Potatoes

20-26 October 1916: The saga of John Sugar Beet Jones

The chief magistrate’s sugar beeting gave Kitchener’s two newspapers ample fodder. “Just how the boys of the [118th] Battalion came to the belief that Mayor Hett was opposed to their wintering in Kitchener is difficult to establish,” said The Daily Telegraph. Previously, Hett didn’t want other cities’ battalions here, and called out local shopkeepers who […] Read more…

14-20 July 1916: The boys do their own laundry

Life at Camp Borden Heat and dust continued to bedevil Borden’s battalion boys. After long days training and marching, keeping clean was the hardest thing to do.  This seemed especially so for those who were used to someone else doing their washing. “Mothers, sisters and friends of the 118th boys, if you could see them […] Read more…

02-08 June 1916: Welcome to Hurontobercanadunardrenomaagnoleohydro City

George Rumpel (10 May 1850 – 05 June 1916) “He remained warm-hearted, fair and diplomatic. His employees liked him for this and because wealth did not deprive him of his genial, companionable attribute. Without ostentation, he was considerate of and helpful to those in unfortunate circumstances.” Berliners were rocked by the sudden death of former […] Read more…

07-13 Apr 1916: Of plug hats and tweed caps

240 men in three weeks The local military recruitment committee’s aggressive “700 men in three weeks” campaign limped to an end. The 118th Battalion’s numbers stood at 735 men—short of the desired 1000. The previous 21 days’  tonal shifts seemed to track to the waves of interest in the crusade. It began with optimism when […] Read more…

11-17 Feb 1916: And the band played on

11 February: “Should we not consult the people?” Citizens who wanted to discuss changing Berlin, Ontario’s name jammed Council Chambers. Organized by the Board of Trade and some city councillors, the room was heavily lopsided—some hinted seeded—for change. A draft resolution was conveniently on hand. In amongst the requisite whereases and a therefore, its supporters […] Read more…