Welcomed Home to Bancroft, Dick Beauderie Killed in Action, Ritchie’s Ad for Rose Day

The Intelligencer June 8, 1917 (page 7)

“Food Production Theme of Prominent Speakers. A Public meeting under the auspices of the organization of Resources Committee of Ontario, held in the City Hall last evening, was fairly well attended. Mayor Ketcheson presided and in a few well chosen remarks referred to the object of the gathering and the necessity of such gatherings at the present time.

Mr. J. L. Jarvis, of Grimsby, an expert poultry judge, gave an interesting and instructive talk on Poultry and Egg Production, and showed the value of poultry under the present existing conditions. …  M. N. Parliament. M. P. P. for Prince Edward County gave a most practical address in reference to food production at the present time.

Mr. J. W. Johnson, M. P. P., said it was interest in the object of the meeting, not display of knowledge respecting poultry production, that accounted for his presence. With the mild and modest hen and the proud and haughty rooster he had only a neighborly acquaintance. …

Colonel W. N. Ponton, K. C., was the last speaker and caught the spirit of the audience and the occasion by his apt allusions to cocks and hens, ducks and drakes, and the aristocracy and democracy of the farm yard. Chanticleer had his place in the war and the Canadians took Vimy Ridge to the tune of the ‘Cock of the North’ played by the pipers of the Highland Regiments that flanked our boys when they put the vim into Vimy, and won their spurs as their predecessors had done at Langemarck.

Economy always a merit is now a virtue, but productiveness (of which the egg is typical) is even greater than this. The one is negative, the other positive and creative. …

IWM PST 10824 From the Imperial War Museum collection

Col. Ponton exhibited a British Parliamentary poster showing a splendid white hen wearing a broad khaki band emblazoned with a royal crown and the legend ‘Enlisted for the duration of the war’—(and after). Poultry growing would be an ideal occupation for maimed and wounded soldiers after the war. Get into the winged game now and help the piping days of peace return with ‘expanding breasts and merry thoughts’ and other substantial delicacies, and also a ready prepared, well basted vocation in life. Meanwhile the wishbone must be the backbone. Let there be no bone of contention. Lay a good foundation for the future; the hens will attend to the rest. …

Let Hastings produce the eggs and Prince Edward the apples—and together a Bay of Quinte feast. …  Abundant food supply with universal national manhood service spell ‘peace with victory’ for Canada and the Empire and freedom and plenty for our children’s children.

During the meeting Mr. Harold Barrett was heard to advantage in vocal selections.”

The Intelligencer June 8, 1917 (page 1)

“Change of Time in Canada. Dominion Government Will Introduce Measure Providing for National ‘Summer-Time.’ Ottawa. The government has decided to put in force daylight saving throughout the Dominion. Notice has been given of legislation to put all clocks ahead one hour on a day to be fixed later, and keep them so throughout the summer.

The condition is stipulated that the bill shall not become operative until it is proclaimed by order in council. In other words, the bill simply gives the government power to enact a general daylight-saving scheme for the whole Dominion if it is thought wise.”

The Intelligencer June 8, 1917 (page 7)

“Welcomed Home. Pte. Jack Foley, of Bancroft returned home on Wednesday and was accorded a hearty reception by the citizens of that village. He was escorted down town by about a dozen automobiles, gaily decorated with flags for the occasion.

Pte. Foley went overseas with the 80th Battalion, and was in the trenches for six months. He was removed to an English hospital just before the famous battle of Vimy Ridge, suffering from an attack of trench nephritis, and has been honorably discharged.”

The Intelligencer June 8, 1917 (page 7)

“Killed in Action. Pte. Dick Beaudrie, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Beaudrie, residing at L’Amable, North Hastings, has been killed in action. He went overseas with the 155th Battalion from Belleville. Pte. Beaudrie was 23 years of age, and trained at Bancroft. He was a popular young man and his death has cast a gloom over the community in which he resided.”

[Private Richard Benjamin Beauderie died on May 9, 1917. He is commemorated on Page 198 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer June 8, 1917 (page 8)

“Ritchie’s. Rose Day Saturday. Buy a Rose from the Flower Girls on Saturday. Proceeds for Patriotic and Red Cross Purposes. Auspices of Quinte Chapter Daughters of the Empire.

