100 Years Ago: Guidelines for Sending Christmas Boxes, British Red Cross Fund Campaign Launched, Belleville Soldier Becomes Commissioned Officer

The Intelligencer October 25, 1917 (page 5)

“Christmas Boxes for Soldiers. As the London office of the Dominion Express Company has cabled …  that Christmas packages for the soldiers at the front must be in the hands of the military forwarding officer at Southampton by December 1st, it becomes necessary for Canadians to prepare their packages soon enough so that they can be despatched from this side on or about November 15th. …  this Christmas business has to be handled in addition to the regular army requirements. …  It is difficult to induce most people to begin thinking of Christmas in October, but that is what will have to be done this year.

Single packages for the front must not exceed 56 pounds in weight. …  The goods should be very carefully packed and the authorities suggest strong wooden boxes, preferably screwed instead of nailed or locked. With parcels, they suggest very heavy wrapping paper, with a layer of waterproof paper, and an outer covering of linen calico or canvas, securely sewn up.

Too much care cannot be used in addressing the shipments. There are more delays and disappointments due to insufficient addressing than to any other cause. …  If tags are used, it is essential that the address should also appear on the wrapper of the package.”

The Intelligencer October 25, 1917 (page 7)

“British Red Cross Fund Campaign Launched at Enthusiastic Meeting Last Night. November 1st, is the day set for the British Red Cross Fund Campaign, and $12,000 the amount to be raised in Belleville. These two facts should be carefully noted by every man woman and child in the good old loyal City of Belleville, because it will require the active co-operation of each individual here to attain the goal that has been set.

Last night, in spite of the miserable weather, there assembled a large number of the public spirited citizens of Belleville ready to do their bit for Belleville’s glorious sons who are bleeding and dying that Canadians may be free. Unfortunately, however, the gathering might have been any one of the many that have been held since the beginning of the war, as far as the personnel of the meeting was concerned. There were very few new faces.

There is too much of the ‘Let George Do It’ spirit prevalent in Belleville. This should not be. Just as this is every man’s war, the British Red Cross Fund Campaign is every man’s campaign, and it is the duty of every man to turn out at the meetings, and by their presence show that their hearts are in this most noble, humane and patriotic work.

Therefore let each individual Bellevillian make a mental inventory of how much actual work he or she has done to assist in the winning of this war since the beginning, Aug. 4th, 1914, not in money giving alone, because duty does not end with a five dollar bill, but how many hours and days you have been giving to the work which must be done, if our Empire is to endure. After this inventory has been made the vast majority of our citizens will find that they have a long way to go to make up some part of the work that they should have done. Now is the time to make this up. The British Red Cross Fund Campaign may be the last opportunity of giving whole-souled efforts to comfort the boys in France.

On next Tuesday night at 8 o’clock in the City Hall there will be a meeting of the British Red Cross Fund Campaign workers, and every reader is included amongst the workers, so come to this meeting and let your presence be felt. Let us all buckle down to work and make the British Red Cross Campaign of 1917 out-do all previous efforts, and make the sky the limit of our giving.

All the clergymen of the city are requested to make the announcement of the campaign to their congregations on Sunday, and to let them know the duty that is involved in this glorious labor.”

The Intelligencer October 25, 1917 (page 7)

“Recommended for a Commission. The many friends of Sergt. T. Hyland will be pleased to learn that he has been recommended as a commissioned officer. His wife was officially notified of the fact in the following letter: 75th Can. Infantry Battalion, In the Field, Oct. 4th, 1917. Mrs. T. Hyland, 162 Coleman Street, Belleville, Ont., Canada.

Dear Madam:—I take great pleasure in notifying you that your husband, Sergt. T. Hyland, has been recommended as a commissioned officer. His work has been so satisfactory as an N.C.O. that I consider his services as an officer will be of the greatest value to the battalion. He is at present in England, attending a training course, and I hope to have him returned to the battalion on the completion of the course. C. C. Harbottle, Lieut. Col. Commanding 75th Can. Infantry Bn.”