100 Years Ago: James Meloy Killed in Action, Film “The Battle of the Somme” to Be Shown

The Intelligencer December 6, 1916 (page 2)

“Another Bellevillian Makes Supreme Sacrifice. In the casualty list to-day appears the name of Private James H. Meloy, of Belleville, who is officially reported killed. Meloy enlisted with the 59th Battalion at Brockville, and it is reported that he was killed in September, the first day he went into action.

The hero was a married man residing at No. 18 Jones Street, in this city. A widow and two small children survive. The Private was an Englishman, who had not resided in Belleville for a lengthy period. All citizens will sympathize with Mrs. Meloy in her hour of sore bereavement.”

[Note: Private James Henry Meloy died on September 16, 1916. He is commemorated on Page 134 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer December 6, 1916 (page 4)

“Ready to Begin Somme Pictures. Interest Is Growing. Practically all arrangements preparatory to the exhibition of ‘The Battle of the Somme’ official motion pictures at the Regent Theatre for one week, opening Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 18 and 19, under the auspices of The Daily Intelligencer have been completed.

Exceeding in its scope the anticipations of the most sanguine of its promoters, the interest being manifested in the Somme pictures has not only become city-wide, but continues to grow, daily.

There is hardly a doubt now but that the pictures will stir Belleville as they stirred London, England, where they were first presented. Many people here are talking about them. Many are discussing them. Many are debating the question of whether they are too painful for exhibition. Enquiries are daily received regarding the pictures, and their presentation. Information can be obtained from the Opera House box office.

It is very evident that the Somme films bring the war closer to us than it was ever brought by the written word or by the photograph. The magic of the motion picture camera has done what nothing else could do. It has in one stride outplaced the newspaper and the war correspondent. It does not describe; it reveals. It does not reveal all, but what it does reveal is real reality.

To be shown at Griffin’s Opera House, Monday and Tuesday, December 18 and 19. Matinee and evening. Three performances nightly, 7.15, 8.15 and 9.15.”