100 Years Ago: Canadian Casualties, Final Inspection of 254th Battalion, 254th Battalion Entertained by 15th Regimental Band, 254th Battalion Band to Play Farewell Concert

The Intelligencer May 17, 1917 (page 1)

“Casualties Among Canadian Troops. Died of Wounds—W. Gordon, Madoc; C. McGorretta, Belleville. Wounded and Missing—G. H. McGee, Stirling. Wounded—A. J. Grier, Tweed; A. Jackson, Trenton; B. Brant, Shannonville; F. Hubbs, Trenton, H. Evans, Belleville; J. B. Naylor, Madoc; L. Comeau, Trenton; P. F. Welsh, St. Ola.”

The Intelligencer May 17, 1917 (page 2)

“The final inspection of the 254th Battalion before leaving for overseas was held in this city yesterday afternoon, and was witnessed by a number of citizens. The military officer, who made the inspection was Brigadier-General Hemming, of Kingston, and he was accompanied by his A. D. C., Capt. Kidd, and Lt.-Col. W. J. Brown, a well known Belleville military man. Major R. D. Ponton, was also present.

The members of the battalion were drawn up on the lawn in front of the armouries. The band under the leadership of Bandmaster Lieut. Hinchey, being in the centre. The boys presented a most creditable appearance. For inspection they were in extended form of two deep and the Brigadier and his staff made a minute inspection of the men.

The members of the battalion showed up well considering the brief space of time they have been in the city as a unit. A certain number have been found unfit for overseas service at present and will be drafted to other units. As the soldiers paraded upon the green, their soldierly appearance was favorably commented upon. Lt.-Col. Brown put the men through a number of manoeuvres and they did very well. The officers in command were well pleased with the inspection.”

The Intelligencer May 17, 1917 (page 3)

“Members of Musical Organizations Fraternize. In the lecture room of the Armouries last evening, a social gathering took place, which while pleasing in its nature had a tinge of regret connected with it. The members of the 15th Regimental Band entertained the members of the 254th Band, the greater number of whom will leave Belleville in a few days for overseas service. A number of the 254th Band were formerly connected with the 15th Regimental Band, and the best of feelings exist between the two musical organizations.

In the early part of the evening the 15th Orchestra, under the leadership of Mr. E. O’Rourke rendered a number of selections, which were much appreciated and well executed. Later in the evening some time was spent in speech making and songs. …

Bandsman Shunk of the 254th Band, being called upon, said it was certainly nice for the members of the 15th Band to entertain the boys. He had been connected with the 80th Band, and the 155th Band, and also the 254th Band. The members of the latter band he certainly liked very much, and he was sorry he was not accompanying them overseas, but hoped all would return. He was pleased at the harmony existing between the members of the two bands. …

Bandsman Brooks of the 254th Band, said he came to Belleville as a stranger but he had been most cordially received. He came 2,000 miles from the West to join the military organization, and he would try to do his bit for his country. There would be left behind some good friends, but there comes a time when the best of friends must part, and that time had arrived. Duty was calling them to a scene of greater action, and they were answering that call. We will come back after the Germans are driven out of France and Belgium, and we enter Berlin. (Applause.) …  The remainder of the evening was spent in social intercourse and the partaking of refreshments.”

The Intelligencer May 17, 1917 (page 8)

“Farewell Concert. The famous band of the 254th Battalion, under the direction of Lieut. Hinchey, assisted by local talent, will give a farewell concert in Griffin’s Opera House on Sunday night, May 20th. This will positively be the last appearance of this splendid band before going overseas and will be a high class Musical treat, which no one should miss. Come and hear the Boys for the last time in Canada. Silver collection of not less than 25c requested.”