100 Years Ago: Letters of Sympathy to Mrs. Corby, Circus Comes to Town

The Intelligencer July 19, 1916 (page 7)

“From J.D. McKeown. Belgium, June 30, 1916. Dear Mrs. Corby:—May I extend to you, on behalf of the officers of the battery, our sincerest sympathy in the loss of your son, Jack. There is little I can say to alleviate the pain caused by such a sad loss, but I hope it will help a little to know that he died without pain.

In a little military cemetery, a short distance behind the lines, and under the shadow of a shell torn church, we laid him, and a white cross bearing his name and battalion, now marks the spot where, together with many other gallant Canadians, he now lies.

Highly esteemed by his officers and his comrades while he was with us, he has now gone to his rest, a hero. Very sincerely yours, James D. McKeown, Lt., 23rd Bty., 5th Bde., C.F.A.”

The Intelligencer July 19, 1916 (page 7)

“From R.S. Armitage. France, June 28, 1916. Mrs. J. Corby, Belleville, Ont. Dear Madam:—I wish to express to you my regret at the death of your son. Since joining this battery in England, Driver Corby has been in my section, and has always shown himself to be a conscientious and faithful worker, as well as a brave soldier. As such, he died, doing his duty to his King and country.

Please accept my deepest sympathy in your great bereavement. Yours sincerely, R.S. Armitage, Lieut., 23rd Bty., 5th Bgde., C.F.A.”

The Intelligencer July 19, 1916 (page 8)

“The Circus. Coop & Lent’s Show Proves a Revelation to Our Towns-People. Yes, it came, with all its paraphernalia, proving an astonishment to the big crowd that gathered upon our streets because of its large proportions.

Our people had never greeted this itinerant show before—it had never come this way. But now that it has shown itself worthy of patronage, the masses of Hastings County are pleased—more than pleased—and to prove their pleasure the big tent off Pine street is well filled this afternoon with a people who know how to extend appreciation.

Speaking of the parade—it was fine—extending about a mile, and as it passed down Victoria Avenue, Pinnacle and Bridge streets, and then up Front street, the reception was most generous.

A feature of the parade was the handsome Shetland ponies—all colors, speckled and otherwise, the large wagons coming in for more or less favorable comment, while the magnificent horses were highly admired. Handsomely attired ladies mounted on chargers; the cowgirls and cowboys; the brass bands—there were several of these; the steam organ, and numerous other sights, including clowns passing funny remarks—all made up a splendid panoramic view, the elephants, the camels, etc., taking their characteristic strides as though in the jungles or crossing a desert.

In the tent, where the performance is going on as we write, three rings are in action, the air-artists turning their somersaults, while the legions of actors—both human and brute—are unstintingly dealing out the programme.

Do not forget that the performance is to be repeated this evening, when the menageries will be open, and—as of yore—the circus lover, with his wife or best girl, will not fail to be there.”