100 Years Ago: William Gibson Wounded, May Day Tea in Aid of Red Cross, Harold Reid Relates First Flying Trip

The Intelligencer May 3, 1917 (page 2)

“Wounded in Action. Ottawa, Ont., April 28, 1917. Mrs. Gertrude J. Gibson, 517 Coleman St., Belleville, Ont. Dear Madam:—I have the honor to state that information has been received by mail from England to the effect that 455,899 Private William Gibson was admitted to No. 22 General Hospital, Danness Camiere, France, on March 27th, 1917, suffering from a severe gunshot wound in the right knee. Any further information received will be communicated to you without delay. I have the honor to be, madam. Frank Beard, Record Office.”

The Intelligencer May 3, 1917 (page 2)

“May Day Tea in Aid of Red Cross. It is greatly to be regretted that the very disagreeable weather on Tuesday, May 1st, prevented many from attending one of the prettiest teas yet given in aid of Red Cross work. It was given by the Cardinal Circle, Mrs. P. C. MacLaurin, Convenor, and held in the Y.M.C.A. reception room.

Even before entering the building, the splendid music of the 254th orchestra sent out into the stormy weather an irresistible invitation and, within, no disappointment lay in wait.

The large reception room, dressed for May day, was a veritable bower of spring beauty. From the centre of the snowy tables rose the May Pole, twined and woven about with ribbons in palest spring shades of mauve, pink, primrose and green, the ends being caught to the corners with bouquets of Hepatica. The table centre was a large mirror-pond, banked about with flower-starred moss and fern, in which graceful dogtooth violets and waxen blood-root bent above their delicate images, and it seemed a glimpse from the very depths of the spring woods. Moss and May Flowers were also banked against the mantel mirror and everywhere was a profusion of the dainty Hepatica, fairy of the woods. Even the refreshments were served from Hepatica-trimmed baskets tied with streamers of the delicate spring colors.

Mrs. F. E. O’Flynn, as head of the Belleville Women’s Patriotic Association, Mrs. (Dr.) Yeomans as head of the Rainbow Circles and Mrs. MacLaurin received the numerous guests, while Mrs. C. M. Stork and Mrs. B. Malory presided at the table, assisted by an efficient staff of the young ladies of the circle. The refreshments were dainty and abundant and were served in perfect order under the direction of Mrs. David Waters.

The 254th Orchestra rendered a splendid programme and Pte. Rickwood gave several humorous sketches which were especially appreciated by all.

During the afternoon the raffle of the beautiful handworked gown donated to the Circle by Miss Lucy Grant was decided by Mayor Ketcheson, the lucky winner being Mrs. S. A. Lazier, 91 Bridge Street.

Despite the most unfavorable weather, the circle realized on tea and raffle combined $68.25, which goes to the funds of the Association for wool and other comforts for the soldiers.”

The Intelligencer May 3, 1917 (page 7)

“Harold Reid Relates His First Flying Trip. The following is an extract from a letter received by Mr. C. M. Reid from his son, Harold, who is in France with the British Naval Flying Corps. The letter was written on the 8th of April. They spend the first couple of months learning all the details of the engine and other mechanisms.

‘During the first morning there was a crash not serious but a crash. One of the old machines and a number of boys went out to get something of what was left. …  While the boys were bringing the pieces in, one of the instructors was going up in one of the newer machines so I asked him if I might go up with him and much to my surprise and delight he said yes, so I borrowed a helmet and goggles and prepared for the journey. I was a little nervous, but before we left the ground the feeling had entirely left and I set in to enjoy it to its fullest extent.

The machine sped quickly over the ground, which made it seem very bumpy, but all of a sudden the machine was going along as smoothly as could be imagined, so I looked over the side of the fuselage and the ground was getting farther and farther away from us and I was really flying above the earth. Since I had never been in a machine before the pilot wished me to have a few of the real sensations to see how I liked it, and I did. I shall not say what all we did, but the earth seemed on one side and then on the other and then straight in front and then behind, and for a second I was completely lost, but soon found myself again.

It was the greatest sensation that I have ever experienced, and I attained the greatest speed too, which was over 80 knots at one time. After about ten minutes we came down again and I was sorry when the wheels went bump on the ground and we were on land once more.

I expect our class will start flying in earnest in another week or two and I shall not be at all sorry as I have waited quite long enough, I think.’ “