100 Years Ago: Christmas Boxes for the Boys Overseas, 235th Battalion to Remain in Belleville, Ad for Oxo, Recruits Needed for Royal Navy

The Intelligencer October 28, 1916 (page 1)

“Christmas for the Boys. The first of next week the Women’s Patriotic Association of this city, through the industrious knitting department, the Rainbow Club, will ship to Belleville soldier boys overseas, forty boxes of Christmas gifts, each box containing from 12 to 15 smaller packages addressed individually to Belleville soldiers in the trenches.

These smaller boxes are novelties in themselves; the receptacles are made of heavy manilla material, inscribed on the cover ‘Women’s Patriotic and Red Cross Association-Rainbow Club’ and containing one can of meat or fish; a can of cocoa or coffee, a can of soup; two packages of cigarettes or pipe and tobacco; two packages of chewing gum; two candles; a bag of peanuts; a bag of small candies; a can of pork and beans; and the crevices filled with clove apples and hickory nuts. Accompanying each individual box will be a pair of hand-made socks, a pad of paper and package of envelopes, a cake of soap and washcloth.

Each large box will be consigned to one particular Belleville boy (Ted Yeomans for instance) with instructions to distribute the smaller packages to those in his battalion, and should any be left over, to be given to a Belleville boy elsewhere.

Boxes will also go to Shorncliffe and other hospitals, for Belleville patients, and wherever our boys may be, including Saloniki, these Christmas gifts will seek them out.

This is but one instance of the great work our busy ladies have been doing since the war started; this particular branch of the Patriotic Societies donated many gifts, recently, including 720 pairs of socks to the 155th Battalion, individually, also 100 pairs to the Quartermaster, for distribution on shipboard upon leaving. Also, two weeks before 800 pairs of socks were forwarded to Miss (Captain) Plummer at Shorncliffe. A full list of school and other gifts forwarded will be published later.

As an evidence of the amount of knitting our Rainbow Club ladies have been doing, $3,000 worth of yarn has been turned into socks, all of which has been paid for by their own efforts, in giving teas, entertainments, and other means.

All hail the beautiful spirit that has been shown by the mothers, the sisters, the wives, the friends of our brave lads who are seeing service at the front.”

The Intelligencer October 28, 1916 (page 1)

“To Remain During Winter. Despite rumors to the contrary, an authoritative statement has been received from Ottawa to the effect that the 235th Battalion will remain in Belleville for the winter, and arrangements for comforts and conveniences during the extended sojourn are comparatively completed.”

The Intelligencer October 28, 1916 (page 3)


“Canadian Tributes to Oxo Cubes. The following letters have been received from Canadians who have proved the great value of OXO during the War. From one of the 1st Infantry Brigade. ‘We have completed a trip in the trenches which has been one of the coldest this winter. …  I received a parcel which contained some OXO Cubes, and I can assure you I was very thankful.”

The Intelligencer October 28, 1916 (page 7)


“The White Ensign. A flag strange to many Canadian eyes, has in the last few weeks appeared in several of our cities and towns—the White Ensign of the Royal Navy.

The Honorable Rupert Guinness is seeking in Canada recruits for naval service and as the accredited representative of the Admiralty, he is entitled to bear with him this most jealously guarded emblem of that force, which is the epitome of Britain’s might.

It is without doubt, in itself the most beautiful of flags and about it cluster memories which surely ought to make those of British blood, burn with desire to take service under it. …

It is the flag of Trafalgar, the flag of Sebastopol, of Delhi and of Lucknow, and now, still wet with the blood of the heroes of Jutland, with silent eloquence it calls Canadians to service for King and Country.”