100 Years Ago: Percy Kennedy Dies of Wounds, Reception for Ernest Geen, Harry Watkin Dies of Wounds, Welcome Urged for Melbourne Sprague, Paper Collection Started

The Intelligencer January 8, 1917 (page 1)

“Another Stirling soldier has made the supreme sacrifice. Last week Mrs. A. Kennedy received a telegram, stating that her son, Pte. Percy Kennedy, had died of wounds at No. 19 casualty clearing station on December 19.”

[Note: Private Percy Kennedy died on December 19, 1916. He is commemorated on Page 112 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer January 8, 1917 (page 2)

“Reception to Returned Soldier. On Saturday afternoon upon the arrival home of Lieut. Ernest Geen from England, he was escorted by the 254th Battalion Band, and a platoon of the same battalion, accompanied by some officers. Upon arrival at the residence of Rev. A. L. Geen, West Bridge Street, Lieut. Geen in a few well chosen remarks, thanked the Mayor, the band and the members of the 254th Battalion for the reception accorded him upon his arrival home.

Rev. A. L. Geen also spoke a few words, expressing the thanks of the members of the family for the heartiness of the reception tendered his son upon his return home. The Giver of all good had been watchful over him and permitted him once more to return to his home. Cheers were given for the returned soldier, and the proceedings brought to a close.”

The Intelligencer January 8, 1917 (page 2)

“Another home in this city was plunged in grief yesterday when a message was received from Ottawa conveying the sad intelligence that Pte. Harry Thomas Watkin had died of wounds on November 19th, 1916.

Private Watkin was the only son of Mr. Delos Watkin, a well-known grocer of this city, being in his 28th year. He enlisted in this city on May 23rd, 1915, and was attached to the 38th Battalion, and was stationed in Bermuda for some time, prior to proceeding to Europe. Besides his father, two sisters, Mrs. Wm. Adams, and Miss Cora Watkin, both of this city, are left to mourn his loss.

‘Son,’ as deceased was favorably known, was a young man of genial companionship, straightforward manner, fine character and withal a true soldier, well liked by all who knew him, who will regret very much his demise, caused by wounds received while doing his duty in defence of King and country on the battlefields of France.”

[Note: Private Harry Thomas Watkin died on November 19, 1916. He is commemorated on Page 179 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer January 8, 1915 (page 3)

“Dear Sir:—Melbourne Sprague, Belleville’s crippled son and hero will arrive home by Grand Trunk Railway at noon on Tuesday, to-morrow. He will be on the flyer. Postpone your dinner hour until one o’clock and help to make Melbourne feel that he has not sacrificed for us without our full thankfulness and appreciation. Those who do not find it convenient to go to the depot could congregate at the upper bridge which bridges the river, as he will pass that way to his father’s home on North Front St. We might well bury our dignity for half an hour, and on foot surround and accompany him to his home, but a short jaunt up North Front St., and cheer him to the echo. It may help him to bear his burden and make him to feel life is worth living after all.

Ladies and girls could, with much grace, hand him a rose as he passes through the street, for remember he has been fighting for us and has paid the price. Since the hour of arrival is so opportune, how appropriate it would be if the Public and High school students, pupils of the very schools in which he was educated, were to gather at the Upper bridge or along the North Front Street route to cheer, as children only can.

He was an old High School boy and the boys, they would make a splendid guard of honor. High school boys know how to cheer, too, and would do honor to themselves and their school, by honoring one who has spilt much blood that they might continue at school, and all too without a murmur we are told. An Old High School Boy.”

The Intelligencer January 8, 1917 (page 3)

“The St. Julien Chapter received $5 from the children of Queen Alexandra School, the result of their first paper collection.

The Chapter is endeavoring to raise money by collecting old paper—and is quite encouraged by the help given by the Queen Alexandra School. It is to be hoped the children of the schools will follow the good example for it is only the co-operation of the children bringing the paper to a few central points that the scheme can be worked successfully. Hoping the parents will second their efforts by reminding the children about regular collections and thus augment the fund, for carrying on the work for overseas both for hospital and trench supplies.

L. Cohen, 345 Front St., has made very satisfactory arrangements for shipping the paper. A special committee of Chapter members has been formed, and it is to be hoped our citizens will support their efforts.”