100 Years Ago: Belleville Celebrates Victories of Marne and Picardy, Lieut.-Col. Elmer Jones Killed in Action

The Intelligencer August 13, 1918 (page 1)

“Belleville Citizens Celebrated The Great Allied Victory. Belleville citizens showed their confidence in the allied armies, faith in ultimate victory, and pride in the achievements of the Canadian army in an enthusiastic celebration last evening in honor of the great victories in the valley of the Marne, and on the Plains of Picardy, which have changed the whole aspect of the war.

Brief as was the notice of the proposed celebration, Front street was lined with citizens of both sexes early in the evening, and the crowd swelled to large proportions when the City Hall bell began to peal forth defiance to the enemy and ringing peals of victory, with Bridge Street Methodist Church bell as usual sending out its joyous peal of confidence and faith.

It was one glorious evening when patriotic Canadians, renewed their vows of confidence in the triumph of right and again showed their faith and patriotic Canadians renewed their armies of the allies, after four years of war, full of sacrifice and hope deferred.

At eight o’clock the parade formed up opposite the City Hall and led by Mayor Platt and members of the City Council in an auto started along Front street amid cheering crowds of citizens who lined both sides of the street.

The 15th Regimental band came next, playing patriotic selections. Next came an auto with Lieut.-Col. O’Flynn, ex-Mayor Ketcheson and Great War Veterans, followed by other autos containing veterans of this and other wars. The pipers band gaily decorated with the flags of the allies, came next, playing the airs which have cheered gallant Highlanders to many a hard fought victory.

Then the Boy Scouts on wheels carrying victory banners showed that they were in it to the last boy. Ben Sandford’s gaily decorated chariot carried the bold inscription ‘TO HELL WITH THE KISER.’ A merry auto truck loaded with laughing girls was an evidence of the happiness inspired among the fair sex by the severe check to German Kulture by allied arms.

Then came Chief Brown and his brave fire laddies with the hose wagons and ladder trucks gaily decorated with the flags of the allies and an old and grizzled Scotchman perched high on a ladder truck merrily piping the ‘Cock O’ the North,’ and other songs of victory on a fife.

A pretty little girl riding upon a neatly decorated Shetland pony represented that under the flags of the allies the children were safe from the baby killing and licentious Huns.

Hundreds of motor cars tastefully decorated with flags and bunting took part in the parade, which was one of the best ever seen in Belleville. When the parade returned to the Market Square several thousand people had gathered and everybody was happy and jubilant.

Ex-Mayor Ketcheson took charge of the proceedings from this point and first called upon the band to lead in the National Anthem. All joined in singing ‘God Save the King’ with a will. Mr. Ketcheson then made a brief address, referring to the day four years ago when he stood near Buckingham Palace in London and listened to the hearty singing of the National Anthem by quarter of a million husky Britishers. Canadians had much to be thankful for and rejoice in celebrations such as these. After four years of the hardest fighting, trials and disappointments our fighting men are coming into their own and showing the Hun how empty is the braggart boasts of the Kaiser. …  Britain will fight to the end and victory is assured.

Ex-Mayor Ketcheson’s address was punctuated by enthusiastic cheers showing that there was no lack of confidence among the citizens assembled.

Lieut.-Col. O’Flynn was received with enthusiastic cheers as befitted one of Canada’s brave soldiers. …  Lieut.-Col. O’Flynn spoke briefly but pointedly, saying that battles were not won by speeches. …  It was a time for cheering and great joy for the allies were going to defeat the Hun so decisively that the children in such numbers on the Market Square would not have to go through the hell their fathers and brothers were going through over there now to save the freedom of the world.

Lieut.-Col. O’Flynn paid a high tribute to the loyal Canadian women whose inspiration had resulted in such a splendid morale among the Canadian soldiers. Concluding he said that liberty was safe with our gallant soldiers over there who merited our confidence and faith in glorious victory. Enthusiastic cheers and singing of ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,’ followed the address of Lieut.-Col. O’Flynn.

The Mayor then made  a very brief patriotic speech and called attention to the last number on the program, THE KAISER’S FINISH which took place just around the corner. Alderman Hanna officiated at the last glad rites for his Hohenzollern effigy which dangling from a rope slid to the centre of the street over the heads of the crowd. The Kaiser at first refused to burn, true to his Satanic character, but this reluctance was soon overcome, and to the great delight of the young folk the Beast of Berlin blew up and burned up in truly lurid style.”

The Intelligencer August 13, 1918 (page 5)

“Lt. Col. Elmer Jones Killed. Lieut.-Col. Elmer Jones, barrister of Vancouver, formerly of Brockville, is reported killed in action. This gallant officer was awarded the D. S. O. for exceptional bravery under fire and an additional bar for further meritorious actions. He was well known in Belleville.”

[Note: Lieutenant Colonel Elmer Watson Jones died on August 8, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 438 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]