An unassuming plaque sits at the corners of Hall Street and Lake Avenue in Manchester New Hampshire, proclaiming:
PVT. BERNARD B. BARRY
Co. E. — 309th INF. 78 DIV.
KILLED IN ACTION OCT. 16, 1918
IN THE ARGONNE FOREST
But Private Bernard B. Barry was more than simply a name on a sign. He was a flesh-and-blood Manchester resident who gave up his life for his country during World War I.
Bernard Bradley Barry, was the son of James M. & Louisa (Murphy) Barry. His parents were born and married in the Berkshire area of Massachusetts, removing to Manchester, New Hampshire by at least 1887 when James is shown as an ‘engineer’ working for the Union, the local newspaper that would later become the well-known “Union Leader.” They lived in a house at 371 Central Street, probably in the house standing there today.
Bernard B. Barry was born 26 February 1893 in Manchester, New Hampshire, as the 6th and last child born. All of his siblings predeceased him at an early age. No doubt Bernard attended the local Manchester schools to receive at least a basic education and was literate, for in the 1910 U.S. Census he is shown as a printer’s apprentice, probably to his father who was a pressman for the newspaper. By June of 1917 when Bernard signed his World War I draft registration card, he was working as a fireman for the City of Manchester.
At the young age of 24, he served his country as a private in Co 3 309th infantry, 78th Infantry Division. His division took part in several events and battles of World War I, including The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, also known as the Maas-Argonne Offensive and the Battle of the Argonne Forest. It was at this time, on October 16, 1918 that Bernard B. Barry lost his life in France, first considered missing in action, and then in November records listed as “killed in action.” On that day his parents also lost their only living child.
Bernard B. Barry’s name was listed in various newspapers, one in particular, as “American Army Casualties on Liberty’s Battlefield.” In October of 1940 the Mayor and Board of Alderman of Manchester NH passed an ordinance that stated: “That the Square located in East Manchester, where Lake Ave., Hall and Massabesic Streets intersects and commonly referred to as Gilman’s Corner, be officially designated and known on all Official Records and Maps of the City of Manchester as “Bernard B. Barry Square.” In addition, a small monument was placed in St. Joseph Cemetery in Manchester, New Hampshire.
—– PARTIAL GENEALOGY OF Bernard B. Barry —–
John Michael Barry, son of James, b. abt 1815 in Ireland, d. 7 Apr 1902, 4 days after his wife, in Middlefield MA [Pittsfield recs] ; He married Kate Wyman/Wigmore/Widmore, dau of Michael Wigmore. She was b. abt 1831 in Ireland and d. 3 April 1902 in Middlefield MA [Pittsfield MA recs], age 71. They were buried St. Joseph Cemetery Pittsfield MA
1870 US Census > MA > Berkshire > West Stockbridge
Barry, James 45 M W Works in on bcd? Ire
Barry, Kale/Kate 40 F W Keeping House
Barry, James 11 M W Attend school MA
Barry, Mary 9 F W attend School MA
Barry, Margaret 7 F W attends school MA
Barry, Kate, 5 F W attends school MA
Barry, John 3/12 M W at home MA
Children of John Michael & Kate (Wyman/Wigmore) Barry:
1. +James Michael Barry, b. Sep 1860
2. Mary Ellen Barry, b. 1869; m. 21 April 1889 in Pittsfield, Berkshire MA to John Thomas Broderick, son of Daniel & Mary
3. Margaret E. “Maggie E.” Barry, b. 1863 MA, baptized 8 Nov 1873 at Great Barrington MA; m. 13 Nov 1884 at Hinsdale MA to Thomas J. Fleming, son of John & Bridget (Lalley) Fleming
4. Kate “Katie” Barry, b. 1867; m. 8 Oct 1891 in Hinsdale MA to John Henry Mayette, son of John & Delia/Adelia (Bunmnell) Mayette
5. John Michael Barry, b. 1871 Stockbridge MA; m. 26 Oct 1904 to Margaret C. Crowley, dau of Michael & Jane (Powers) Crowley.
