Extracts from the News

Fergus Welcomes back the 153rd Battalion

Toronto World published Wednesday, September 17, 1919

Wednesday, September 17, 1919

Transcribed by: marc


Village is En Fete on Occasion of Visit of a Thousand Returned Men.
Special to The Toronto World.

Guelph, Sept. 16. - The village of Fergus is en fete today on the occasion of the civic welcome to the members of the 153rd Battalion who are here nearly 1000 strong. The committee in charge of affairs have left nothing undone to make the welcome the biggest event in the history of the village. From every part of the county came khaki-clad men this morning by train, motor car and vehicles of every kind. The first big event, of the day was at noon, when the returned men became the guests of the Women’s Patriotic League of Fergus at dinner in Victoria Rink. Following the dinner, a big parade formed at the bowling green and marched thru the principal streets to Victoria Park, where the afternoon program was held.

The old 153rd made a splendid appearance as they swung thru the streets and they were cheered to the echo. The parade was in command of Lieut.-C.: Pritchard, and besides the men of the 153rd there were veterans of other wars in the procession. Among them was Sergt. Henry John., nearly 90 years of age, a veteran of the Crimean war, and who has had a long military record in India. There were several veterans of the Fenian Raid of 1866.

Trooping the Colors.

The colors of the 153rd, which have been reposing in St. Andrews Church; since the battalion went overseas, were taken out this afternoon and trooped at Victoria, Park. Following the ceremony, there was a program of speeches. Hon. Hugh Guthrie, W. A Clark. M.P. for North Wellington, and Warden Howes spoke; A feature of the reception was the presentation to the Fergus soldiers of a medal and $10 in gold by the Women’s Patriotic League A similar presentation to the Nichol township soldiers was made by the Women’s League of that township. Fergus boys, to the number of over 80, enlisted in the Battalion, a number of whom made the supreme sacrifice.

The celebration in honor of the soldiers will last two days. A baseball tournament, in which Fergus, Guelph, Palmerston, Elora and Belwood have teams, began today, and a big program of sports has been arranged for Wednesday. Three bands - Elora. Fergus and Guelph Jazz are supplying the music for the reception.