100 Years Ago: Red Cross Penny Bag Collection, Corporal Ernest Carr Returns, Tradesmen Recruited for Royal Flying Corps, Woman Suffrage

The Intelligencer February 27, 1917 (page 1)

“Three Hundred Is Asked For. Owing to the very recent collection for the Patriotic Fund we are almost afraid to remind our citizens that the aim of the Red Cross Penny Bag collectors for February is $300.00. However we hope since this fund is for the necessities of our brave soldiers, that our patrons will see their way clear to put in a few extra pennies to help swell the amount.

Please have your bag ready for the collectors, tomorrow, Wednesday, February 28th.”

The Intelligencer February 27, 1917 (page 2)

“Hearty Reception to Returned Hero. Corporal Ernest Carr, a well known Bellevillian, who when the war broke out, enlisted to fight for King and country, and who suffered terrible wounds, resulting in the loss of both legs, above the knees, arrived here this afternoon, and was accorded a welcome befitting a hero.

Some days ago Corporal Carr arrived out from England, and was taken to Toronto, from which city he came from to-day. Owing to the fast train from the West due here at 12.10 P.M., being an hour and twenty minutes late, it was 1.30 when it arrived here. At the station hundreds of citizens and children were present, and as the hero was carried off the train he was loudly cheered.

He was taken to an auto, which was gaily decorated with flags and bunting, and placed therein, and a triumphant procession was formed, headed by the 254th Battalion Band, followed by a platoon of the 254th Battalion, under command of Capt. Bleecker. Following the platoon was the car in which was seated Corporal Carr, Mayor Ketcheson, Mr. G. N. Bennett and other relatives. A number of cars and other vehicles were in the parade, and at No. 1 Fire Hall the two hose carts and hook and ladder truck joined in. Along the line of march and especially on Front Street, the returned hero was loudly cheered, and he acknowledged same.

At the market square the procession was disbanded, and Corporal Carr was taken to the home of his brother-in-law, Mr. George N. Bennett, Dunbar Street. It was truly a well planned and carried out programme.

Previous to enlistment Corporal Carr was a G.T.R.  fireman, and he was deservedly popular with his fellow employees. He went overseas with the 34th Battery from this city, a battery composed of military men who have done noble service, and some of whom have made the supreme sacrifice.”

The Intelligencer February 27, 1917 (page 3)

“Opportunity for National Service. Acetyline welders, blacksmiths, carpenters, coppersmiths, motor-cyclists, motor drivers, electricians, engine fitters, motor-cycle fitters, engineers, storemen, motor fitters, millwrights, sail-makers, tailors, milling machinists, metal turners, painters, tinsmiths, cabinet-makers, vulcanizers—men of all these trades who sent in their cards to the National Service Board, are being notified that there is now an opportunity for them to do national service. Only 5,000 are required for this service which is that of becoming members of the Royal Flying Corps in Canada, and the call will be confined to the Eastern Provinces.

This latest addition to the effective forces of Canada will form part of the famous Royal Flying Corps. This is an opportunity for men who want not only to serve but for men with ambition, as after the war they will be able to take their places as leaders in the different branches of the coming great transportation service, through the air.

The object of recruiting mechanics in Canada is to provide the necessary personnel to the upkeep of a number of reserve squadrons that will be used to train pilots for service with the Royal Flying Corps in the field and for this service special rates of pay have been arranged. …

Men who, up to the present, on account of home ties or physical disabilities did not endeavor to enlist and even those who have been rejected on account of not coming up to the military standard, or having flat feet or other minor defects, have now an opportunity to do yeoman service for the Empire by enlisting in this Corps. …

The air mechanics enlisting for service are intended for ground duties only and are not required to fly or to take part in flights. The sole duties consist of keeping the machines in repair and running order at the different squadron headquarters and airdromes. …  The airships will be built in Canada and the work of the corps now being enlisted will consist, as above stated in keeping the machines in proper trim.

According to reports from men who have had experience in this work, it is the most interesting and effective part of the service, and the R. F. C. is known as the eyes of the army.”

The Intelligencer February 27, 1917 (page 4)

“Woman Suffrage And The M. P. For West Hastings. For several sessions past Mr. J. W. (John Wesley) Johnson, M.P.P. for West Hastings, has introduced into the Legislature a bill conferring the franchise upon women. Mr. Johnson is head of the Ontario Business College at Belleville, an institution known throughout and beyond the Dominion. He is a thoroughgoing Conservative as was his brother, Mr. James Johnson, editor of the Ottawa Citizen in the days of Sir John Macdonald, and as was his elder brother, Mr. William Johnson, a leading Orangeman of the Bay of Quinte district. How or why Mr. Johnson came to be an apostle of woman suffrage we are not aware, but that he has been its most persistent advocate in the Legislature  is well known. It is not on record that he ever received much encouragement from Mr. Rowell the present leader of the Opposition.

The war has changed men’s viewpoint on many things. As we said the other day, whatever may be the theoretical objections to woman suffrage, and they are many, most people are now convinced that if women want to share in the perplexities and burdens of Government, they should be allowed to do so. When Red Cross nurses can be found on the firing lines and women in vast numbers are helping to make munitions, it is too late in the day to relegate them to the sphere of the home and the church. Hamilton Spectator.”