100 Years Ago: Disease in Germany Not Spanish Flu, Letter of Sympathy for Mother of Teddy Townsend, Sir Robert Borden Proud of Canadians

The Intelligencer August 1, 1918 (page 1)

“Disease Sweeps Over Germany. Paris. The state of health in Germany appears to have become a source of worry to the Imperial Government. The Neue Zurcher Zeitung announced recently that the German censor had forbidden the publication of any news of the progress of the epidemic which at first was mistaken for Spanish influenza, but which the Swiss press, because of the ravaging effects upon the Berlin population declares to be much more serious.

The public hospitals in Berlin already are overtaxed in caring for the legions of wounded soldiers arriving from the western front, but they have had to make room for thousands who fell in the streets from disease.

Scores of deaths are reported each day in the army and the army doctors also declare the condition of the troops, particularly those in the interior, to be alarming. The number of deaths among them is far from being insignificant.”

The Intelligencer August 1, 1918 (page 1)

“Minister of Militia Expresses Sympathy. Mrs. S. M. Townsend, Belleville, received the following sad information from the Minister of Militia and Defence for Canada: Ministers Office, Ottawa, July 29. Dear Mrs. Townsend:—I desire to express to you my very sincere sympathy in the recent decease of your husband, No. 536034, Private Edward James Townsend C.E.F., 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 by condolence and heartfelt sympathy, I am Yours faithfully S. C. Mewburn, Minister of Militia and Defence for Canada.

Pte. Townsend went overseas with the Queen’s Ambulance Corps two years ago and has a brother in the Army Medical Corps. He is survived by his wife and four children.”

[Note: Private Edward James Townsend died on July 20, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 514 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]

The Intelligencer August 1, 1918 (page 5)

“Proud of Canadians. Rt. Hon. Sir Gilbert Parker in writing to Col. Ponton of this city, refers to a recent address delivered at the Mansion House, London, Eng., by Sir Robert Borden, Premier of Canada, and states that all who heard the masterly address were delighted with it. Sir Robert Borden stated that Canadians had covered themselves with glory in a double capacity, namely upon the battlefield and the field of public life.”