100 Years Ago: Christmas Gifts Acknowledged, Farm Help Needed in 1916

The Intelligencer January 31, 1916 (page 2)

“Belleville Boys Acknowledge Gifts. Bramshott Camp, England, Jan. 17, 1916. Editor Intelligencer, Dear Sir:—The Belleville boys serving in the 8th C.M.R. at present undergoing training in England, wish to thankfully acknowledge through your paper, the receipt of the Xmas boxes sent by the ladies of the Patriotic League. The pleasing variety of gifts which the boxes contained were all most acceptable and were appreciated both for their own usefulness and for the proof they gave of the thoughtfulness for our welfare.

When we have finished our task on the continent of Europe we hope to return speedily and thank the givers face to face. At present we are all well and in good spirits.”

The Intelligencer January 31, 1916 (page 2)

“Gifts Acknowledged. From O.C. No. 2 Canadian General Hospital. To Mrs. C.J. Bowell, 161 Albert St., Belleville, Ont., Canada. My dear Mrs. Bowell,—On behalf of No. 2 Canadian General Hospital I beg to acknowledge and thank you sincerely for the very acceptable gifts which have recently been received from you and your Belleville friends. These gifts are particularly useful and show great taste in their selection. …

We have been working here since last March, and have treated about 11,000 cases. The little extras in the way of hospital comforts and preserved fruit kindly donated by friends go far to cheer and revivify those who have shown such self sacrifice and devotion in the interest of their country.

Again thanking you and the other kind friends associated with you in your good work, I am, Yours gratefully, J.W. Bridges, Col. O.C. No. 2 Canadian General Hospital.”

The Intelligencer January 31, 1916 (page 3)

“The Labor Situation. The labor problem is with us again, and in a most aggravated form. If all signs hold true, it will be harder to get farm help, experienced or inexperienced, in 1916 than in any one of the last ten years.

The surplus men of the cities, who might have been available for farm work now that English immigration has practically ceased, have joined the ranks. The rest are busy in munition factories. To a greater extent than is generally believed, the boys from the back concessions also have been volunteering for service abroad.

And now the call comes for 275,000 additional men. From where are they to come? ‘From the rural districts,’ answer the recruiting officers in chorus. …  They do not realize that the cities have already swallowed up a big percentage of country boys, until now there is no surplus labor in the country, young or old. …

In many rural sections, every rural young man who enlists leaves a 100-acre farm unworked or only half worked. Is it the part of wisdom to take these workers from the land?—Farm and Dairy.”