May 4: Port Arthur:


The Lakehead would become an important site for the manufacture of war materials, including ammunition. This note may be related to the discussion of the situation at Canadian Car & Foundry described below.


May 10: Port Arthur:


Captain J.C. Milne of the “A” Company, 28th Battalion, writes to the Port Arthur City Council requesting that the City fund a field kitchen.

Within a few weeks, it will be agreed that Port Arthur and Fort William will equally share the cost of the $450 unit.

May 19: Fort William:


This letter, sent to the Fort William City Council by the 96th Lake Superior Regiment, thanks the Council for their approval of special street railway fares – see April 1915.

May 19: Fort William:


Fort William receives the same request to share the costs of a field kitchen for the “A” Company, 28th Battalion. The Council passes a motion that they will fund the field kitchen if Port Arthur also is in agreement.

May 19: Fort William:


Also on May 9, Fort William City Council receives a letter from the local Property Owner’s Association regarding the Canada Car & Foundry plant. The concern was that the plant was not being used for manufacturing shells or other equipment to support the war effort – even that some useful machinery had been removed.

Council decides that Mayor Young will visit a number of company headquarters in Toronto and Montreal to discuss increasing operations in Fort William.

May 25: Port Arthur:


In these notes, Port Arthur City Council deals with two sets of funding to the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. A letter from Col. S.C. Young (also Mayor of Fort William at this time) concerns the grant of $500 to the 52nd Battalion. Young was briefly the commanding officer of the 52nd.

Funding for the “A” Company, 28th Battalion, field kitchen was also established. The $450 cost (just over $9,000 today) was shared equally by the Cities of Port Arthur and Fort William.


May 25: Port Arthur:


Municipalities across the province regularly corresponded to discuss matters of mutual interest. The Berlin Board of Trade here sent a letter to Port Arthur City Council requesting that they support the employment of former soldiers returning from the war.

Berlin would be re-named Kitchener in May of 1916, in an effort to distance that community from the German city of the same name.

May 25: Port Arthur:


The letter from the Berlin Board of Trade inspired this resolution made by Port Arthur City Council. The text reads:

Whereas many thousands of our Country’s best men have gone to fight our battles in the cause of national rights and freedom.

And Whereas their going involves supreme sacrifices, even life itself in many cases, thereby obligating us to them beyond all possibility of adequate repayment.

Therefore be it resolved that this City go on record as strongly in favour of making every reasonable provision for the employment of any and all men who return and do not find their former or other positions open to them.

That, to this end, the Dominion Government and the different Provincial Governments be urged, in the filling of positions, whether of the inside or outside service, to give preference to ex-service men whenever the possession of the necessary qualifications on their part warrants same and irrespective of their party allegiance.

Further that copies of this resolution be forwarded to the Dominion Government and to the different Provincial Governments and to the larger urban Municipalities throughout Canada.

This resolution looks ahead to the challenges faced by so many returning soldiers, looking for work while industries were also reducing their workforces. The lack of work for demobilized soldiers was a major influence on the significant post-war labour actions.

May 25: Fort William:


The afternoon of June 3 was declared a holiday by Fort William City Council. This was to support the Red Cross Society raising funds for their overseas efforts; Fort William citizens released from work would be able to take part in events.

May 25: Fort William:


In the same meeting, the question of an internment camp for alien enemies was considered. The Board of Trade, supported by Fort William City Council in this meeting, has decided to ask the federal government to establish an internment camp in the District of Thunder Bay.

May 25: Fort William:


Further to that discussion, another motion was passed that Council and the Board of Trade work with the superintendent of the Prison Farm to develop a report on best ways to intern alien enemies in this district.

It seems that an internment camp is being thought of by these men as something good for the region: it would mean jobs and economic development as well as being part of local defences. The lives of those affected by the internments were not valued to the same degree.

May 28: Port Arthur:


A camp was needed for the newly formed 52nd Battalion to train. The Gresley Park site was identified, and here the minutes of Port Arthur City Council describe the work to be done by the City to ready the grounds. At a cost between $400-$500 (about $8,000-$10,000 today) water, lights, and telephone would be supplied by the City.


May 28:


Finally, Port Arthur City Council deals with the unpaid accounts of the Patriotic Association. This group was formed in October 1914 to raise funds and support citizens who were disadvantaged by the war. This Association is now receiving funds from the City’s Relief Committee, which had a similar purpose.