100 Years Ago: Military Service Held at Bridge Street Methodist Church

The Intelligencer February 28, 1916 (page 1)

“Military Service at Bridge St. Church. Services at Bridge Street Methodist church in this city, on Sunday morning were of especial interest, owing to the fact that the officers and the members of the 80th Battalion and 155th Battalion of the Canadian Oversea Contingents, were present in a body. It was a service that will long be remembered by all who attended.

At a few minutes before 11 o’clock, the 80th Battalion, under command of Lieut.-Col. W.G. Ketcheson, commanding officer, left the barracks on Pinnacle street for the place of worship. The fine battalion band, under the leadership of Bandmaster Lieut. H.A. Stares, played appropriate marching selections.

The members of the 155th Battalion, under command of Lieut.-Col. Adams, commanding officer, paraded from the Armouries and were headed by their band, under the capable leadership of Bandmaster Hinchey.

The two battalions met at the church and were conducted to seats in the centre of the auditorium. The attendance of officers and men were such as to virtually fill the body of the sacred edifice. Members of the 80th Bugle Band and members of the 155th Band occupied seats in the choir loft. The 80th Battalion Band were ushered to the front and occupied seats about the altar railing.

A feature of the service was that the playing of the organ was dispensed with, the music for the hymns being furnished by the 80th Band. The voluntary selection by the band entitled ‘Angel’s Serenade’ was a number artistically rendered. During the taking of the offertory the band played ‘Nearer My God To Thee.’

The service was conducted by the pastor, Rev. H.S. Osborne, B.A., B.D., who before delivering the sermon expressed the pleasure it was to him and the officials of the church to have the members of the two battalions present, and he hoped they would return upon some future occasion.

Capt. (Rev.) A. Ketcheson, chaplain of the 80th Battalion, assisted in the service by offering up an appropriate prayer and leading in the responsive reading. It was in every sense a Christian military service and the discourse by the pastor was in keeping with it. …

After leaving the church the two battalions marched to their respective headquarters. On the route to and from the church the marching of the brave soldier boys was witnessed by hundreds of citizens and many a complimentary remark as to their appearance was heard.”