100 Years Ago: Soldiers’ Medical Appliances Paid by Government, Postmaster Receives Exemption Forms, Albert Hill Invalided Home, Y.M.C.A. Entertains Soldiers Behind Firing Line, Poster for British Red Cross, Military Hospitals Use Mirrors for Paralytic Cases

The Intelligencer October 13, 1917 (page 1)

“Authorities to Aid Injured Soldiers. Ottawa. The important announcement was made by Secretary E. H. Scammell, of the Military Hospitals Commission, that soldiers who incur disabilities requiring special appliances, such as orthopedic services, trusses, rubber bandages and belts, will be given a bill of credit in addition to their pensions.”

The Intelligencer October 13, 1917 (page 2)

“First Call to the Colors. Postmaster Gillen, of this city has received a supply of the exemption forms to be used for eligibles who are answering the call of the Military Service Act. The filling in of the forms will take place at the postoffice. No official word has been received by the local authorities as to what time of day the forms are to be given out. They are waiting for the proclamation and official advice from Ottawa.”

The Intelligencer October 13, 1917 (page 2)

“Injured in England. Gunner Albert Hill, who was injured in England by being thrown from a gun carriage has returned to Belleville and is now at his home 76 Cedar street. Gunner Hill was one of the first to enlist when war broke out and served two years with the first Canadian Contingent, was gassed and invalided home.

He reenlisted and went overseas with the Cobourg Heavy Battery last June and met with the accident while in training in England. He was treated at Moore Barracks Hospital, Shorncliffe, and afterwards invalided home. Gunner Hill is being treated at the Military hospital in Kingston.”

The Intelligencer October 13, 1917 (page 5)

“Play Time With The Soldiers. Writing from ‘Somewhere in France,’ to his parents in Belleville, Sapper J. H. Bone reports that he is in excellent health and had just returned from an enjoyable vacation outside. The letter was written on September 2, and the weather then was fine and cool, just right for baseball. The writer states that the Y.M.C.A. has made three tennis courts which afford the boys great entertainment.

‘I don’t know what we would do without the Y.M.C.A.,’ writes Sapper Bone, ‘they furnish all the outfits for sports free of charge. It must cost them quite a sum too. There’s a dandy concert party playing here all this week, too, so you see there is always something for us to do after we get off work. Oh, yes, and there is a moving picture show here every evening, except Sunday. The Y. M. C. A. are building a new theatre here for the winter, and I guess it will be a pretty nice one. I hear they are going to have a spotlight and everything up to date.’ ”

The Intelligencer October 13, 1917 (page 10)

Poster for British Red Cross“ ‘Let Me Help You Carry the Burden, Mother. It now costs $300,000.00 a week to carry on the work of the British Red Cross, or $16,000,000.00 a year.

Last year Ontario’s magnificent contribution paid for the entire work of the British Red Cross for nearly six weeks. This year, in view of the greater need, it is earnestly and confidently hoped that Ontario’s contributions will be as great proportionately as the magnificent offering of last year.

Our trust is, that the Citizens of Ontario will give generously to this noble cause on—’Our Day’, October 18th.”

The Intelligencer October 13, 1917 (page 14)

The looking glass, banned from the Puritan household and held in suspicion by the pious even into this twentieth century, has come to be a thing of even more importance to the physician than the vain woman.

In all the great European hospitals the mirror is in use in multiple ways, and instances of remarkable cures effected through its use are on record at Hart House in Toronto, where the Military Hospitals Commission provides treatment for the disabled soldiers returned from the front. …

A few weeks ago the young soldier came to Hart House just to look around, and his limp arm attracted the attention of the instructor in charge. …  The instructor …  asked him to move his fingers. He tried, but no action resulted from the effort. …  Then a mirror was placed in such a way as to reflect the arm and hand for the man. Again he was told to move his fingers, watching the hand in the glass, and a slight twitch rewarded his effort. Since then he has been steadily improving, but nothing can be done without the mirror yet. The patient has a new hope, and the instructors believe that his case will ultimately yield to this treatment. …

Other men who have lost control of their limbs are learning to walk by watching their legs in the glass as they try.”