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: Bread Regulations in Force, What to Send to Soldiers Overseas, Questionnaires to Exempted Men, Easter Greeting to Soldiers and Sailors

The Intelligencer March 1, 1918 (page 1)

“New Bread Regulations Came In Force To-Day. Ottawa. Bakers throughout Canada began upon the new bread making regulations today, the only exception being in the case of the regulations regarding standard flour, the date for which has been postponed until March 15th.

The Canada Food Board today issued a manifesto emphasizing the fact that the new standard flour, instead of being of an inferior quality, is of a slightly higher quality than the strong bakers’ flour which has generally been used by bread makers.”

The Intelligencer March 1, 1918 (page 3)

“What To Send To Soldiers and How. Wallbridge & Clarke are receiving from time to time letters from the Front giving the best information obtainable concerning the things the soldiers want and also reports on the condition parcels arrive in.

A recent letter mentions cakes ‘but they must be of a variety that will keep, or in a package that will prevent spoiling or drying out.’ Jams are tabooed, excepting strawberry and ‘never plum’, maple cream, maple butter, salted nuts, hickory nuts, maple syrup, canned corn and peas and tomatoes, sardines, salmon, lobster would be appreciated.

Canadian chocolates and chocolate creams are especially desired. Soap is useful, but will flavor other goods unless specially packed. Canadian cigarettes and tobacco are wanted. ‘The English brands are cheap in France but don’t fill the bill like the home stuff.’ …

Don’t send to France—Baked beans, sugar or butter, unless asked for, as they are in the rations.

Slip a photograph or picture of Belleville in the parcels. Anything sticky or leaky should be well protected. Use elastic packing such as paper, newspapers, shavings and excelsior, strong cord and heavy paper. Cardboard boxes travel very well, better than tin boxes which get twisted and battered, and stay that way. …  Addresses written on cotton coverings, run into a blot when wet. Tags should be put on in addition.”

The Intelligencer March 1, 1918 (page 7)

“Every Detail Probed By The Questionaires. Ottawa. Questionaires have been prepared by the Military Service Council to be filled in by men who have already been exempted. If the questionaires are not filled in three days after delivery by the post office the exemption heretofore granted will be subject to forfeiture.

A special list of questions are to be answered by all exemptees. They include name and address, age, weight, height; whether exempted has not full use of all faculties; …  nature of occupations in which engaged since the age of 18, and how long engaged in each, and name and address of nearest grown-up relatives. …

All persons employed in agriculture must state whether farm on which employed is ‘dairy, grain, or stock’; must give name, sex and age of all the people working on it; …  how uncultivated land is being used; number and kind of livestock; what would happen if exemptee left the farm, and whether the man who works the farm owns it or rents it. …

Those who claim exemption on any grounds but occupation or physical conditions, must give names, addresses and relationship of dependents; extent of support, and how long supported. …  Other special circumstances connected with domestic position must be stated. …

The questionaire concludes: If the answers you give are not disputed, your answer may, without notice to you, be submitted to a tribunal for the purpose of having the exemption granted you re-considered. You should theretofore state any other facts upon which you rely for exemption from military service.”

The Intelligencer March 1, 1918 (page 8)

“God Save Our Splendid Men. Send Them Safe Home Again. Easter Greetings to our soldiers and sailors overseas from the Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers, Wives and Children, Friends and Sweethearts, is the beautiful thought expressed in a tasty, well printed folder just published by Rev. A. M. Hubly, rector of Emmanuel Church, Belleville.

The message is an Easter greeting to the boys over there and copies can be obtained by application to Rev. Mr. Hubly.”

100 Years Ago: Christ Church A.Y.P.A. Holds Red Cross Shower

The Intelligencer February 28, 1918 (page 7)

“Christ Church, A. Y. P. A. The members of Christ Church A. Y. P. A. held a Red Cross shower in the Parish Hall, Wednesday, Feb. 27. There was a large attendance and a large number of parcels containing smokes, candies, etc., were collected, which will be sent overseas to the boys.

A guessing competition as to what the contents of the parcels were gave some amusement. Mr. Harold Barrett rendered several solos, his rendering of ‘Thora’ being very fine. A couple of guitar solos were given by Mr. Herbert Wolfe and Miss Kathleen Diamond accompanied on the piano. Refreshments were served at the close of the meeting.”

[Note: A. Y. P. A. = Anglican Young People’s Association.]

100 Years Ago: Douglas Reid Appointed Instructor at Fort Worth

The Intelligencer February 27, 1918 (page 1)

Douglas Reid“Belleville Aviator Appointed Instructor. Douglas Reid Completes Aviation Training in Texas and Is Appointed Instructor.

The following telegram was received today by Mr. C. M. Reid from his son Douglas, who is in the Royal Flying Corps at Fort Worth, Texas:

‘Received the terrible news about Harold’s death Monday. Finished my training as a cadet and have been chosen to remain instructing at Hick’s Camp, will not be home for some time. Hope mother will feel easy as I am not likely to go overseas for some time.’ Douglas Reid.”

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