100 Years Ago: Recruits Required for 4th Contingent, Alleged Alien Apprehended

The Intelligencer June 14, 1915 (page 1)

“Recruits Required for 4th Contingent. Patriotic Appeal to the Young Men and the Women of Belleville and District. Recruits are now being enlisted for the 4th Contingent and it is hoped that the young men of this district will respond to the Empire’s call with the same alacrity as was shown in the recruiting for the 3rd contingent. …

It cannot be brought home too plainly to people that this is Canada’s war as much as it is Great Britain’s. The Dominion is vitally interested in this war. Should Germany succeed and the British Navy be defeated Canada would undoubtedly be invaded by the Huns. …

The patriotic women of Canada have done splendid service for their country and the Empire; but unfortunately other women have proved to be a stumbling block to recruiting. Several letters have been received at headquarters, demanding that their sons should be released, as they enlisted without their consent. One woman is so totally destitute of patriotism that she remarked: ‘I would rather my son was in jail than in the army.’ This insult to the gallant fellows flocking to the colors arises from sheer ignorance. The training and discipline her son would get in the army would make a man of him. …

This war has been brought home to the youth of the Empire that he owes something to his country for the liberty and privileges he enjoys. It is his bounden duty to defend his country if occasion requires. Other nations recognizing this fact, make compulsory military service a law of the land. In the British Empire we are depending upon voluntary service, and where a mother, wife or sister uses her influence to prevent a young man enlisting she is committing a crime against the State.

It is to be hoped that the women of Belleville and vicinity will sink their own personal feelings and look at the matter from a national standpoint. There are some dark days ahead for the British Empire, and Canada must bear her fair share of the sacrifice, which is required in order that another contingent may be sent to the front, which will be worthy of this great and growing Dominion.”

The Intelligencer June 14, 1915 (page 2)

“Alleged Alien Is Apprehended. Mr. Ernest Walter Shoener, whose home is at 54 Murney street was arrested on Saturday night by the military police in connection with the 39th Battalion. It was alleged that Shoener was a German and had never taken out his naturalization papers. His arrest caused considerable comment, owing to the fact that for many years he had been a resident of the city and had always been a hard working and industrious man.

This morning his release was effected by parties who interested themselves in his behalf. Shoener admitted that he was born in Prussia, but had lived in this country for upwards of 30 years. He claimed that at one time he took out the oath of allegiance, but was perfectly content to do so again, if it was desired. This was done and he also signed a document to report regularly to the proper authorities after which he was formally discharged from custody.”