100 Years Ago: David V. Ketcheson Receives Military Cross, Thanksgiving Service in Griffin’s Opera House

The Intelligencer December 2, 1918 (page 1)

David Ketcheson“Brave Belleville Officer Receives The Military Cross. Lieut. David V. Ketcheson, son of ex-Mayor Ketcheson, of this city, received to-day the Military Cross which was awarded to him for bravery upon the field of battle. It is beautifully engraved medal hung from blue and white ribbons. Accompanying the medal was a communication from the Government House, Toronto, also a copy of the details of service for which the coveted decoration was awarded. They were as follows: Government House, Toronto, Nov. 30. Dear Mr. Ketcheson: By request of His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor I am sending the Military Cross awarded to you to your address by registered mail. Will you kindly acknowledge the receipt of same and oblige. I also enclose copy of the details of service for which the decoration was awarded. Yours very truly, Alexander Fraser, Official Secretary.

‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of a raiding party; although wounded he continued in command of his men, and led the attack on the enemy trench in a most determined manner. Later, he was again, severely wounded.’

Lieut. Ketcheson is to be congratulated upon having acquitted himself so nobly in the great world war as to merit Royal recognition. He has not only brought honor to himself and his parents but also to the City of Belleville and this entire district. Belleville is proud of Lieut. David V. Ketcheson.”

The Intelligencer December 2, 1918 (page 7)

“Thanksgiving Service. A union Thanksgiving service in every sense of the word was held on Sunday afternoon in Griffin’s Opera House. Not only were Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists represented by ministers who took part, but the Salvation Army and the Y.M.C.A. were represented. During the service, which lasted from 4 to 5 o’clock, the spacious building was filled with an audience which entered heartily into the spirit of the service. Previous to the opening exercises the Salvation Army band occupying a place on the platform rendered a number of appropriate selections, which were inspiring.

Ministers occupying seats on the platform were Rev. Dr. Scott, of Bridge street church in the chair, Ven. Archdeacon Beamish, rector of St. Thomas church, Rev. A. S. Kerr, M.A., of St. Andrew’s church, Rev. J. N. Clarry, B.A., of Holloway street church, and Rev. W. H. Wallace of the Baptist church. Adjutant Goodhew and Capt. T. D. Ruston represented the Salvation Army and Mr. P. F. Brockel the Y. M. C. A. Prof. Hunt and Prof. Wheatley played the accompaniments upon the piano. …

Adjutant Goodhew gave the address and it was in keeping with the occasion. …  In his opening remarks the Adjutant said that this day had been set apart as a National Thanksgiving day. We should thank God for the many blessings which we as a people enjoy. First we should thank God for peace, a victorious peace for all the allied nations. Our dearly beloved flag still floats at the mast head. Secondly, we should thank God for power. Our Empire to-day as in years gone by was a mighty power for good. Thirdly we give thanks for patriotism which permeates all our hearts. To-day God fearing people were rallying around the God fearing leaders who would lead our Empire for a God fearing peace. Whatsoever is right must come out on top. Fourthly, we give thanks for prosperity. Let us all thank God for the prosperity we enjoy as a nation. …  May our greatest cause of thanksgiving be for the highest ideals of life. …  At the close of the address the National Anthem was sung and the benediction pronounced by Rev. Dr. Scott.”