100 Years Ago: City Council Grants for 254th and 235th Battalions, No More Recruits Under Eighteen, Letter from Overseas

The Intelligencer February 6, 1917 (pages 1, 6)

“A proposition to a grant of $500 to the 235th Battalion caused considerable discussion. …  A number of spectators were present during the meeting, and apparently took much interest in the proceedings. …  Capt. Sandford said he had been delegated to approach the Council to ask for a grant to the 254th Battalion to assist in securing recruits. Vouchers showing how the money is spent will be furnished the Council. The grant asked for would be appreciated. …

A recommendation was presented that a grant of $500 be given the 235th Battalion for recruiting purposes. Ald. Platt.—We come back to the question of economizing. …  If we give the Battalion $400 we were doing well, and he would make an amendment to that effect.

Ald Robinson said he had seen notices in the two papers that the Government was providing money for recruiting purposes. He would support the amendment.

Ald. Marshall—The Government grant is for recruiting locally, but the battalions have to go all over to procure recruits.

Mayor Ketcheson—It costs much money to keep the boys in khaki. If we want to win this war we must loosen up. He had three boys at the front, and it cost him many hundreds of dollars in addition to what they received as pay. If we do not fight we must pay.

Ald. Woodley suggested that $500 be given to each Battalion.

Ald. Platt—We must stop this mad rash of spending money. We all desire to see this war end for British liberty.

The amendment to the amendment by Ald. Woodley, that $500 be granted to the 235th and the 254th Battalions was carried. Ald Platt and Robinson alone voting against it.”

The Intelligencer February 6, 1917 (page 1)

“Boys under the age of 18 years are not to be enlisted in the C.E.F. in future. An order from Ottawa has been received to that effect. The order also says that boys now in khaki under the age of 17 years, must be discharged. Only those who are well developed and over 17 years of age may be retained on the assumption that they will have attained the age of 18 years before they reach England or shortly afterwards. It is explained that this order is necessary because all minors on reaching England are immediately returned to Canada.”

The Intelligencer February 6, 1917 (page 3)

“From C. A. Wood. France, Dec. 25th. Mrs. C. A. Wood. Dear Wife:—Just a few lines to let you know I am well, and hope you are the same. This is Christmas day and we are far apart. I only wish that I were home for to-day, as it is so lonely here. Perhaps next Christmas I may be home, if it is God’s will to spare me. We are all here together. Fred, Walter and myself. They are all doing fine, but have a cold. We are sitting around in our tent, thinking of home, and chatting cheerfully of times spent at home. May the time soon come when we shall return to our old home in Canada. …

You can rest assured that I will not forget any of my Canadian friends, for I love the sound of Canada. You can tell Margaret she shall not be forgotten, for I always think of home. When other things fail me a home thought will ease my mind.

We are having nice weather; a fine Christmas, not cold. We are living in tents yet, so you can see it is not cold here. …  Well, I will close, as I have no more news, so will say good-night. Your loving husband, C. A. Wood.”