100 Years Ago: Coleman Ward Recruiting Rally

The Intelligencer September 10, 1915 (pages 1, 3)

“Coleman Ward Rallies to Flag. That the residents of Coleman Ward are not only patriotic but alive to the important matter of recruiting, was evidenced last evening, when hundreds gathered upon the spacious lawn of Mr. W.B. Northrup, K.C., M.P., on North Front street. …  Men, women and children of all classes were present and took much interest in the proceedings. The beautiful grounds were appropriately decorated with Chinese lanterns for the occasion and Mr. and Mrs. Northrup did all in their power to make it comfortable for all present. …

Colonel Samuel Shaw Lazier
Colonel Samuel Shaw Lazier
Col. Lazier was chairman and filled that position in a most acceptable manner. The addresses by the several speakers were most patriotic in their sentiment, and were listened to with rapt attention. After a selection by the band, Col. Lazier spoke briefly referring to his connection of 30 years with the militia. He stated that when he was commanding officer of the 15th Regiment in 1885, the time of the North West Rebellion, the regiment to a man volunteered their services and a number were taken. What was the matter with many young men in the city to-day? Something appears to be wrong, as they are not enlisting as they should enlist. Your country needs you and needs you now. There would be no use for the slugger after this war is over. He referred to the Speakers’ Patriotic Movement, and the good it was accomplishing by stimulating recruiting. …

Mr. J.W. Johnson, M.P.P., was the next speaker. …  Peace can only be secured by trained fighting men properly armed, fed and equipped; dismiss the thought of any other possibility. …  What would be left of the conditions we have enjoyed, that have made life the delight it is in this now free land, if we lose; but if we win this fight for humanity we shall end war on earth. …

Col. Ponton, who was accorded a hearty reception, referred to his son, who has recently returned from the front and who is going back again. …  He had a personal message for Coleman Ward, and that was that it was doing its duty, and at least one life had been sacrificed at the front, namely Leo Ross, a member of the 34 Battery, whose parents reside in the ward.

Where are the young men who should enlist? There are many in Belleville who should enlist, but had not done so. Those who have gone say to those left behind ‘Come.’ Their message is ‘Come’ and our message is ‘Go’. …  In conclusion he said that this is a conflict and a challenge. Go and help win the victory and keep the old flag flying. We will conquer and we will keep Canada for the Empire and the Empire for Canada. (Applause.)

The band rendered ‘When Jack Comes Home,’ the chorus being sung by all present. The gathering closed with the National Anthem and cheers for the King.”