100 Years Ago: No Furlough for Soldiers, Food Economy Is Urged, War Veterans Musical Festival

The Intelligencer July 24, 1917 (page 3)

“No Furlough for Soldiers. Toronto. No greater pleas for conscription could be found than an extract from a letter written by Sir Edward Kemp, K.C., M.G., M.P., Minister of Militia, to Sergeant W. E. Turley, Secretary of the Great War Veterans Association, regarding an enquiry as to the possibility of bringing soldiers who had been on active service since the commencement of the war back to Canada on furlough.

The Minister says that every fit man is needed for service in the field and the request cannot be granted. …  Sir George Perley, Minister of Overseas Military Forces from Canada, while expressing every sympathy for the men and their relatives, states that under present conditions it is impossible to give leave to Canada to any man who is fit for service in the field.”

The Intelligencer July 24, 1917 (page 5)

“Soldiers’ Meals. On the average every Canadian family wastes enough to feed a soldier. Such is the declaration of Miss B. Phillip of Macdonald College who urges every Canadian woman, as a necessary war measure, to at once examine the details of her household expenditure. She says:—’The average Canadian household is not organized with a view to the greatest measure or efficiency. The possibilities in the way of economies are enormous. It has been calculated that on the average each Canadian family wastes enough to feed a soldier. The most satisfactory economies that may be effected are in small things. They involve sacrifices or even discomforts.’ ”

The Intelligencer July 24, 1917 (page 7)

“The opening entertainment of the Musical Festival being given this week by the Belleville branch of the Great War Veterans’ Association was held last evening in the City Hall and the pleasure afforded by the splendid program of popular and classical violin literature as rendered with rare charm by the talented young English violinist, Miss Isolde Menges, augurs well for the success and appreciation of the entertainments to be given each evening during this week. …

The pleasure of the program last evening was enhanced by the assistance rendered by the talented young Australian pianist, Miss Eileen Beattie, who accompanied the selections of Miss Menges. …

The interest taken in the entertainment last evening was evidenced by the large crowd of citizens which gathered outside the City Hall and enjoyed the entire program from vantage points in the open air. The only drawback to an unofficial audience of this kind, however, while being entertained in this manner by a talented musician, the veterans of the Great War are deriving no revenue from the enjoyment furnished as a result of their enterprise. However there can be little doubt but that the audience outside would be pleased to contribute their bit or ‘two bit?’ if given an opportunity so to do, and the veterans would do well to provide the opportunity.

Notwithstanding the heat of the day, the large assembly hall was quite cool and the audience was able to enjoy the program in comfort.”