100 Years Ago: Privates Roy Walters and George Stetts Welcomed Home, Private Sidney Sanford Killed in Action

The Intelligencer November 8, 1916 (page 1)

“Welcome to Returned Heroes. A reception was last evening tendered to Private Roy Walters and George Stetts, (the latter a member of the celebrated Princess Patricias regiment) upon their return home to Belleville after doing their bit for King and country.

Both were recently invalided home, arriving here a couple of days ago. The returned heroes are well known in Belleville, where they have many friends, as was evidenced by the gathering upon the streets.

At a few minutes before 8 o’clock a parade was formed in front of the city building, and headed by the fine band of the 235th Battalion proceeded to the residence of Mr. Charles Walters, Catherine street, a brother of Private Walters, and here the two heroes were escorted to Alderman Deacon’s car, in which was seated Mayor Ketcheson. Their appearance was a signal for cheers.

The parade was then reformed and proceeded down Catherine street to Coleman street, thence to Moira street, over the upper bridge to Front street. At the bridge the two hose carts and ladder truck of the Fire Department joined in the parade. As the auto containing the returned soldiers passed by, cheers were given, and ladies waved their handkerchiefs. The 235th band played a number of appropriate selections. The parade returned to Mr. Walters’ residence, from the verandah of which some impromptu and brief addresses were given.

Mayor Ketcheson said it was a pleasure to welcome home Privates Walters and Stetts, who had been to the front and did their duty. They had done what they could, and did it for the Empire and for us. There was need for more men, and more men. We are proud of the record these young men and all Canadians have made.

The Premier of Canada had asked for 500,000 men, and they were wanted. This war was by no means over. We have a great and strong enemy to overcome, and he (the speaker) would appeal to all young men to don the khaki before they were compelled to do so.

Ald. Deacon and Woodley were called upon, and spoke in a congratulatory manner of the two boys who had returned home after duty well done.

Private Walters replied briefly but appropriately, thanking the citizens of Belleville for the reception tendered him and his comrade. He had seen a number of Belleville boys in France, and with the rest of the Canadians, were nobly doing their duty. At all times all were prepared to uphold the honor of Canada, and especially Belleville. (Applause and cheers.)

Mayor Ketcheson thanked the 235th band for their attendance upon the occasion, and the music rendered was appreciated. The citizens of Belleville were proud to have the band in the city.

Cheers for the returned soldiers were given, and the proceeding ended by the rendering of the National Anthem.”

The Intelligencer November 8, 1916 (page 3)

“Gave His Life. S. Sanford, of Frankford, whose name appeared in the casualty list yesterday as being killed, is a Belleville young man known to many. He was a private in the 39th Battalion, and at the time of enlistment was working on the Trent Valley Canal at Glen Ross, Sidney Township.

Private Sanford was born in Belleville 24 years ago and was unmarried. He was a member of the L. O. L. of Glen Ross. Mr. Benjamin Sanford of this city is a brother of the departed soldier.”

[Note: Private Sidney Sanford died on September 15, 1916. He is commemorated on Page 158 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]