100 Years Ago: 34th Battery in Valcartier

The Intelligencer September 3, 1914 (page 1)

Signallers Horace (Pat) and Frederick (Ted) Yeomans standing at rear, ca. August 1914
Signallers Horace (Pat) and Frederick (Ted) Yeomans standing at rear, ca. August 1914

“The 34th Battery arrived in Valcartier Saturday, August 29th. Men and horses detrained in fine condition, arrived on camp grounds about 3 p.m. in drizzling rain, which kept up for first two days. …  Sergt. Pat and Bom. Ted Yeomans, sons of Dr. Yeomans, Pinnacle street, are on the Brigade Staff. Both these boys are expert signalers and were chosen for this responsible position by the director of artillery. …

Gunner Yerex is worrying over that girl of his on Bridge Street West. Joe Cadwell also can be heard heaving heavy sighs and whistling softly: ‘I am Wearing My Heart Away for You, Louise.’ – soft music, please! …  Respectfully, Spafford.”

34th Battery gun with Gunners Yerex, Doxsee and Harris, ca. August 1914
34th Battery gun with Gunners Yerex, Doxsee and Harris, ca. August 1914

100 Years Ago: Patriotic Association, Merchants’ Home Guard

The Intelligencer September 5, 1914 (page 1)

“A public subscription list has been opened for the purposes of this association and subscriptions will be received by the Treasurer, R. Tannahill, Manager, at the Bank of Montreal. It is hoped that there will be a generous and prompt response to this appeal as the needs are urgent.

Many of the citizens have sent word that they would subscribe various sums payable at from $20 a month to 25 cents per month, for a specified period or during the continuation of the war as may be required. In several business houses and offices the members of the staffs are making up united monthly payments in the name of their respective groups.”

The Intelligencer September 5, 1914 (page 1)

“The local Retail Merchants’ Association will form a company of the Home Guards. All retail merchants and senior clerks are requested to be present at a preliminary drill on Monday evening in the Armouries.”

100 Years Ago: Red Cross at Work, Archie Cooke Fit

The Intelligencer September 8, 1914 (page 2)

“The Red Cross and Supply Committee of the Belleville Patriotic Association is now fairly well organized for work …  It is understood that there are a number in the city who are making comforts for the boys at Valcartier. …  A large box of helmet caps, health bands, wristlets and housewives, was sent to the Belleville boys on Saturday.”

[Note: “housewives” were small sewing kits]

The Intelligencer September 8, 1914 (page 2)

Archie Cooke stands at the train station in Belleville ca. August 1914.
Archie Cooke stands at the train station in Belleville ca. August 1914.

“Valcartier Camp, Sept. 4. Dear Mother: Yesterday was a moving day. Every one in camp, I think, had to move. All are now joined to the 43rd of Ottawa. This afternoon we were up before the doctor and were examined. To my great pleasure I was pronounced fit. Only about five out of the Belleville bunch were rejected. Am well and hope you are the same. We are to be inspected on Sunday. Archie Cooke. …  Note. — Archie, who is but 19, is now orderly sergeant.”

Archie Cooke, right, in training at Valcartier in 1914.
Archie Cooke, right, in training at Valcartier in 1914.

100 Years Ago: Patriotic Meeting in Shannonville

The Intelligencer September 10, 1914 (page 3)

“Last night the large hall at Shannonville was filled by an interested audience of men and women from Shannonville and the neighboring parts of Tyendinaga listening to patriotic songs and speeches and organizing for work for the Duke of Connaught’s fund and for the Red Cross and local needs. About $125.00 was collected without any difficulty and much more will be obtained by the committees of workers who have the matter in hand. …

The 49th Regiment will receive many new recruits and a Rifle Association and Home Guard are being formed as the result of last night’s enthusiastic appeal.”

100 Years Ago: Crowds of Visitors at Valcartier

The Intelligencer September 16, 1914 (page 8)

“Valcartier: Large crowds of visitors were present in all kinds of conveyances, from a buck-board wagon to a $5,000 limousine, and hundreds on foot. Band concerts, foot ball and blanket tossing were among the entertainments for visitors. Many will remain over to witness the review to-morrow by Col. the Hon. Sam Hughes, of the overseas contingent, which is now complete, as regards equipment and efficiency.

Medical examination concluded on Saturday. Over five hundred men were turned down, some physically unfit, others being under age. …  The rifle ranges are a busy spot these days. The butts are at the base of the Laurentian Mountains. One would think by the rattle of musketry and the roar of the heavy guns on the range that we were in Europe. Spafford.”

