100 Years Ago: Letter of Thanks to Belleville Red Cross Society, No Demonstration on King’s Birthday, Letter from Celestina Geen

The Intelligencer June 1, 1917 (page 3)

“Sends Respects to Red Cross. Hospital, Shorncliffe, March 14, 1917. Belleville Red Cross Society, Belleville, Ont. I was interested to find the fresh linen  on my bed bearing a little label with ‘Belleville Red Cross, Canada.’ It started me thinking and wondering how many I would know in the society.

I also wondered if you good people were told of how much it is appreciated. I have just come from the Recreation Room—supplied for us by the Canadian Red Cross.

It is splendid; with a very comfortable reading room, a billiard room and a big assembly hall. Big open fires, comfortable chairs, etc. There will be a concert there to-night from six to seven for those of us who are up and can go out. …  Rest assured that all you are doing for us is very much appreciated and we wish every one who is helping could know just how much.

We hope it will not be long until we will be relieved of this terrible strain, though you good people—in Canada do not really realize what it means to be at war. You need to find that out.

Success to your efforts—and many thanks from one you are helping. Yours, L. Cpt. A. K. Lazier, 11th Canadian Reserve Bn.”

The Intelligencer June 1, 1917 (page 5)

“No Demonstration on King’s Birthday. A despatch received from the Under Secretary of State at Ottawa by the Lieut. Governor announces that a special issue of the Dominion of Canada Gazette has been published containing a notice of his Majesty’s birthday be observed on Monday, June 4th with a further expressed wish that no dinners, reviews, salutes or other demonstrations mark the occasion this year.”

The Intelligencer June 1, 1917 (page 5)

“Pleasing Letter From Miss Geen. 2nd Canadian Casualty. Clearing Station. 20—4—17. B. E. F. Belgium. Dear Miss Hurley,—Yesterday the large box of socks arrived and I really do not know how to thank you and all the good people of the society.

Ontario Military Hospital, Orpington, Kent, 8—5—17. England. You see by the above that I started a letter to you in good time but circumstances prevented the finishing of it in France. We got very busy and writing seemed to be out of season and then something happened that caused far more excitement amongst us than any of the bombs that Fritz used to let down near us. Orders came for six of the nine sisters at our C.C.S. to report in England and here we are.

We all felt very badly at leaving our little quarters in Belgium and we feel so out of the war here in England, we even long to hear the guns and shells. However, four of us are to go over to Canada on transport duty very soon and I hope to have two weeks in Belleville so will see you then.

The socks were much appreciated by the men and as far as possible I gave them to Canadians, and men going back to the trenches and the few dozen I had not given away I left with the little padre who is so good to the boys and he will give them out as he thinks best. …

This is a beautiful hospital and I think I will be very happy here, but just now my heart is very sad and lonely for my old home in Belgium. The C. C. S. is very near Poperingue and we walked to a hill and could see the Cloth Hall in Ypres so we were quite near THINGS.

Again thanking you all for allowing me to distribute your much appreciated gifts, (and I assure you that it was a greater pleasure than you think) and hoping to see you within the next two months. Believe me, Sincerely Yours, Celestina Geen.”