Page 1

Elmira and Ayr Contribute to the Patriotic Fund (October 1, 21 1914)

After council deliberations, it was decided that Elmira would start its own branch of the Patriotic Fund. Much like Hespeler, the town took significantly longer to form a Patriotic branch of their own when compared to the larger city centers such as Berlin and Waterloo. On 22 October, an Elmira Signet article informed the citizens of Elmira of the nature of the Patriotic Fund and how every individual was expected to commit fully to the cause.

This was also the first day of campaigning for donations. As such, the town of Elmira hosted a concert at the Beethoven Club.  Over eighteen different bands and singers performed at the event. A total of $93.00 was raised. This was their first step toward reaching a total of $5,000, which was accomplished on 12 November 1914.

In comparison, Ayr hosted its own concert on 13 September. The Citizens’ Band raised a sum of $32.75. The majority of this donation went to the Red Cross for the purchasing of materials. Ayr’s and Elmira’s contributions took time to grow, since their residents were preoccupied with the fall harvest. As the war dragged on, contributions from these areas grew.

(“Patriotic Concert,” Ayr News, 1 October 1914; “The Patriotic Relief Fund,” Hespeler Herald, 22 October 1914)

elmiraayrcontribute2_25 (1) elmiraayrcontribute3_25


Berlin’s Population (22 October 1914)

On 22 October, Berlin announced during its City Council meeting that it had reached a population of over 19,000. Over 718 individuals had moved to the town since 1913, the East Ward seeing the largest increase of 420. It was reported that over $36,000 of additional taxes had been collected during that year. The size of Berlin would make it the leading contributor of the Waterloo Region for the various war effort campaigns and contributions. As the industrial city grew, Berlin residents strove more and more to aid in the war effort.

(“Berlin’s Population,” Berlin Daily Telegraph, 22 October 1914)



Women’s Patriotic League (Mothers League) (22 October 1914)

One month after starting its knitting campaign for Hespeler volunteers, the women of Hespler turned their attention to other causes as well. With the rising concern about the plight of the Belgians, the Belgian Relief Fund in Berlin had been formed. Hespeler women also set out to raise money for their own Belgian Relief Fund.

The Hespeler Women also addressed the need for hospital vehicles for the European theater. Hespeler had collected a total of $154.21 for the Hospital Ship Fund since August. As a result of the nationwide campaign, the Canadian war office allocated $125,000 to procure ambulances of which half would be deployed in France and the other half in England. An additional $160,000 would be spent on equipping a naval hospital vessel. In recognition for the Canadian women who contributed to the fund the ship was to be titled “Canadian Women’s Hospital.” The women of Hespeler and Waterloo Region could take personal pride in this announcement.

Ambulances played a vital role in transporting wounded soldiers from the frontlines of France to the coast. From there hospital ships transferred the injured across the English Channel to the safety of England.

(Picture is of RMS Llandovery Castle, one of five Canadian hospital ships that served in the First World War, “Women’s Patriotic League,” Hespeler Herald, 22 October 1914)