100 Years Ago: Recruitment Campaign, Coe Hill Volunteers Build Drill Hall

The Intelligencer February 7, 1916 (page 7)

“Campaign to Be Started. Recruiting among Belleville residents has dropped back the last six weeks and the Executive of the Speakers’ Patriotic League and the officers of the 155th decided last Saturday night to put on a campaign for 300 recruits out of Belleville for the 155th.

Preliminary to the campaign it was decided to ask the churches of the city to assist by reference to the movement at the services on Sunday next after which dates will be fixed for the actual work. It was also decided to hold a meeting in the Opera House Sunday afternoon. Badges will be issued to the school children. A splendid line of posters have been procured and various devices will be introduced to assist.

Every man of service age will be given an opportunity to do his bit. The movement to secure 300 recruits in Belleville is a good one. Enlist or assist. The attention of the public has been taken up with other matters during the last six weeks which has resulted in a fall off of recruits. Everybody should now take hold and help along the campaign for 300 recruits.

If the Germans win, you will have to fight without being asked. Liberty breeds its own defenders. Who will be one? Men have thrown up good jobs and travelled hundreds of miles to fight on the side of liberty and justice in this war. Every man fit for service in this city can do the same by a few minutes walk to the Armouries.”

The Intelligencer February 7, 1916 (page 8)

“Coe Hill Volunteers Build Drill Hall. Coe Hill has manifested a great deal of patriotic zeal recently. The village has thirty-one recruits of the 155th Battalion quartered in it, but did not have good enough drill accommodation, so the soldiers volunteered to build an extension to the Exhibition Hall at the Fair Grounds if the people would supply the lumber. This they did, and the recruits constructed a hall which is 65 feet by 45 feet, and has a hardwood floor.

On Friday night the hall was officially opened by a banquet, which was attended by three or four hundred people. Lieut. Col. Adams, Commanding Officer of the regiment, was present. Coe Hill has twenty-six men in service and thirty-one more now recruited for the Bay of Quinte Battalion, although it is only a small village.

One family named Danford, of seven sons, has four drilling with the 155th; one, a member of the 39th Battalion, died while here, and one has to work the farm, with the help of the youngest brother, who is too young to enlist.

Rev. Mr. Herrington of North Hastings, Methodist minister, is the second minister of this denomination hereabouts to enlist within the last few months. The 155th Battalion is now over 600 men strong.”