100 Years Ago: Large Shirt Order for Belleville

The Intelligencer November 4, 1914 (page 1)

“The British War Office is giving out orders for army flannel shirts to Deacon Shirt Factorythe extent of 800,000. The manufacturers of shirts in Canada, some thirty-five, have formed themselves co-operatively to take care of this business in this country. …  M.W.B. Deacon of the Deacon Shirt Company, of this city, has been made a member of the executive committee of five who are handling this work.

This will mean that the Deacon Shirt Company who have already been working on shirt orders for the Dominion Government, will secure an order from the British War Office for from 25,000 to 30,000 shirts.”



100 Years Ago: Arrival in England

The Intelligencer November 9, 1914 (pages 3, 7)

“Thousands cheered us as we proceeded to the wharf to disembark; bands played the Maple Leaf and Tipperary, our war songs, when we paraded through the streets of the city of Devonport. The people showered us with all kinds of things; the children grasping our hands, the girls and women hugged us–in fact nearly tore us to pieces; buttons, badges, etc., were taken and kept as souvenirs.

On all sides we could hear: “We’re so glad you’ve come”; “We have a brother, father, or cousin at the front”; “We hope you get back safe”; “Good luck to you,” etc.

And the boys–well, folks, they are all fine, and are patiently waiting for the day when we shall meet the Germans. Their only fear is that the war will be over before they get there. But I guess we will get there soon enough.

Was in conversation with one of the men who is home from the front recovering from a sabre slash. …  He has been in Africa and India, and says, “Boys, the Boer War was a picnic to this one. I saw men go stark mad from witnessing the terrible carnage. It’s worse than hell. It’s beyond me. It’s simply artillery duels and cavalry charges, and the slaughter is terrible. …  Yours very truly, Spafford.”

100 Years Ago: Canadian Club Meets at Y.M.C.A.

The Intelligencer November 10, 1914 (page 1)

HC03133“Over one hundred men sat down to the supper tables at the Canadian Club meeting, held last night in the Y.M.C.A. A substantial luncheon was served by the ladies of the auxiliary committee. Mrs. M.P. Duff sang “It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary,” and the men took up the chorus. Miss Jessie Maclean presided at the piano. While the tables were being cleared the members sang “O, Canada.” The dining hall was festooned with British flags and the national colors. …

The guest of the evening was Chancellor McCrimmon, of McMaster University …  His subject was: “Why the British are at War” …  A large map of Europe was used by the speaker in giving a geographical survey of the countries involved in the war. A large up-to-date relief map was also in view in the parlors, thus making the whole address educative as well as entertaining.”

100 Years Ago: Marmora Bids Good-Bye

The Intelligencer November 12, 1914 (page 1)

“That the residents of the village of Marmora are enthusiastically Marmora Town Hall, 2013patriotic was evidenced last evening when the spacious new town hall was filled to the doors with men, women and children. The object of the gathering was two-fold in its character, namely, as a patriotic rally and to bid good-bye to and honor fourteen young men and one married man who have enlisted as members of the 49th Hastings Regiment for the second overseas contingent.

It was in every respect a great gathering and one that will be impressed upon the hearts of all who were present for some time to come. The hall was most tastefully decorated for the occasion with flags, bunting and flowers. The addresses and songs rendered were most patriotic.”


100 Years Ago: Belleville Boys Promoted, Patriotic Music

The Intelligencer November 17, 1914 (page 2)

“Privates Brown, Mackenzie and Scully, three young men who left here with the first contingent as stretcher bearers in connection with the 15th Regiment of this city, have been promoted since leaving Canada. Private Brown is in charge of the medical ward at Salisbury Plains; Private Mackenzie is in the surgical ward, and Private Scully is over the stores. This is indeed an honor for Belleville boys.”

The Intelligencer November 17, 1914 (page 2)

“Belleville Staccatos. By “A Major” There is one thing that the war has done for us and that is to cause a tremendous revival of every variety of patriotic music. Just whether or not such an abnormal bringing to light of various aged pro-British strains is to be considered a blessing unadorned or one disguised, rests to a large extent with the success of its presentation to the stunned but loyal ear. We have had a plethora of concerts this fall, all with a worthy object in view, and it is safe to say that they have uniformly been of more than average artistic merit.”

100 Years Ago: Maple Leaves from Canada

The Intelligencer November 18, 1914 (page 3)

“Pat Yeomans Writes Home From Camp …  Dear Mamma.–It is still raining some and has been for the last two days. The couple of days before that were beautiful, but all the time before that it rained, rained, rained. The horse lines are in an awful condition–mud ankle deep. …

We got your leaves all right. Thanks very much. They arrived in good shape, just as you sent them. It certainly is good to see a maple leaf again. It isn’t until a person gets somewhere like this that he realizes how much he thinks of such things. We were not the only ones either, for everybody wanted some of them.”

100 Years Ago: City Hall Concert for Kits

The Intelligencer November 25, 1914 (page 1)Belleville City Hall (HC00515)

“Another example of Belleville’s generosity was demonstrated at the City Hall last evening, where a fair audience gathered and listened to an excellent programme arranged by prominent local ladies in behalf of “Our Boys’ Fund” (sick or well). …  the object was to obtain money for filling kits composed of useful articles to be sent to our boys at the front, all of which are made in Canada, and made by the wives and mothers of those who are giving their lives in the country’s defence.

During the programme intermission, Mrs. C.J. Bowell exhibited and explained a generous-sized packet, the contents of which, in the way of pajamas, soldiers’ nightshirts, slippers, brushes, even to face-cloths, were a revelation to all.”

100 Years Ago: Nurses Pack Hospital Supplies

The Intelligencer November 27, 1914 (page 7)

“A large and valuable box of specially selected and prepared Hospital supplies and comforts, packed under the skilled supervision of Miss Greene, Miss Falkiner, and other nurses, has been forwarded from Belleville to the Queen’s Canadian Military Hospital at Shorncliffe, through Sir Frederick Williams-Taylor, of the Bank of Montreal, who arranged for free transporation.”

100 Years Ago: 22,000 Canadians on Manoeuvres

The Intelligencer November 28, 1914 (page 2)

“Twenty-two Thousand Canadians Perform at Salisbury; a Splendid Spectacle. …  For the first time the whole Canadian division is out on manoeuvres, which will prove a most welcome change to the keen spirits who, for some time, have been eager to get busy at a real kind of drill which is necessary before they are fit for the front.”

100 Years Ago: War Delays Track, But Not Santa Claus

The Intelligencer November 29, 1914 (page 2)

“G.T.R. Forced to Suspend Track-Laying Operations …  The work will have to be held up completely until a new supply of steel can be secured. It is understood that a large consignment of metal is at present en route to this country from England. …  owing to war conditions, it was delayed.”

[Note:  G.T.R. = Grand Trunk Railway]

The Intelligencer November 29, 1914 (page 7)

“The war has not frightened our good old annual visitor, Santa Claus, away, for Belleville Christmas shopping has certainly begun in our stores. And “business as usual,” in the various departments of trade is quite evident. Perhaps the war conditions have modified somewhat the preparations for this big festival of the year; but investigation would show that the large stores are very much in the same state of preparedness as they were at this time last year. …  you will begin to wonder if there is not perhaps more of the Christmas spirit abroad than ordinarily is the case.

Anxiety and suffering in homes that have now a vacant chair–the old-time tenant of which is perhaps on the Plains of Salisbury … Thoughts of the suffering and misery across the waters will make Christmas all the more near and dear to Canadians. There will be a meaning to the day it has never held before. And with the increased sentiment will come a wiser practical distribution of little remembrances.”