100 Years Ago: Melbourne Sprague Passes Through Belleville, Corporal Clifford Receives DCM, 254th Band Concerts, Shipments by St. Julien Chapter

The Intelligencer January 5, 1917 (page 3)

“Melbourne Sprague, the Belleville hero, returning almost legless, went through here on the G. T. R. at 7.30 yesterday on his way to Toronto Discharging Office and Hospital. He was with a trainload of amputation cases, billed to report at Toronto. Unable to leave the train Melbourne had a boy phone to his father to go to the G. T. R. railway bridge that he might see him as the train passed. Unfortunately the father, Mr. Edward Sprague, arrived just too late to see his crippled son.

Melbourne told a friend who saw him at the station, that he hoped to get two days’ leave to get home to see his parents prior to returning to the hospital for further operations, necessary to save his only leg.

Some of Melbourne’s outside friends are endeavoring to learn the day and hour of his arrival home, when it is hoped a splendid reception and ovation will be tendered a noble and terribly crippled hero. All citizens should turn out and show their appreciation for services rendered by this noble boy at so great a cost to him. Those who know Melbourne understand full well the fine type of manhood he represents.”

The Intelligencer January 5, 1917 (page 6)

“Eightieth Soldier Gets Decorations. Word has lately been received in this city by friends that Corporal A. E. Clifford, 219686 has been decorated by Sir General French with the Distinguished Conduct Medal for putting two German machine-guns out of action at the Sugar Refinery at the Somme. Corp. Clifford is now lying in a hospital at Epsom recovering from wounds.

He left Belleville on Saturday, May 13, 1916, with the 80th Battalion. After reaching England he was transferred to the 74th Battalion and then drafted to France with the 44th Battalion with which he was serving as a sniper when he received the wounds which gave him his decoration.”

The Intelligencer January 5, 1917 (page 7)

“The officers of the 254th (Quinte) Battalion are inaugurating an aggressive recruiting campaign, and are going to give a series of band concerts in the Northern district, commencing at Bancroft on Monday next, January 8th. On Tuesday evening they will be at Monk Road schoolhouse and Fort Stewart; at Maynooth on the 10th, and Coe Hill and St. Ola on the 11th.

Addresses will be delivered at these concerts by Lieut.-Col. A. P. Allen, O. C. 254th Battalion; Lieut. R. J. Cook, M. P. P., and E. Guss Porter, M. P. The 254th Battalion Band will play at a concert to be held in Stirling this evening.”

The Intelligencer January 5, 1917 (page 7)

“From August, 1916 to December, the St. Julien Chapter have shipped overseas twenty-one cases and twenty-five mail parcels, containing the following articles: Hospital supplies; sheets, 46; pillows, 23; towels, 335; night shirts, 85; bandages, 127; triangular bandages, 44; many tailed bandages, 13; dressings (large) 192; eye dressings, 114; handkerchiefs 2; dusters and old linen, 23, in all 1324 articles.

The shipments were sent to Queen’s University hospital (No. 7 Canadian General) French Red Cross and Canadian war contingent association. To the soldiers overseas were sent one hundred and fifty-two parcels containing socks, handkerchiefs, pads, pencils, envelopes, post cards, tobacco, cigarettes, gum, candy, chocolates, nuts and playing cards, tooth brushes, paste, canned soup, coffee, cocoa, tea tablets, raisins, bachelor buttons, boot laces, soap and towel, candles, 3,474.”