100 Years Ago: Y.M.C.A. Work at the Front, Thomas Patrick Wounded, George Eldridge and Henry Delisle Killed in Action, Ad for Patriotic Canadian and American Songs

The Intelligencer May 18, 1917 (page 1)

“A campaign to raise $5,000 in Belleville for Y.M.C.A. work overseas was last evening launched at a gathering of representative citizens at the Y.M.C.A. auditorium. Previous to the business part of the meeting a dainty lunch was provided by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Association and it was thoroughly enjoyed. A number of the city ministers were present also some business and professional gentlemen.

Mayor Ketcheson presided over the gathering, and briefly stated the object of the meeting. He referred to the excellent work done by the Y.M.C.A. overseas as it affects our boys, who were over there.

Lieut. A. S. C. Trivett, M. A., B. D., of Toronto University and Wycliffe College …  gave an excellent address on Y. M. C. A. work among the boys at the front. …  There are over 50 branches of Canadian Y.M.C.A. in France. Eighty men who rank as honorary captains have been sent overseas; soon 32 of these will be in France. Altogether over 500 persons under Y. M. C. A. direction are serving our boys in the Army. Special Y.M.C.A. officers give their attention to the returning wounded Canadians. Enormous quantities of free drinks of tea, coffee, etc., are dispensed to the soldiers in France. One million sheets of letter paper with envelopes and writing facilities are provided free every month, in both England and France, and over two million have been similarly used in Canada since June.

On request of soldiers Overseas, snap shots of their families are sent to them. Hundreds of thousands of new and used magazines are supplied in England and France each month. Circulating libraries are kept in many of the branches. …  Vast quantities of athletic and games equipment are freely supplied in England and France. …

The whole Y. M. C. A. programme is distinctly religious. In the home training camps, this is particularly true. In England, while the religious is not overlooked, greater use is made of other features to counteract certain outside activities. In France every opportunity is taken advantage of (for religious activities) and the value of the Y.M.C.A. in keeping men in touch with old ideals of living and reminding them of the old environment, cannot be over-estimated. …

Mr. Fred L. Ratcliffe, of Toronto, who is a member of the National Military Service Committee gave an address showing the need there was for the contributing of a large sum this year to carry on the work. There would be needed this year at least $750,000 and of this amount Toronto was asked to contribute $200,000.00. …

Mayor Ketcheson stated that it was up to Belleville to do something and he thought that $5,000 should be contributed to the fund.

Mr. Sinclair said that Belleville was vitally interested in this matter, and it would be a strange thing if the citizens did not respond to the call for such a noble cause. Let us give the citizens an opportunity to assist in this matter. He would go out as a committeeman and do his share. …  It was decided to launch a campaign immediately. …  Messrs H. W. Ackerman and D. V. Sinclair stated that they were prepared to be two of ten to give $100 each to the campaign fund. The meeting closed by prayer and the benediction by Rev. Dr. Scott.”

The Intelligencer May 18, 1917 (page 2)

“Thomas J. A. Patrick. Ottawa, May 17, 1917. James Patrick, 70 Mill St., Belleville, Ont. Sincerely regret to inform you 163661 Pte. Thomas James Alfred Patrick, infantry, officially reported admitted to Three Stationary Hospital, Rouen, May 10, 1917, gunshot wound right arm and knee. Will send further particulars when received. Officer in Charge of Records.

Pte. Thomas Patrick was wounded in September of last year, during the Battle of the Somme, and was in the hospital for months. He went overseas with the 37th Battalion, Toronto, but was a Belleville boy, being a nephew of Mr. and Mrs. James Patrick, Mill Street.”

The Intelligencer May 18, 1917 (page 2)

“Killed in Action. Pte. Geo. Eldridge. Private George Eldridge of Port Hope, who left Belleville with the 39th Battalion, was killed in action on May 5th. Pte. Eldridge was one of the first to enlist in this battalion. He was married, and his widow lives on Dorset Street, Port Hope.

Henry DeLisle. Mr. Camille DeLisle, 299 Foster Ave., received official report yesterday that his brother, Sergt. Henry DeLisle was killed in action on May 8th. He left Belleville with the 39th Battalion two years ago.”

[Note: Private George Eldridge died on May 5, 1917. He is commemorated on Page 233 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

[Note: Corporal Harry Delisle died on May 8, 1917. He is commemorated on Page 226 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer May 18, 1917 (page 2)

“Patriotic Canadian and American Selections. Our cousins across the border have joined hands with us to fight for freedom. Hear their favorite patriotic music—as well as your own—on Victor Records. …  J. V. Doyle, Front St. C. W. Lindsay, Ltd. 231 Front St.”