James Michael Barry, son of John & Kate (Wyman/Wigmore) Barry b. Sep 1860 Barrington MA, d. 11 Oct 1942 Manchester NH; m. 11 Jan 1883 in Hinsdale MA to Louisa Murphy, dau of James & Catherine (?) Murphy [MA marriage records]. She b. Oct 1862, d. 11 Oct 1942, buried Francis section of (old) St. Joseph Cemetery in Manchester NH. [they died on the same day per tombstones] At the time of his marrige he was a “fireman” then later according to Manchester NH census records, he was an engineer and a pressman for a Manchester NH newspaper, what is now the Union Leader.
1887 Manchester City (NH) Directory
Barry, James M. engineer, Union Office, house 111 Laurel
1890 Manchester City (NH) Directory
Barry, James M. engineer, Union office, house 455 Central
1891 Manchester City (NH) Directory
Barry, James M. engineer, Union, 50 Hanover, h. 371 Central
1917 Manchester City (NH) Directory
Barry, James M. (Louise) Pressman, Union-Leader, h 371 Central
1900 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 371 Central Street
Barry, James M. Head W M Sep 1860 39 married 18 yrs MA Ire Ire pressman
Barry, Louise M. wife WF Oct 1862 37 m 18 yrs 4 ch 2 living MA Ire Ire
Barry, James son W M March 1884 16 single MA MA MA
Barry, Bernard son W M Feb 1894 6 single NH MA MA
1910 United States Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 371 Central Street
Barry, James M. Head M W 50 m1x 27 yrs MA Ire Ire Pressman Newspaper
Barry, Louisa A. wife F W 50 m1x 27 yrs 5 ch 1 living MA Ire Ire
Barry, Bernard B. son M W 16 single NH MA MA Apprentice Printer, Newspaper
U.S. World War I. Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
Bernard Bradley Barry, age 24
371 Central Street Manchester NH
Born: February 26, 1893
natural born in Manchester NH
occupation Fireman, City of Manchester
employed by City of Manchester
[signed June 1917]
New Hampshire Death and Burial Records, Index 1854-1949
Bernard B. Barry
Death Place: U.S. Air Force, France
Father Name: James M. Barry
Mother Name: Louise A. Murphy
Comments: Death Probably WW2 Locality
Book: Soldiers of the Great War, Volume 2; compiled by W.M. Haulsee, A.C. Doyle and F.G. Howe; Soldiers Record Publishing Association, Washington D.C.; page 231 New Hampshire
Killed in Action > Privates
BARRY, Bernard B., Manchester
30 November 1918 Boston Herald (Boston MA)
Missing in Action: Barry, Priv. Bernard B., 371 Central Street, Manchester NH
Memo: General Headquarters, A.E.F., April 11, 1919, No. 2385-S. Dated April 11th. The Adjutant General of the Army, Washington…
Private Bernard B. Barry, 1,748,696 Company E, 309th Infantry, K I A October 17, 1918, reported C C 358. Reference first Indorsement March 6, 1919.
Daily Kennebec (Maine) Journal, November 30, 1918, page 10 / Lowell Sun (MA) February 24, 1919 / Fitchburg Daily Sentinel (MA) February 24, 1919, page 9 [American Army Casualties on Liberty's Battlefield"
1940 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 371 Central Street
Barry, James M. Head M 80 married b. great Barrington MA
Barry, Louise A. wife F 79 b. Becket MA
Children of James M. & Louise (Murphy) Barry:
1. Walter Barry, b abt 1886, d. 10 Oct 1886 in NH, age 9 months.
2. Agnes K. Barry, b abt 1889, d. 30 July 1893, age 4 in Manchester NH
3. Katie Agnes Barry, b. abt 1890, d. 31 May 1893, age 3 NH
4. John Barry, b. abt 1898, d. 30 Nov 1898 in Manchester NH, age 7 months 10 days
5. James F. Barry, b. 4 June 1903 in Manchester NH; d. 24 July 1905 Manchester NH of tubercular meningitis at age 2 yrs 20 days. [parents living 172 Chestnut Street]
6. Bernard B. Barry, b. 26 February 1893 in Manchester NH; d. 17 Oct 1918 in France. [see above]
Manchester NH: World War I Veterans Exemption Database (Manchester residents who had served in World War 1 were eligible to receive a veterans’ tax credit which was applied to their property tax bill).
Giles Milton: Surviving History (Blog) – “The Lost Battalion”
[Editor's note: My thanks to Kevin Cronin for first publishing a photograph of the City of Manchester plaque dedicated to Bernard B. Barry, thus inspiring this research].