100 Years Ago: Christmas Day Plans for Soldiers, Dinner for the Poor

The Intelligencer December 22, 1916 (page 2)

“Christmas Day is to be fittingly observed by the men of the 235th Battalion, by holding a monster dinner at the barracks on Pinnacle street. Twenty turkeys have been secured and together with the usual Yuletide luxuries will go to make up a feast that will long be remembered by the soldiers. Lt.-Col. Scobell and the company officers of the battalion, will be present.

Major Southey of No. 2 Company will relate to the men at dinner how Christmas was celebrated last year in the advanced Canadian trenches, with Mr. Boche only 30 yards away. Sergt. Greenwood of the same company will also describe how Christmas was celebrated in a base hospital, somewhere in France, where he was unfortunate enough to find himself a year ago.

No recruiting meeting will be held this Sunday, Christmas Eve, but the soldiers suggest that the most fitting gift that can be made in this terrible time of war is a gift of a man to the country and Empire. The military authorities respectfully submit this for the consideration of all loyal citizens.

Fifty per cent of the men of the 235th Battalion have been given Christmas leave. The remainder of the men will be given leave at New Years.”

The Intelligencer December 22, 1916 (page 2)

“Xmas Dinner for Poor. Every arrangement has been made whereby every poor family in the city will be provided with a Christmas dinner. At 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon at St. Thomas church Parish Hall they will give the dinner. This generous act has been made possible by the various churches and other organizations in the city.”