100 Years Ago: Concert, Miss Geen Enlists as Nurse

The Intelligencer September 22, 1914 (page 1)

“An excellent cause, an excellent audience and an excellent programme can truly be said of “Our Boys” patriotic concert, held in the City Hall last evening. …  The result, financially, was most gratifying to the noble band of ladies who worked assiduously for success. …  With the programme was given a small Union Jack, and the ladies who disposed of them gathered in not a few shekels.

The object of this delightful entertainment was for the purpose of procuring sweaters for the brave volunteers from this city who are going to the front. …  The platform was most appropriately decorated with potted plants and flags, whilst a large Union Jack formed the background.”

The Intelligencer September 22, 1914 (page 2)

“Duty’s Call to a Belleville Lady. Miss Geen, daughter of Rev. A.L. and Mrs. Geen, having received orders from the Department, left today on the fast train for Quebec. She is a graduate of the Royal Victoria Hospital, among the first, at Halifax 2 or 3 years ago, which gave her the rank of Lieutenant. Miss Geen’s grandfather, who was a Nobleman of Italy, was Lieutenant in Napoleon’s Guard of Honor, that went to Russia. Her uncle died, while on military duty during the first Fenian Raid, her brother, Edgar de Fomeri, died from the effects of the South African Campaign.

A number, who knew the time of her leaving, were at the station to bid her farewell and God speed. The members of the Chapter of the Daughters of the Empire presented Miss Geen with a wrist watch, suitable for use while on duty. An abundance of gold coin came rolling in until her purse was filled.”

100 Years Ago: On Board H.M.S. Saxonia

The Intelligencer October 1, 1914 (page 3)

“We completed loading on the 27th and are now anchored in mid-stream under the guns of the fortress of Quebec. The boys are enjoying their new quarters and are all in the best of spirits. There are 16 transports all anchored and ready to sail, when, we do not know. The Saxonia is a splendid ship. An aeroplane passed over the fleet today and gracefully circled around the fortress. Naturally it created considerable interest, and soon rumors passed around that it was a German, but we are glad to say it was one of the four which the contingent is taking for service.

The horses are in fine condition and very comfortable on board. We had no difficulty in loading them, as all they had to do was to walk up a gangway into their stalls on board. The boys of the 34th send their best regards to all before sailing. We hope to report again on our arrival in England. Spafford.”

100 Years Ago: 15th Battalion Band, Day of Prayer

The Intelligencer October 7, 1914 (page 2)

“Editor Intelligencer. My Dear Sir,—Belleville has many things to be proud of. One of these notable things is the splendid band of the gallant 15th Battalion. Its excellence has not been obtained without a vast deal of labor and study, on the part of the talented leader and his men. …

They propose to give a concert upon Tuesday evening next, part of the proceeds to be devoted to the Patriotic Fund, and part to the maintenance of the band. Let our citizens give a bumper attendance and they will be delighted with the entertainment and be doing a good work. Yours truly, John J.B. Flint.”

The Intelligencer October 7, 1914 (page 8)

“To Belleville Citizens. Would it not look as if we had some love and sympathy for our neighbors who have boys and husbands at the front if there was a special day of prayer appointed for the guidance and protection of those who have sacrificed everything for us and for their country. A day of prayer would show that we still trusted in God for their safekeeping and their return. …  From an Old Believer, 90 years of age.”

100 Years Ago: Red Cross Knits, McKeown’s Drug Store Ad

The Intelligencer October 8, 1914 (page 2)

“As there are several people who would gladly make articles for the Red Cross if they only knew the directions, it has been considered advisable to have the following directions printed in the daily papers. …  Wristlets—Grey or khaki, 4-ply fingering, No 14 steel needles. Cast on about sixty stitches; rib for nine inches. Cast off loosely. A hole for the thumb may be left if desired, so that the wristlet can be used as a mitt.”

The Intelligencer October 8, 1914 (page 2)

“The Rexall Stores of Canada …  have unanimously agreed to contribute to the Canadian Patriotic Fund FIVE PER CENT of their total purchases of all Rexall Toilet Goods, Rexall Remedies, and other merchandise manufactured or sold by the United Drug Co., Limited, Toronto, for the months from October 15th to December 31st. …

Rexall Goods are made in Canada and you can procure them in your town only from McKeown’s Drug Store.”