100 Years Ago: Belleville Boys Wounded, Letter from Fred Dixon

The Intelligencer May 29, 1916 (page 2)

“Belleville Boys Among Wounded. Rumors were rife about the street to-day that a number of Belleville boys had been wounded at the front and naturally the rumor caused much anxiety to relatives and friends of those who are doing their bit for King and country.

Upon investigation it was learned that two boys who went from here were wounded, as telegrams to that effect were received here yesterday by relatives. Harry McDonald, son of Mr. and Mrs. McDonald, residing in the eastern part of the city, is officially reported wounded, as is also Alfred Green, son of Mrs. Victoria Green, residing on Charlotte Street. McDonald left with the 34th Battery, and Green left with the 39th Battalion. The latter is reported as seriously wounded.”

The Intelligencer May 29, 1916 (page 7)

“From Pte. Dixon. Shorncliffe Camp, May 15, 1916. The Intelligencer. Belleville—I now take great pleasure in writing this letter to you. I arrived here safe in England April 11th, after a pleasant trip across the ocean. We then proceeded to Bordon Camp, Hants. where we were stationed three weeks, then left for Shorncliffe; so you see we are getting nearer the front. We can hear the guns roaring at times, but we don’t care, as the men of the 59th Battalion, C.E.F., are a jolly lot. We have quite a number of men from Belleville.

We were sorry to hear of the death of one of our comrades, Pat Yeomans, which we deeply regret; but his name will never be forgotten by us. We are ready to take his place at the firing line for ‘greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,’ for we know he nobly died. I am sure his name will go down in history amongst the honored dead.

We wish for you to convey to Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Yeomans our deepest sympathy. Well, I think I will now close, with kind remembrances to all the staff of the Intelligencer. Yours sincerely, Pte. Fred Dixon.

Names of Belleville men of the 59th Battalion, C.E.F. Ptes. J.V. Ross, R.W. Gibson, Mercer, J. Meems, F. Dixon, J. Shane.”