100 Years Ago: Patriotic Concert in University Church, Presentations to 80th Battalion, Death of Private Archie Bowen

The Intelligencer March 25, 1916 (page 1)

“Patriotic Concert in University Church. An interesting patriotic concert took place last evening in the University Church, College Hill. …

The concert was presided over by Dr. Baker, president of Albert College, who stated the concert was under the auspices of the Pink Branch of the Rainbow Club. …  Gifts are being made by us, of money, life and sympathy, and we will keep on giving until this war is over. …  I hope soon we will have peace not simply victory but peace, abiding peace, where we will have no more war. …

The happy evening was brought to a close by the singing of ‘God Save The King,’ with everyone feeling delighted with the success of the concert from which a good sum was realized.”

The Intelligencer March 25, 1916 (page 2)

“Three Handsome Presents to The 80th Battalion. A pleasant ceremony for all concerned was that which took place in the Armouries on Friday morning at 11 o’clock. Advantage was taken of the presence of Col. Ogilvie of Kingston, the Assistant Adjutant General, to make three presentations to the 80th Battalion.

The first was the formal presentation to the Military Y.M.C.A. of the 80th Overseas Battalion of a handsome Columbia Grafonola, the gift of the Khaki Club. The presentation was made on behalf of the Khaki Club by Col. Ogilvie, who said it was given to the men of the Battalion by the good ladies of the club, that they may know when they go overseas and into the trenches that there are folks in Belleville who recall busy but very happy days spent in making things pleasant for them here.

Col. Ketcheson, Officer Commanding the 80th Battalion, accepted the instrument and expressed appreciation of it and the countless kindnesses the men had received through the efforts of the Khaki Club since the battalion came here. He felt, he said, that the good conduct and discipline that has been evident in Belleville, was due in no small degree to the influence thrown around the men by the atmosphere that prevails at the Khaki Club and by those associated with it.

The instrument is a handsome one in quarter cut oak finish, bearing a polished brass shield on which is engraved ‘Presented by the Khaki Club of Belleville, Canada, to the 80th Overseas Battalion, Military Y.M.C.A. For Auld Lang Syne. 1916.’ The shield is very artistic and the engraving expertly executed.

The second presentation was of a Vanaphone, a miniature grip-size gramophone, that will do all the work of the big machine and that may be packed away in a grip as its name suggests, along with a supply of records and taken where ever it is to be used.

This handy little instrument was the personal gift of Miss Falkiner, President of the Khaki Club, who …  said that whatever had been done for the men since they came here had been a pleasure for those who did it. She wished the men to know that the good wishes of the Khaki Club would go with them when they left and that the ladies had every confidence that when the time came for action the 80th would give a good account of itself. These remarks were the occasion for three cheers and a tiger first for the Khaki Club …  then for Miss Falkiner, its energetic President.

The club is providing a supply of records still to be secured. …  For the presentation the machines were placed on a flag covered table and were tied with bows of royal purple, the Khaki Club color.

The third presentation was a double cut too. Col. Ogilvie presented the Military Y.M.C.A.’s shield for indoor baseball to the league winners—the brass band. It was accepted by Lieutenant Stares, Bandmaster. To the players the battalion gave pocket flash lights, twelve in number. …  Capt. Watson led in three cheers and a tiger for Mr. Sharpe of the Military Y.M.C.A., who had the games in charge.”

The Intelligencer March 25, 1916 (page 7)

“Death of a Soldier. Marmora platoon of the 155th Battalion this week lost one of its members through death, in the person of Private Archie Bowen, who died from an attack of pneumonia. Deceased was 22 years of age, and was married two months ago to Miss Pearl Burns of Marmora. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. David Bowen of Marmora and was popular with the members of his platoon and all residents of the village.”

[Note: Private Archibald Garfield Bowen died on March 13, 1916. He is commemorated on Page 57 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]