100 Years Ago: 235th Battalion Recruiting Campaign Opens, Initial Dance for 254th Sergeants, Canadian Patriotic Fund Rural Giving, 235th Battalion Recruiting Poster, 235th Intermediate Team Are Hockey Victors, Christmas Letter from Overseas

The Intelligencer January 20, 1917 (page 1)

“A whirlwind opening characterized the Citizen’s Recruiting Campaign now on in this city. Promptly at one o’clock to the accompaniment of steam whistles and bells, the men of the 235th Belleville Battalion, headed by their brass band, moved up Front Street, which was alive with more than the usual Saturday throng of people.

Following the parade two open air meetings were held at prominent city corners, the people pressing close to the automobiles from which the speakers launched their appeal for men. The recruiting officers, sergeants and men working industriously in and out of the listening crowds.

During the morning hundreds of cards were distributed among the merchants and business men of the down town section. In signing these cards the men visited pledged their best efforts to secure at least one recruit for the cause. The officers charged with the duty of securing these pledges report that but an occasional citizen refused to pledge his aid in the effort to get men.

During the afternoon the city was deluged with hand bills announcing the two big meetings to be held tomorrow; the mass meeting for men only to be held at 3 p.m. in the City Hall, at which Capt. McCorkell and Major Southey, officers returned from the Front, are to relate their experiences, and the huge recruiting rally to be held in the Opera House at 8.30 o’clock on Sunday night when Major Campbell, Col. Scobell, Capt. Clarke, Mrs. Capt. Parsons and Sgt. Mellor are to make their appeals. The 235th Brass Band will play patriotic selections.

A feature of the program for Saturday will be the holding of recruiting meetings in the several pool and billiard halls, where Mrs. Parsons and uniformed speakers will task the youth of the city to take war seriously, to consider their duty and to don the khaki.

A departure from ordinary recruiting methods is the campaign tomorrow. Uniformed speakers will appear in practically all of the city churches at the evening service and make a ten minute appeal for co-operation of the various congregations in the week’s campaign and in the business of securing recruits generally.

On Monday the 235th Battalion will send speakers to the various manufacturing plants and to the schools, where short addresses will be made. At the factories a direct effort will be made to secure recruits and inasmuch as the battalion has been promised the co-operation of those in control it is anticipated that the result will be immediate.

During the next few days every school in the City will be visited, and each factory. At a meeting of the School Board on Friday night a resolution was adopted favoring the brief addresses at the schools.

On Monday night a mass meeting of all the patriotic women and girls of the city will be held in the auditorium of the High School, where Mrs. Parsons and others will outline the present campaign and its possibilities and ask for the active co-operation of all. It is particularly desired that those who have relatives in Khaki and at the front be present at this meeting. The meeting will commence at 8.00 p.m. sharp.

At a well attended meeting of business men held in the City Hall Friday night extraordinary interest in the campaign was aroused and the men present each and all signed pledge cards to secure one or more recruits and to forward the campaign in every possible way.

The campaign will be prosecuted vigorously until Thursday night when the Battalion will open a similar campaign in the town of Trenton.”

The Intelligencer January 20, 1917 (page 2)

“The Initial Dance of the Staff Sergts. and Sergeants of the 254th Battalion, C.E.F., was held last evening in the large hall at Johnstone’s Dancing Academy, under the esteemed patronage of Lieut.-Col. and Mrs. A. P. Allen, Capt. and Mrs. B. L. Hyman, Capt. and Mrs. Sandford, Capt. and Mrs. Hamilton, and the members of the Khaki Club Committee.

The musical programme was exquisitely rendered by the orchestra of the 254th Battalion, under the direction of Bandmaster Hinchey. There was a very large attendance of the elite of the city, who tripped the light fantastic until the early hours of the morning. The decorations were most appropriate and unique. The refreshments left nothing to be desired, and the committees of the 254th Battalion desire to tender their sincere thanks to the many ladies who were instrumental in making their opening dance the huge success that it was.”

The Intelligencer January 20, 1917 (page 5)

“The Canadian Patriotic Fund Rural Giving. There is one argument in favor of grants to the Canadian Patriotic Fund from County and Township councils that does not apply to cities and towns. The farmer is ready to help the fund by personal contributions but he cannot be reached in a local campaign, as can the man in the city. He cannot be readily canvassed; the appeal to him cannot therefore be made as forcibly as to his city comrade.

It is reasonable, then, to employ the regular machinery of the councils and raise by taxation a sum that represents, more or less roughly, the collective desires of the people. By local taxation the ratepayer pays in proportion to his wealth. …

It is important that whatever be done by a council be done unanimously. It is not desirable that a municipal grant represent perhaps the views of only a small majority of the council, and thus becomes a subject of permanent controversy.

It must be remembered that the unorganized districts of Ontario, while they cannot make county grants, have given freely of their men, and that therefore the old districts of the Province are bound to help them. The sections long on cash must help those that are long on patriotism, but short on cash.”

The Intelligencer January 20, 1917 (page 6)

“Listen! The ‘Cry for Men’! Have You Heard It? It comes straight across the Seas from the Boys in the Trenches who, hard pressed by the Hun, are battling heroically for home and country.

Send Us Reinforcements! Have You a Heart? Have You a Conscience? Can you at this hour, when the fate of the Empire hangs in the balance, ignore the call?

Join the 235th Battalion in Its Campaign this week to secure Recruits for Overseas Service—for any branch or unit of that service as the Recruit prefers.

If You Are Fit! Now is the Accepted Time to Enlist! If you are ineligible. Now is the Time to Do Your Bit, viz: Get some man who is fit, to go in Your Place. If You can’t persuade him To Put On The Uniform, ‘Send Us His Name’ and ‘We’ll Get The Man’

Let Us Comb the City to the Last Available Man. Then Belleville Will Have Done Her Full Duty.

Headquarters – Corby Building – Lt.-Col. S. B. Scobell, Officer Commanding.”

The Intelligencer January 20, 1917 (page 8)

“235th Team Defeats The Depot Batteries. A most excellent brand of hockey was that put up here last night by the Depot Batteries Intermediate team, and the local 235th Intermediates, the locals winning out by one goal, after a hard and continuous struggle throughout the whole time the teams were on the ice, and thereby administering the first defeat of the Garrison boys of Kingston.

The teams were so well-matched that little body-checking was indulged in, and Referee Jacobi, who handled the game perfectly, was so strict, and discouraged any attempt at heavy checking and slashing, by penalizing the offenders, that a most noticeably clean game resulted.”

The Intelligencer January 20, 1917 (page 10)

“From Percy Palmer. Dear Mother,—Have received all seven boxes, in good condition. I received the box containing the sweater and lemon biscuits yesterday. The cakes were great and the sweater was exactly what I wanted. …

I was in hospital for a week with swollen glands and a very bad cold. They sent me then to a convalescent home in which I did not stay long as it was not a very nice place. I stayed there one day and then asked to be sent back to the Battery. It was twenty miles and I had to walk back. I had no map to go by and did not know the way, but eventually after a lot of roaming around, I reached camp at eight o’clock Xmas Eve. I had very sore feet and legs for three or four days, but am all right at present.

Taking everything into consideration and along with the fact that there is a war on, I spent a very enjoyable Xmas. We only did stables and had the rest of the time to ourselves. We had a very nice dinner, which consisted of mashed potatoes, beefsteak and onions, following with plum pudding, so we did not fare too bad. …  Hoping this letter finds you well. I remain, Your loving son, P. Palmer.”