100 Years Ago: Vegetable Gardens Encouraged, Private McDonald Located, Last Call for 257th Railway Construction Battalion

The Intelligencer February 9, 1917 (page 3)

“Hon. W. H. Hearst, Premier of Ontario, will shortly launch a campaign to encourage back-yard gardening in Ontario. The slogan for the campaign will be ‘A vegetable garden for every home for 1917.’ ”

The Intelligencer February 9, 1917 (page 3)

“Private Frank McDonald of this city, whose disappearance was noted in yesterday’s Intelligencer, has been located. On Sunday last at noon he left Belleville and went to Napanee, where he has since been staying at the Lennox House. His parents were notified of his whereabouts and today he returned home.”

The Intelligencer February 9, 1917 (page 7)

“An urgent call has come from England to Militia Headquarters, Ottawa, for railway construction men. In this connection Lt.-Col. Martin, Officer Commanding, the 257th Railway Construction Battalion, has been paid a signal compliment by headquarters. He has been specially requested to finish recruiting his battalion before the end of this month to be ready to answer this urgent call.

The authorities at Ottawa must have great faith in Lt.-Col. Martin’s ability, as a recruiter, but the facts about this battalion are of a kind to justify this confidence. Lt.-Col. Martin began active recruiting for the 257th on January 11th. Complete reports received to date show over 800 men on strength of the battalion. This leaves 200 men to get. The corps will certainly be filled up inside of two weeks. Orders are to discontinue recruiting at that time. Men who want to go to France in a very short time must therefore join the 257th Battalion at once. The present call for recruits is the last one Lt.-Col. Martin will issue.

If the 257th Battalion is sent to France this month in answer to the urgent call for railway builders just received from England it will constitute the record for quick action in the raising and departure of a complete battalion since the war began.”