100 Years Ago: Local Medical Board Results, Letter of Thanks, Sympathy from Minister of Militia

The Intelligencer September 28, 1917 (page 2)

“Fit or Unfit? Up until noon yesterday the local Medical Board, under the Military Service Act, Drs. MacColl, Gibson and Tennant, had examined 103 applicants. Fifty-eight were passed as ‘fit’ for any class of military service; sixteen passed for restricted service; twelve passed for home defence and seventeen were totally unfit for service.”

The Intelligencer September 28, 1917 (page 7)

“ ‘Cheery O Sister’ Soldiers Grateful. The following letter was received by Miss Edith McLean, 62 Alexander St. in reply to a parcel sent by the Belleville Branch of the Canadian War Contingent Association, 62 West Street. France, June 16, 1917. My Dear Miss McLean, Our battalion received today fifty parcels from the C.W.C.A., Belleville, amongst which was yours. The O.C. was so taken with the generosity and usefulness of the articles, that the whole regiment drew for them, and besides getting the presents, it afforded a lot of pleasure to the whole unit.

I do not know who you are, but I thank God for you kind, brave women in Canada, and your gifts were appreciated by all of us: the officers because the men got them, and the men because it brings a breath of home to them. Cheery O Sister, and thank you, Douglas Kerr, Capt., 1st Can. Lab. Batt., B.E.F.”

The Intelligencer September 28, 1917 (page 7)

“Sympathy from Minister of Militia. Mrs. Catherine Stark, 173 Mary street west, has received from Sir A. E. Kemp, Minister of Militia, the following letter of sympathy in the loss of her husband, Pte. Andrew Stark, who gave his life that the Empire might live: Sept. 20, 1917. Dear Mrs. Stark:—I desire to express to you my very sincere sympathy in the recent decease of your husband No. 455153 Pte. Andrew Stark, who in sacrificing his life at the front in action with the enemy, has rendered the highest services of a worthy citizen.

The heavy loss which you and the nation have sustained would indeed be depressing were it not redeemed by the knowledge that the brave comrade for whom we mourn performed his duties fearlessly and well as became a good soldier, and gave his life for the great cause of human liberty and the defence of the Empire.

Again extending to you in your bereavement my condolences and heartfelt sympathy. I am, yours faithfully, A. E. Kemp, Minister of Militia and Defence for Canada.”

[Note: Private Andrew Stark died on October 8, 1916. He is commemorated on Page 167 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]