100 Years Ago: Belleville Bids Farewell to 254th Battalion, Notice to Join C.E.F. Company of Canadian Defence Force, Women in Munition Plants

The Intelligencer May 26, 1917 (page 2)

“Belleville Bids Farewell to 254th Batt. Citizens of all classes this morning vied with each other in giving the members of the 254th a hearty send off as they left this city eastward bound preparatory to going overseas. For some time the unit has been in Belleville, and the greater number of the members are residents of Hastings and adjoining counties, and numbered some 375. …

In full marching order the Battalion assembled at the Armouries and previous to leaving the members were provided with lunches furnished by the ladies of the two chapters of the Daughters of the Empire. Many were present at the Armouries, to bid for the present good-bye to loved ones.

The Battalion paraded from the Armouries at 11.30 and proceeded by way of Bridge St., up Front Street to Station Road, to the G. T. R. Station, where they embarked. On the line of march the streets were thronged with pedestrians and the boys were lustily cheered as they marched past, headed by the Battalion Band, under command of Bandmaster Lieut. E. R. Hinchey. A large number of autos and vehicles followed the boys to the station where they were given a hearty send off.

Among the prominent citizens present were Mayor Ketcheson, Mr. E. G. Porter, K. C., M. P., Col. Ponton, Mr. F. E. O’Flynn, and others. Several surplus subalterns, who were attached to the battalion are being retained here in order that they may be available if required.”

The Intelligencer May 26, 1917 (page 2)

“Do Not Wait For Conscription. You still have a chance to be a volunteer. It will not last long. DO IT NOW!

The pay and the allowances of the volunteer are settled. We do not know what the pay of the conscript will be. NOTE THIS!

Join the C.E.F. Company of the C.D.F. and reinforce the famous ‘Iron Second’ Battalion, the finest battalion in the First Canadian Division. DO IT NOW!

There will be no more recruits taken on the Canadian Defence Force. E. D. O’Flynn, Lieut.-Colonel, Comm’ D. G., 15th Reg’t C. D. F.”

The Intelligencer May 26, 1917 (page 3)

“Women Make Good in the Munition Plant. After enumerating the many channels in which women have directed their energies since the outbreak of the war, Owen E. McGillicuddy, in May’s ‘Everywoman’s World,’ pays the following tribute to the women munition workers:

Probably the most interesting, as it is also the most painstaking, is the way in which she has actually gotten down to hard manual work in the foundries and factories which are turning out war munitions throughout Canada.

Here she has learned a newer and larger meaning of the terms ‘citizenship,’ and ‘workmanship,’ and here also has she earned and learned by the sweat of her brow what it means to be truly patriotic. The War has truly given her equal place in the service of the nation, although it still withholds in four Provinces the fuller Franchise of a share in the Government. …

In Canada, there are already 3,500 women in munition factories, and that army is steadily increasing: and notwithstanding the fact that practically all of these employees were absolutely unfamiliar with mechanical work previous to the War, they have demonstrated, not only a mechanical ability equal to man’s, but in some departments they have shown beyond question a superiority to the male help who formerly did the same work.”