100 Years Ago: 49th Hastings Rifles Leave for Front

The Intelligencer August 20,1914 (page 2)

“Belleville today had in reality its first taste of the present war, when the men of the 49th Hastings Rifles left the city to take their place in the first overseas contingent from Canada. At two o’clock this afternoon they left the armouries, and the scene of their departure was a memorable one. Hundreds of citizens assembled to bid adieu to the boys and wish them in their hearts God-speed and a safe return to their home. Previous to the march out the volunteers were given a supply of sandwiches which the ladies of the Daughters of the Empire had provided. …

Col. Ketcheson, commanding officer of the 49th regiment, could scarce restrain himself whilst speaking. He said he had been for 28 years connected with the 49th regiment, and he loved the boys. He was proud to see them turn out in the defence of their country, and hoped all would come back safe and sound. His prayer was for God’s blessing upon them all. Three lusty cheers were then given to the boys, who responded with cheers. Headed by the 15th Regimental band, playing rousing martial airs, with the 34th Battery and the 15th Regiment as an escort, they marched to the station. All along the route the boys were cheered again and again.”