City Council meetings were held less frequently during the summer months. This didn’t keep the Councils of Port Arthur and Fort William from getting some work done.

August 2: Port Arthur:



More letters are received by Port Arthur regarding lighting and telephone service at the Gresley Park camp, where the 52nd Battalion was training. The Gresley Park camp site was established in May but still needed some work. The City would later also provide light and telephone services for various other wartime organizations.

August 2: Port Arthur:


Council agrees to pay for the installation of electric lighting at Gresley Park. This would be to the benefit of the Y.M.C.A., which also had facilities at the training camp.

August 2: Port Arthur:


The next piece of business was to agree to sponsor telephone services at the Gresley Park camp, as supported by the Utilities Commission. Telephone service in Port Arthur and Fort William had been available for more than a decade at this time, but it was not nearly as universal a service as we think of it today.



August 10: Fort William:


Fort William council receives a letter from the Northern Engineering Supply & Company (NESCO), requesting military protection for their facility. The company was “engaged in making high explosive shells.” NESCO, which had been founded in 1906, manufactured 25 lb shells during the war, before returning to their normal business of heating systems and elevators. The company later also manufactured munitions during the Second World War, and continued operations into the 21st century.

August 10: Port Arthur:


The communications to the Federal Government from Fort William and Port Arthur regarding alien enemies  seem to have been received. This letter from the Department of Justice was unfortunately not kept, so we are not sure what suggestions were made.

August 10: Port Arthur:


While this letter was not kept by Port Arthur City Council, we do know that this fund was sponsored by the Overseas Club, a London-based association that is still operating today (as the Royal Over-Seas League.) Funds were organized in several Commonwealth countries to raise money for aircraft.

This period is also when aircraft were being heavily used for war for the first time. For more information on this topic, visit the Northwestern Ontario Aviation Heritage Centre.

August 10: Port Arthur:


More lighting and telephones to be installed at Gresley Park.

August 10: Port Arthur:


The Port Arthur Patriotic Association recommends here that Council provide funds to support local Italians. Italians in Canada may have been treated with suspicion during the first part of the war, as Italy had traditionally been allied with Germany and Austria-Hungary, but when Italy entered the war in May 1915 it was as an ally to Britain. It was now politically safe for Council and other organizations to provide relief to Italian residents.

August 16: Port Arthur:


Local Italians were also officially given permission to work in the agriculture sector, in this telegram from the Federal Superintendent of Immigration. One of the reasons why relief funds were so needed was that local British citizens would be reluctant to hire “foreigners.” In part, this was based on fear of sabotage by men whose loyalties lay with Britain’s enemies, but it also stemmed from the ordinary racism and xenophobia that was too often not contradicted by local leaders.

August 16: Port Arthur:



The City Clerk of Toronto shared with Port Arthur their plans to support enlisted City of Toronto employees; this prompts Port Arthur to make a similar agreement. Port Arthur employees would receive an Allowance equivalent to the difference between their regular salary and their War Pay, up to $1000 per year, provided they have worked for the City for at least one year prior to enlisting.

This is a much more measured plan than the resolutions made a year earlier, immediately after the start of the war, by both Port Arthur and Fort William to support enlisted employees. More information on this matter can be found on the August 1914 page.


August 30: Port Arthur:



Here, the Port Arthur Finance Committee issues its report on the Field Kitchen for the 52nd Battalion, finally authorizing the payment. The text reads:

“Whereas the Militia Authorities have established a Camp for the training of soldiers in this City.

“And Whereas the 52nd Battalion is at present in training here.

“And Whereas a request has been made in the Cities of Port Arthur and Fort William to jointly furnish a four wheeled Field Kitchen at a cost of approximately $1200.

“And Whereas the City of Fort William has offered to contribute half the cost of same contingent on Port Arthur paying the other portion.

“Therefore be it resolved: That the Treasurer is hereby authorized to issue a cheque for $600.00 being one-half the cost of the Camp Kitchen and that the Finance Committee be and are hereby requested to arrange with the City of Fort William for the immediate purchase of same, and that a copy of this resolution be sent to Lieut. Col. Hay, O.C., C.E.F., 52nd Battalion, and the City of Fort William.”

The Field Kitchen can now be purchased.