100 Years Ago: Invalid Soldier Missing, Sergeants of 235th Battalion Hold Dance, Letter Carrier Irvine Wished God Speed

The Intelligencer February 8, 1917 (page 1)

“Mr. And Mrs. William McDonald, residing on McDonald avenue, in this city, are naturally anxious as to the whereabouts of their son, Private Frank McDonald, who on Sunday morning last attended Mass at St. Michael’s Church, and has not been seen since that time, and no word of him has been heard. Upon enquiry it has been ascertained that the young man went to Church, but left during the service and has not been seen since.

He was at the front and was invalided home arriving here a few days ago after he had spent some time in the Convalescent home at Kingston. It was thought that he might have returned to Kingston but upon investigation it was ascertained that he had not been there since he left for his home in Belleville.

Pte. McDonald, although only 18 years of age was tall and well built. At the front he suffered from shell shock and other nervous trouble. After being at the home in Kingston he was granted leave to visit his parents. His continuous disappearance is causing much uneasiness and if any person knows of his whereabouts they will confer a great favor by communicating with his parents, the City Police or Dr. MacColl of this city. McDonald, when he left home on Sunday was attired in his khaki uniform.”

The Intelligencer February 8, 1917 (page 1)

“About 75 couples were present last evening at the dance given by the Sergeants of the 235th Battalion in Johnstone’s Academy. It was a most successful affair, the hall being beautifully decorated for the occasion, and the pianist, Mr. Strathdee, of Toronto, giving perfect musical service, which was greatly appreciated by the trippers of the light fantastic. Many officers of the 235th Battalion were present, as were also a number of guests from out of the city.

At about midnight the guests retired for refreshments the viands being served from tables which were daintily decorated with flowers of all hues and lighted candles. Dancing was resumed until the early hours of the morning, when the guests dispersed, leaving the Sergeants highly elated over their success.”

The Intelligencer February 8, 1917 (page 5)

“Letter Carrier Irvine Remembered by Co-Workers. A very enjoyable event took place Monday evening, when the Letter Carriers of Belleville and a few friends gathered at the home of Mr. R. C. Andrews, 264 Coleman street, to present to Mr. George Irvine, with a small gift in token of the esteem in which he is held. Geo. has enlisted with the Cobourg Heavy Battery and expects to proceed overseas at an early date.

After refreshments had been partaken of, Miss Doris Brooke, presented Mr. Irvine with a wrist watch and an address was read by Mr. W. R. Hinchey. Although taken by surprise Mr. Irvine replied with a few well chosen words.

Mr. Walter Hutchinson, a returned hero, now a member of the Letter Carrier’s Staff, told some interesting stories of trench life. Miss Crissey Turney gave several recitations which were enjoyed very much. The Carriers’ Orchestra with Miss Brooke as pianist, furnished music for the evening. The pleasant evening closed with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.

The following address was read: Dear Old Pal:—It is with mixed feeling of regret and pleasure that we are gathered here tonight. Regret that for a time we are deprived of your personal companionship among us, and pleasure that we are permitted to pay our respects to you, another of our boys, who has responded to the call of King and Country, and about to go overseas to assist in maintaining the liberty of not only the Empire but of the world.

You have put on the spurs and we know you will prove them well, and assist to bear the badge of the Maple Leaf to the highest point of fame.

We wish that you take along some token of our respect, and therefore present you with this wrist watch, that its dial may recall the many happy hours we have spent together. May the band that encircles your wrist, remind you that though we will be divided as a body, our thoughts will be with you in the bonds of brotherhood, and as undoubtedly the buckle is the strongest part of that band, so do we honor you the more, that you have buckled on the armor to the cause of liberty and freedom. We ask you also to accept this purse which contains 1,000,000.00 worth of good wishes trusting that it may serve as a pillow of rest, when you are weary with struggling with the hardships of a soldier’s life.

God speed you now, and grant that ere many moons pass peace may be proclaimed throughout this great universe, and you with the many thousands of our brave boys return to your homes and loved ones, who anxiously wait such time.

Signed on behalf of Branch, No. 45, F.A.L.C. Pres. R. C. Andrews, Sec. W. R. Hinchey. To Geo. A. Irvine, Feb. 5th, 1917.