The 228th Battalion from Northern Ontario
Friday, February 09, 1917
Transcribed by: M. I. Pirie
MEN FROM NORTH IN NEED OF SOX
Soldiers From Northern Ontario Should Receive Donations Without Delay
HAVE FEW FRIENDS
Bushmen and Indians Leave to Do Their Bit Very Shortly
The 228th Battalion, from Northern Ontario, which was recruited in North Bay last April and went to Camp Borden in July 900 strong, and has been quartered in Givens Street School since November, expects to leave the city for an eastern point within a few days.
Owing to the short time this battalion was in North Bay no ladies' auxiliary was organized, and it is in urgent need of socks and other comforts for the men who come from the district of New Ontario, a district of 500 miles by a width of 250 miles. After losing 200 men by wastage at Camp Borden the battalion regained that number since coming to Toronto and is now over 900 strong. Seventy-one per cent of the men are Canadian-born and about 200 are French-Canadians and Roman Catholics. The Presbyterians number 300, Anglicans 275 and other denominations about 200. There are only 25 per cent married men; the rest are single.
Are Northern Men
Drawn from that wide area there are hunters, trappers and guides, lumbermen, miners, prospectors, railway men and Hudson Bay Company employees. There are 43 Cree Indians from Moose Factory, on the Hudson Bay, who walked 250 miles to Cochrane, the nearest station. Many of them are married and their wives are now in Elk Lake and Bear Island. One squaw with her papoose on her back made the journey of 250 miles on foot to Cochrane. None of these Indians understood English before joining the battalion, and are among the best disciplined men in the ranks.
Very many of the men are without friends, and a number of ladies in the different churches, hearing of the urgent need of socks, are collecting them, with money to provide some comforts and a lunch for the men when leaving Toronto.
Donations may be sent to the barracks at Givens Street School or to Mrs. C. P. Smith, 112 Crescent road. The time is short, and it is confidently expected that Toronto will be true to her traditions of liberality and patriotism and will send away her adopted battalion in good heart and provided with the necessary footgear.
Two of the men while in Toronto have suffered from frost bite owing to the lack of proper stockings.