100 Years Ago: Captain Joseph Edward McCorkell on Furlough, Railway Lines Taken Up and Sent to France, Driver Frank Palmer Dies, 235th Hockey Team at Practice

The Intelligencer December 21, 1916 (page 2)

“Reception to Returned Soldier. Capt. J. E. McCorkell, a member of the 39th Battalion which left here over two years ago returned to this city yesterday on a short furlough, coming over from England in charge of a number of invalided soldiers and was tendered by the citizens of Belleville a most hearty reception. It was anticipated that other returned heroes would have arrived here yesterday but from some cause they did not.

Capt. McCorkell arrived here at 3 p. m., by the G. T. R. International Express and many citizens were at the station to give him welcome. Prominent among them were Mayor Ketcheson, ex-Mayor Col. Marsh and ex-Mayor Ackerman. Upon alighting from the train the Capt. was received with cheers and entered ex-Mayor Ackerman’s car which was appropriately decorated with the Union Jack and bunting.

A parade was then formed and triumphantly Capt. McCorkell was escorted down Station street to Front street. At intervals he was loudly cheered. The procession was headed by the 235th Battalion Band, followed by an escort of the 254th Battalion under Lieut. Leavens, after which came the car containing Capt. McCorkell followed by a number of cars decorated with flags, etc.

The procession proceeded down Front St., to Bridge and up Bridge St. to the Post Office building where Capt. McCorkell will visit his father-in-law, Mr. S. F. Haight. After alighting at the Post Office, Capt. McCorkell made a brief speech thanking the citizens for their enthusiastic welcome after which he was cheered by the assemblage.”

The Intelligencer December 21, 1916 (page 6)

“Material For The Firing Line. Three hundred miles of Canadian Government Railways and some 220 miles of privately owned railway lines in this country are to be immediately taken up to supply railway material for military lines in France.

Other trackage on Government and private lines will later be removed until in all at least 1,000 miles of complete roadway has been supplied by Canada. Such was the announcement made after to-day’s meeting of the Cabinet. …

The transportation facilities in France have been inadequate to permit the Allies to take full advantage of the material and supplies available, and it is felt that the war could be materially shortened and thousands of lives saved if sufficient additional railway facilities could be provided promptly. …

It became apparent that the munitions work on which the Canadian mills are at present engaged precluded any possibility of early delivery of rails, tie plates, bolts, etc., from those quarters and it was evident that the situation could be properly and promptly met only by the taking up of Canadian tracks. …  the first 20-mile section, sufficient to load one steamer, is on the way, and other material will be forwarded as promptly as British boats can take care of it at the seaboard.

It is expected that at least one thousand miles of complete roadway be supplied by Canada, and in order to facilitate the taking up of rails all local labor available will be used, but where this is not sufficient troops will be employed to rush the work through.”

The Intelligencer December 21, 1916 (page 7)

“Corbyville Family Sorely Bereaved. Heartfelt sympathy will be extended to Mr. and Mrs. R. R. Palmer of Corbyville, owing to the death of their son, Driver Frank Palmer, which occurred at Kingston hospital yesterday.

The sorrow is to a certain sense a double one as only some weeks ago another son, Private J. J. Palmer was killed in action at the front. Two other sons, Private Arthur C. and Allen C. are at present in the firing line somewhere in France.

Driver Palmer who was 26 years of age, enlisted in a battery but owing to illness was prevented from going overseas. He was at Kingston and his illness became so acute as to prevent his removal. He was born at Corbyville where he always lived. Deceased was a bright young man and his demise is sincerely regretted by his comrades in arms who knew him.

The remains were today brought from Kingston and taken to the parents home at Corbyville. In addition to the parents and two brothers at the front two others are living namely, James E., of Rochester, N. Y. and S. B. at home.”

The Intelligencer December 21, 1916 (page 7)

“First Practice. About twelve men of the 235th Hockey Team turned out for their first practice of the season last evening. Two of the Belleville Juniors also were out, and from 6.45 to after 8 o’clock a stiff workout was held.

The 235th Battalion has some very good fast material on their team who will it is hoped bring the bacon home this year. Among those taking part in last night’s workout were Huffman, Kent, Cryderman and Marshall. All these men show lots of speed and considerable stick handling ability.

The next practice will be held on Friday evening, when it is expected that sufficient men will turn out to form two teams which will make things interesting.”