100 Years Ago: Belleville High School Promotions, 37 Belleville High School Boys Awarded Farm Service Medals

The Intelligencer June 28, 1917 (page 1)

“Promotion Examinations Belleville High School. Bright Pupils Who Were Successful in Passing Their Examinations—Some Promoted For Empire Service Rendered In Farm Labor.

Promoted on Farm Labor: Henry Buck, Harvey Chisholm, George Clarke, Morely Davidson. …  Promoted on Farm Labor: Gordon Robertson, Ted Wallbridge, Max Herity, Clare Mott, Bob Lazier.”

The Intelligencer June 28, 1917 (page 7)

“Soldiers of the Soil. The Ontario Government for the purpose of encouraging boys to work upon farms, especially during the summer holidays, has to a certain sense made it a part of the military service of the country. It has been termed ‘Soldiers of the Soil,’ and ‘Farm Service Corps.’ Every boy engaged in this important branch of work is the recipient of a button or badge from the Government, and last evening at the City Hall a number of Belleville boys, who at present are young farmers, were presented with their badge of honor.

There were a number of parents of the boys and others present at the pleasing function. Previous to the gathering being called to order the boys who occupied the central part of the hall, enlivened the proceedings with a number of songs, which were much appreciated. …  Mayor Ketcheson said he had a friendly feeling for the boys. He loved the boys who at present are rising to the occasion to do their bit, the same as the boys overseas are doing. They were engaged in grand work which was as necessary as it was to fight. …

Mr. R. J. Graham spoke briefly, and stated that when the boys get up so early in the morning as they are to help on the farm, they will make good boys. He appreciated what the mothers have done for these boys. He had 15 boys on his farm and they are doing good service. If the boys in all parts of the Province are doing as well as the boys from Belleville, they are certainly doing a grand work and much credit is due them. We are proud of them. It is vital to the country at the present time to make the farm produce as much as it is possible to do so. …

The presentation of medals followed and the boys were called upon the platform and given their medals which bears the Provincial coat of Arms, above which are the words ‘Farm Service Corps’ and below 1917. …  Mr. Brockell, Secretary of Belleville Y.M.C.A., stated that an effort would be made to have a day set apart for an athletic meet for the boys.

The meeting was closed by singing the National Anthem, and the pronouncing of the benediction by Ven. Archdeacon Beamish.”