Ladies—Save on your Summer Underwear Needs! …  A Sale of Tub Silks 59¢. …  big Sale of Remnants. The Ritchie Company Limited.”



100 Years Ago: Red Cross Penny Bags Report, Ad for Kingston Cotton Mill Workers

The Intelligencer June 6, 1917 (page 2)

“The Red Cross Penny Bags. In February, 1916, Miss Green, Superintendent of the Belleville Hospital, and band of ‘Red Cross Workers’ distributed amongst themselves and a few friends little white bags with a red cross sewn upon them, with the object of collecting small amounts to assist in buying the materials they were making up into hospital supplies, to be sent through the Belleville Women’s Red Cross and Patriotic Association, to the hospitals overseas that were caring for the wounded heroes who are fighting and dying for our freedom, safety and peace.

Recognizing the possibilities of this system, in a wider field, the scheme was handed over to the association and a committee of four, comprising of Mrs. George Bonisteel, Mrs. Seymour, Mrs. Chapman and Miss Mary Yeomans, met together to organize the city into districts, with ward convenors and collectors. …

The bags were made by members of the different knitting circles and other interested ladies, and in the year about 4,000 have been distributed in the various homes in Belleville, the desire being that all of the occupants of each home, rich or poor, from the youngest to the oldest, should put in their pennies. …  We want to thank the people of Belleville generally, and particularly the little children, who have been so interested in ‘doing the bit’ possible to them in this work. …

We want to thank the newspapers, which have, perhaps, done more than anything else to keep up the public interest. …  we still want to press on to our aim of $300 per month. This will be more difficult than last year, as during the past two months a separate association has been formed in West Belleville, which is raising funds by means of monthly collections in blue bags.”

The Intelligencer June 6, 1917 (page 6)

“WANTED! Cotton Mill Workers for Kingston, Ontario. We have positions open for experienced Cotton Mill workers at our Kingston, Ontario, Plant. Entire families can be employed, and we will arrange transportation where necessary. Steady work. Clean Mills.

Write and tell us your experience or apply direct at once to Employment Bureau, Dominion Textile Company, Limited, Kingston, Ontario.”


100 Years Ago: Poster for Y.M.C.A. Campaign, Belleville Cheese Board Branch of Red Cross

The Intelligencer June 5, 1917 (page 5)

“Belleville Wants $5,000 for Overseas Y.M.C.A. Work. Have You Given Your Share? Thursday, June 7th, is Your Opportunity! The Ladies Will Canvas Every Home. Be Ready for Them!”

The Intelligencer June 5, 1917 (page 5)

“Canadian Red Cross Society. Belleville Cheese Board Branch—Report For May, 1917. Letters acknowledging shipments have been received to-day from Hospitals and Associations; a few of which are appended:

From Lady Jekyell, Chairman: St. John Ambulance Society. To Mrs. J. A. McFee: Dear Madam and Members of the Belleville Cheese Board District Branch, C. R. C. S., ‘On behalf of the Ladies’ Committee of the Order of St. John of which Her Majesty the Queen is President, I write to acknowledge and thank you most warmly for the useful contribution you have so kindly sent. The calls for hospital requirements, clothing and comforts for the sick and wounded at home, and abroad, are so numerous and urgent that all gifts are most gratefully received. We cordially thank you for your sympathy and contributions, which we are very glad to receive and which have reached us safely. Yours faithfully, (Sgd.) Agnes Jeykell, Chairman.’

From Belgian Relief: ‘A box from Belleville came this morning, containing pyjamas, shirts, night shirts, socks and a quilt. These articles are all most beautifully made, and it is a great pleasure to receive such a contribution. Will you please give the grateful thanks of the Committee to the workers of the Societies who have so kindly assisted us to fill our cases. Very sincerely yours, Ladies’ Committee, (Sgd.), (Miss) M. Cory, Cor. Sec.’

From Lady Perley, Chairman. The Canadian War Contingent Association: ‘I have to advise you that the four cases of supplies of which you advised me have now been received and unpacked. Everything came through in excellent condition, and I am directed to convey through you, to your branches, the grateful thanks of the Committee for your welcome gift. Sincerely yours, (Sgd.) Milly Perley, Chairman, Ladies’ Committee, C. W. C. A.’ “

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