100 Years Ago: Recruiting Meeting for the 235th, Private James Vincent Ross Wounded, Signaller Richard Alphonse Bolin Killed, Private Walter Hayward Killed, Recruiting Meetings Interfere with Church Attendance

The Intelligencer November 6, 1916 (page 1)

“Spirited Recruiting at Griffins Opera House. A very large audience was present at the recruiting meeting held at Griffin’s Opera House last evening. The building was crowded to the doors, and every available seat was occupied.

Capt. MacLean, Paymaster of the 235th Battalion, acted as chairman in his usual efficient and affable manner. The proceedings opened with the singing of the National Anthem, accompanied by the band.

Capt. MacLean in his opening speech stated that the final word, authorizing the 235th Battalion to recruit in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties was not received until Saturday afternoon late; there was hardly time then to organize a recruiting meeting and the officers were dubious as to its results. However, they wrote to the various clergymen in the city, who announced the meeting from their pulpits. It is a matter of congratulation to the clergy and the citizens of Belleville for the success of this meeting tonight.

We, the 235th Battalion, have at last received final word to recruit here, in this fair city of yours, and in the Counties of Hastings and Prince Edward, and are sure of the recruits as the men from Belleville and Hastings and Prince Edward are always known to make good soldiers.

The programme was commenced with a selection by the band, which was warmly applauded by the audience. …

Mr. W. B. Northrup, K.C., M.P., was then called upon to address the gathering, whose address was one characteristic of his forceful and straight-to-the-point manner. …  Canadians were presented by Britain with the richest country in the world; she has guarded it for us, and now she asks us to stand by her in this war. …  We must be united with her to do our bit in this war. …  We Canadians, if we have any self-respect, ought to be ready to do our part in this war.

Speaking of only those who have fallen in this war, and to hear anybody lament their death, I think is wrong. I envy them, not lament. They will enjoy the boundless freedom in the Great Beyond. …  The meeting was closed with a selection from the band.”

The Intelligencer November 6, 1916 (page 2)

“Local Soldier Wounded. The following message explains itself: Oct. 23, 1916. Mrs. J. W. Ross, 1 Emily Street, Belleville, Ont.

Dear madam:—455895 Pte. W. J. Ross, 2nd Canadian battalion, who is now at Royal Victoria Hospital, Netter, Hants. our visitor saw him this week and reports he is suffering from shrapnel in back but doing well. Our visitor will continue to visit him and when we hear further news we will be glad to write you again. Beatrice Coverhill.

A letter was received this morning saying that Pte. J. W. Ross was not seriously wounded and he is getting along fine.”

The Intelligencer November 6, 1916 (page 3)

“Signaller Bolin Killed. Mr. Patrick Bolin, of Keene, received a message Saturday morning stating that his son, Sig. Alphonse Bolin who went overseas with the 80th Battalion from Belleville, had been killed at the front. No further particulars were given.

Sig. Bolin was a fine type of young manhood. He turned aside bright prospects in life and did what he thought to be his first duty. He had attended the High School at Norwood and was captain of the cadets. He was only 20 years of age, and had a number of friends in Belleville.”

[Note: Corporal Richard Alphonse Bolin died on October 21, 1916. He is commemorated on Page 56 in the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer November 6, 1916 (page 3)

“Made the Supreme Sacrifice. The many friends of Private Walter Hayward of Belleville, will deeply regret to learn that the report of his death is only too true. A young lady in Belleville, received a letter referring to his death.

His identification was established by a letter found upon him addressed to Mrs. Powers, of Belleville, with whom for 3 years he had been boarding previous to his enlistment.

Private Hayward was an exceptionally popular young man and was employed in the G.T.R. shops in this city. He came to Belleville about 4 years ago from his home on the east coast of England. The young hero enlisted with the 59th Battalion at Kingston which left for overseas in May last. The sympathy of all citizens will be extended to the bereaved.”

[Note: Private Walter Shaw Hayward died on September 16, 1916. He is commemorated on Page 101 in the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer November 6, 1916 (page 7)

“It has been found that the anxiety of some people to obtain seats for the recruiting meetings, has interfered with their attendance at church. In consequence of this, the officer commanding the 235th Battalion, has given orders that hereafter all Sunday meetings shall commence at 8.45 P.M.

This will give everyone ample time to get seats after church.”