100 Years Ago: Belleville Applies to Sell Fuel and Food, Letters of Sympathy to Private Hogan’s Aunt, Charles Brook Promoted

The Intelligencer January 23, 1918 (page 1)

“The application of Belleville City Council to sell fuel and food was granted by the Ontario Railway and Municipal Board at Toronto. The city was represented by Alderman Parks and Robinson, and City Controller Wills. The latter cited the price charge in Belleville for coal and gave his estimate of costs from which he argued that local dealers were taking too high a profit.

Alderman Robinson complained that the coal was of a very poor quality. Alderman Parks said that a few weeks ago he had been offered coal by Toronto jobbers but now it would be almost impossible to get. He anticipated no difficulty securing a supply for a civic coal yard during the summer months. The city had property upon which the necessary buildings could be erected. A city by-law authorized borrowing $25,000 for a fuel and food depot.

The local coal dealers were represented by Messrs. Belair, Anderson and Downey and the secretary of the Retail Dealers Association. Figures in detail were submitted to the Board by the local dealers to show that the prices charged were not excessive and they vigorously protested the accuracy of the figures presented by local Fuel Controller Wills, which they claimed were not a true statement of the cost of coal, handling and delivery. They also submitted copies of correspondence with the Dominion Fuel Controller to show that they were complying with the regulations in regard to the margin of fifty cents per ton profit permitted.”

The Intelligencer January 23, 1918 (page 3)

“Tribute to the Memory of Pte. W. Hogan Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice. Mrs. Sarah Hogan, 113 College street, has received the following letters in connection with the death of her nephew, Pte. W. Hogan:

‘In the Field, Nov. 1, 1917. To Mrs. J. Hogan, 113 College St., Belleville, Ont. Dear Mrs. Hogan:—It is with deep regret that I inform you of the death of poor William.

He was killed by shell fire yesterday while handling his gun and previous to his being killed showed the greatest of courage and coolness. Pte. W. Hogan was well liked by all of ‘B’ Battery and is deeply mourned by all ranks.

Any information you may require in the near future I will only be too pleased to forward. I am yours in sympathy in our sad loss, E. B. Smith, B.S.M., ‘B’ Battery.’

‘Nov. 2, 1917. Mrs. Sarah Hogan, 113 College St., Belleville, Ont. Dear Mrs. Hogan:—It is with deep regret that I inform you of your nephew’s death. No. 636789, Pte. W. P. Hogan who was killed in action by shell fire on the night of October 29th, death being instantaneous.

Previous to his being killed he showed great courage and coolness firing his gun to the last. ‘B’ Battery and myself, more so being his Section Sergt., has lost one of their best men. All the brigade feel his loss very deeply.

I am yours sincerely in this your sad bereavement, Sergt. D. Frechette.

P.S.—With regards to any information in regards of your nephew I will be pleased to help you.’

‘On Active Service, Nov., 1917. To Mrs. J. Hogan, Dear Madam:—It is with the feelings of the deepest sympathy that I am writing to you regarding the loss of your nephew, Pte. W. P. Hogan.

He died from high explosive concussion while performing his duty with great courage and coolness under the worst possible conditions. I am glad to say that his death was quite instantaneous.

Pte. Hogan was without doubt one of the best men I had the pleasure of commanding. He had been recommended for promotion a few days before the battle. I shall make it my personal duty to have his grave taken care of as well as conditions will allow. I am, Madam, Yours sincerely, W. French, Lieut. O. C. ‘B’ Battery.’

‘Canadian Machine Gun Depot, Crowborough, Sussex, March 7,1917. Concerning Pte. W. P. Hogan, No. 636789.

This is to certify that Pte. Hogan, W. P. has been a Non-Commissioned Officer in this Depot, and has always shown in his work, a high degree of intelligence and efficiency; he has been a Sergeant for the past 12 months and reverted to the ranks at his own request, in order to proceed overseas with his original Section. I can recommend him for an appointment as Sergeant.

F. B. McRae, Major. (O. C. No. 1 Depot Coy.’ ”

The Intelligencer January 23, 1918 (page 7)

“Promotion on Battlefield. Sergt. C. H. Brook, son of Mr. C. H. Brook, of Belleville, is now at Bexhill-on-Sea, England, taking a course of instruction for a commissioned officer. At eighteen years of age Sergt. Brook enlisted as a Private in the 80th Battalion and went overseas.

He has been seventeen months in the trenches and won his stripes on the battlefield, having passed through the heaviest fighting on the Somme, at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele where his gallantry and soldierly qualities received official attention and he was recommended for a commissioned officer. He is now in England qualifying for his commission, and his many friends will be pleased to learn of the rapid progress he has made.”