100 Years Ago: Bancroft Recruiting Meeting, Civilians Prohibited from Wearing Khaki, War Orders over One Billion Placed

The Intelligencer January 12, 1917 (page 3)

“Bancroft Times. If music will work its way into the hearts of the young men who are eligible for military duty and induce them to don the khaki, the 254th Battalion will be up to full fighting strength in record time. They have one of the best military bands in the Province, and the concert which they gave in the hall here on Monday night was a treat, and we can vouch for the fact that it was thoroughly appreciated by the big audience that turned out on the occasion. Bandmaster Hinchey is to be congratulated on the splendid musical organization that he has built up.

Dr. Embury occupied the chair, and interspersed with the musical selections were speeches by Lieut. Col. Allen, officer commanding the 254th batt., Lieut. Robt. Cook, M. P. P., and Mr. E. Guss Porter, M. P.

Lieut. Cook said that there never was an occasion when he was inspired by a higher motive in addressing an audience, more men were absolutely necessary, and he appealed to the mothers and fathers to use their influence in inducing the boys to offer themselves in defence of our national liberty. …

Mr. Porter spoke at considerable length, and closed with an appeal which should have aroused the fighting spirit in every young man present. ‘The brave Canadian boys,’ he said, ‘who stepped into the breach at the battle of the Marne and saved the day are calling to you. For God’s sake send us help and we will save you and save the Empire.’ He then referred to his own physical incapacity to serve but he felt that he had already made considerable sacrifice. Only three days before he had received a cable from his only child, a boy of eighteen years, that he had just been ordered to get ready to go into the trenches in thirteen days behind a machine gun.”

The Intelligencer January 12, 1917 (page 7)

“Cannot Wear Khaki. Some time ago an order was sent out from Ottawa prohibiting the wearing of khaki by civilians. From Winnipeg comes the announcement that military headquarters there have ordered that civilians wearing uniforms which even resemble those adopted by the military are to be fined $50, or sentenced to three months in jail.

The order was sent out from Ottawa for the purpose of putting a stop to hundreds of parents dressing their children as soldiers.”

The Intelligencer January 12, 1917 (page 8)

“Half Billion War Orders. The orders placed in Canada since the opening of hostilities have amounted to $1,095,000,000. This accounts to a large extent for the present strong position of industrial Canada. Sir Thomas White predicts that during the year just opening further orders to the extent of $500,000,000 will be placed in the Dominion. With old orders still unfilled and the vast business impending there is surely little reason for a pessimistic outlook in regard to the financial and commercial position of Canada. The impending order is the working out of Britain’s policy to withdraw, as much as possible, orders from the United States.

The additional $50,000,000 credit from Canadian banks to the Imperial Government, for the purchase of munitions and supplies in Canada, under negotiation during the past fortnight makes a total of $250,000,000 provided by the banks and the Government for the above purpose within the space of a year.”