New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Lisbon

The Lisbon NH World War I monument sits on
the lawn at 48 Dartmouth College Road in front
of the Shared Ministry’s White Church.

In 1910 the town of Lisbon in Grafton County New Hampshire had a population of 2,460 people. Following World War I, and similar to other small New Hampshire towns, in 1920 that census would drop to 2,288 (-7%).  The number of citizenry did not limit the town’s sacrifice. Lisbon sent its full quota to serve in the military, along with several young women who served in the nursing corps.

My thanks to Andrea M. Fitzgerald of the Lisbon Area Historical Society for her help with this project. 

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New Hampshire World War I Military: Heroes of Concord

I have probably spent more time writing stories about Concord New Hampshire’s WWI service than any other location in our state. I still have one more to tell.

Here I describe noble but tragic lives–narratives of Concord men and women who “made the ultimate sacrifice,” during World War I. Many of them died from the influenza pandemic that unexpectedly snuffed out the breath of the young and healthy. The research was challenging for me, as the primary evidence of their service does not exist in one place, and was compiled  and woven into a coherent chronicle only with a great, concerted effort. My goal is for the not only the families of these fallen, but complete strangers, to connect with them, feel proud of them, and be grateful and honored by their service as I am.  The WWI Centennial website states that “a man is only missing if he is forgotten.”  Let us not forget. Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Brigadier General Charles Doyen of Concord

Brig. General Charles A. Doyen from the Boston Globe of 26 April 1918

Much as been written about Brigadier General Charles Doyen of the United States Marine Corp. I will try not to repeat what other people have stated about him, but rather mention the more personal events that are not as well known.

Brigadier General Charles A. Doyen had a long and varied career, but perhaps is best known for having commanded the first detachment of Marines to land in France during World War I. He also was the first person to receive the Navy’s Distinguished Service Award. It had been newly created and was posthumously awarded to him on 7 March 1919 at Washington D.C.. Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Sergt. Herbert H. Bell of Concord

I have written about the men and nurses of Concord New Hampshire who served in various branches of the U.S. military during World War I. In this article I will focus on Herbert H. Bell.  He  was born 5 May 1887 on 5 May 1887 in Ellenburg, Clinton Co., New York, son of Peter & Sophia (Lafontaine) Bell. Peter Bell died in 1899 and his wife Sophia remarried in 1909 to Henry “John” Rollo. Herbert H. Bell had siblings: Irwin, Ella, Cora, Augustus, Fredrick and William. Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: MM1 Francis “Frank” Beggs USN of Concord

U.S.S. Dixie, Naval Review, Oct 1912, from a Glass Negative. National Photo Company Collection (Library of Congress)

I must admit that the elusive Frank Beggs was one of my more difficult research projects. All I had was a name on the Concord and New Hampshire Rolls of Honor. His name does not appear on the New Hampshire Adjutant General’s List of WWI Casualties. Finally after an exhaustive search I discovered a death certificate.   Frank Beggs was born “Francis Beggs” on 19 April 1871 in Concord New Hampshire, son of Irish immigrants Michael Begg & Ann Farley.

In the 1880 Census the family is shown living in Peterborough NH with siblings including Delia, James, Martin, Anna, Malachi, Thomas and Joseph. [Editor’s note: recently I wrote a story about Frank’s niece, Anne Beggs, daughter of his brother Martin Beggs]. Continue reading

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