100 Years Ago: Military Y.M.C.A. Sports, Belleville Athletic Company

The Intelligencer March 3, 1916 (page 3)

“Military Y.M.C.A. Notes. Though almost over, the battalion baseball league still commands the interest of the men of each company for though almost over it is still anybody’s league. One of the games that excited keen interest and drew a crowd of supporters was the tussle between the Band and the team from the Signallers and Machine Gun Section. The score of 25 to 35 hardly indicates just how close the game was. …  In addition to the Y.M.C.A. shield for baseball individual prizes are being given.

The battalion checker tournament that has been in progress for some weeks is now almost to a close. On account of duties it has been found difficult to get the opponents together. The semi-final was played yesterday when Gunter of the Pioneers gave way before Asquith of the Shoemakers. The final will be played between Tanner of the Brass Band and Asquith when the band returns.

Mr. Sharpe of the Military Y.M.C.A. received a shipment of five hundred of the most effective recruiting posters published by the Parliamentary Recruiting Office in England. After receiving special permission from the Commissioner of Customs to enter them duty free they were at once turned over to the 80th and 155th Battalions here …

The poster is entitled ‘Take up the sword of Justice’ and is a most striking one. In the foreground is the figure of Justice with sword upraised appealing for assistance to avenge the slaughter of innocents in the Lusitania outrage. Behind her is the sinking ship and about her the struggling non-combatants. It is a mighty appeal.”

The Intelligencer March 3, 1916 (page 7)

“Now for the Colors. Editor, The Intelligencer. Dear Sir,—Would it not be a good idea now that the hockey season is practically over for the hockey players of Belleville and other athletes, to follow the example set by players in other cities—that is, to join the colors and fight for their King and country. Needless to say, a Sportsmen’s Company could be raised from Belleville, and it would be a grand aggregation, too.

The 155th Battalion is a local unit, and has room for such a company. The boys would be under local officers. Lieut. Nurse is an officer of the 155th Battalion, and practically all the other officers are past or present athletes of this city. This company could be open to any one who has taken part in any branch of sport in Belleville and vicinity.

Toronto, Hamilton and practically every team is enlisting as a body and we have had a crack at both the Intermediate and Junior ‘mugs’—and it was good fun; but the glory and sport of putting a crack in the Kaiser’s ‘mug’ would be the best of all.

I feel confident that Colonel Adams and the officers of the local Battalion would be pleased to entertain the forming of such a company. The situation is critical, boys, and we would respectfully suggest your serious consideration of joining. Many citizens would be pleased to co-operate in the forming of this ‘Belleville Athletic Company.’ A Patriotic Fan.”