Whether you walk, or drive through Manchester New Hampshire’s neighborhoods, it is impossible to not become aware of the many statues, markers and commemoratives (such as named parks or buildings) dedicated to its military heroes. With Memorial Day (May 26, 2014) quickly approaching, it is timely for me to focus on some of these.
Who shall chide us, if we in like spirit set apart one day in every year to twine our wreaths for our dead who died in battle; died not for aggrandizement by aggressive warfare; but for the preservation of national life and liberty? Who shall chide us if we pause one hour in a year to read the inscriptions on their monuments, or to drop a tear upon “nameless” graves? Not because we love them more than the rest of our dead, but because we also love the land for which they died. [Memorial Day Oration, City Hall, Dover NH by Rev. Leander S. Coan, May 26, 1876].
Besides the larger statues and monuments, there are a number of smaller plaques that have been placed in “squares” or on public plots of land within the city limits of Manchester, New Hampshire, that we can call “Military Squares.”
In order to fully document them, first it is necessary to list them, which I will try to do with this story. If you are aware of others, or are aware of Manchester men and women who have lost their lives while in military service, please contact me, or leave a message here.
My goal is to put a human face on the cold granite, and the shiny brass markers–so that these commemoratives will be better appreciated and honored. As I post stories about one of our brave soldiers, I will make every attempt to include personal photographs and documents. If you, my readers, have some to contribute, I hope you will share. I am including genealogies, so that their familial origin can be better known.
As I post each new story about someone from the following list, I will link it back to this main blog story. This entire work is in response to a request by Don Pinard, Chief of Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Division, Department of Public Works in Manchester, New Hampshire. I give him full credit for the idea, as he wants to create a memorial on the official city web site to honor these fallen. Any blog stories about the “Military Squares” that I write here were created as a volunteer for that project. Therefore specific information written for these memorial posts may be used by the City of Manchester, and its representatives, both for current and future use on its web site, as long as credit is given for any creative work (facts themselves cannot be copyrighted), and also credit given to any photographers if applicable.
The “Military Squares” program itself began in 1940 honoring two men from World War 1, the plaques being placed near where each of the fallen heroes grew up. The first ordinance read: “City of Manchester In the Year One Thousand Nine Hundred and Forty. AN ORDINANCE Establishing Bernard B. Barry Square.
BE IT ORDAINED, by the Board of Mayor and Alderman of the City of Manchester, as follows:
Sect. 1. 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.”
Sect. 2. This Ordinance shall take effect upon its passage and all Ordinances or parts of Ordinances inconsistent therewith are hereby repealed.”
It was passed by the Board of Mayor and Alderman on 1 October 1940 and signed by the Mayor, Dr. Damas Caron. The notice was published in two newspapers, The Leader and L’Avenir National in October of 1940.
At about the same time, and through the same process another designation took place, “That the Square located in West Manchester, where Granite and Main Streets intersects and commonly referred to as Granite Square, be officially designated and known …as “Herman F. Little Square.” This document was approved on 1 October 1940.
Additional Military Squares were added following World War 2, all passed on 16 December 1947 and signed by Mayor Joseph T. Benoit as follows:
— “That the square located in West Manchester, where South Main, Boynton, and Woodbury Streets intersects, be officially designated … as “Francis P. Lally Square.” [approved 20 February 1945, signed by Mayor Josaphat T. Benoit
— That the westerly approach to the Queen City Bridge, where Queen City Avenue and Second Street intersects, be officially designated … as “Roger F.J. Raymond Square.” [approved
— “That the square located where Massabesic Street, Hayward Street, Candia Road, and Mammoth Road intersects, be official designated … as Robert W. Lewis Square.”
— “That the square located where Amory Street, Montgomery Street and Bartlett Street intersects, be officially designated … as Joseph H.W. Roux Square.”
— “That the square located where Union Street, Willow Street, Shasta Street, and Baker Street intersects, be officially designated… as “Roland A. Metivier Square.”
— “That the square located where Amory Street, North Main Street, and Coolidge Avenue intersects be officially designated and hereinafter known on all official records…as “Maurice J. St. Germain Square.”
The next Military Square was designated by an ordinance approved 18 October 1949 and signed by Mayor Josaphat T. Benoit: “That the name “Bernard C. Mullen” be and the same is hereby bestowed on the Parker Street Bridge, so called.
In 1950 an ordinance was passed “Establishing John J. Sullivan Square in East Manchester… where Massabesic Street and Spruce Street intersects. This ordinance passed 4 April 1950 and was signed by Mayor Josaphat T. Benoit.
In 1951 another ordinance was passed, as follows: “That the Square located in East Manchester where Valley Street and Massabesic Street intersects, be officially designated and known on all official records and maps of the City of Manchester as “Roger B. Cote Square.” This was passed 20 March 1951 and signed by Josaphat T. Benoit, Mayor.
In 1955 an ordinance stated, “That the square located where South Maple Street, Vinton Street and South Willow Street intersects, be officially designated and known…as “Arthur M. St. Pierre Square.” This was approved on 20 March 1956 and signed by Josaphat T. Benoit, Mayor.
BARRY SQUARE: Pvt. Bernard B. Barry [World War 1]
COTE SQUARE: Pvt. First Class Roger B. Cote [Korean War]
HELMICH SQUARE: Col. Gerald R. Helmich, Pilot USAF [Vietnam War]
HICKMAN SQUARE: Harold W. Hickman, Sr. & Harold W. Hickman Jr., [World War 1 & 2]
JUTRAS SQUARE: 1st Lt. William H. Jutras [World War 1, Died of Wounds, DSC]
LALLY SQUARE: Francis P. Lally S.K. 2/c USN [World War 2]
LITTLE SQUARE: Pvt. Herman F. Little, Company B, 103rd Inf, 26th Div [WW1, Chateau Thierry]
LEWIS SQUARE: Sergeant Robert W. Lewis [World War 2 training mission]
METIVIER SQUARE: Staff Sergeant Roland A. Metivier [World War 2, Lost At Sea]
MULLEN SQUARE [aka Mullen Bridge] Corporal Bernard C. Mullen [WW2 D-Day Invasion]
RAYMOND SQUARE: Roger Raymond, Aviation Cadet, US Army [training plane crash]
ROUX SQUARE: S/Sgt Joseph W. Roux [WW2 gunner KIA, Bay of Biscay]
ST. GERMAINE SQUARE: Pvt. Maurice St. Germain [World War 2, Hickam Field]
ST. PIERRE SQUARE: S/Sgt. Arthur M. St. Pierre [WW2 Flying Fortress gunner, KIA over Germany]
SULLIVAN SQUARE : S/Sgt. John J. Sullivan [World War 2]
======CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR AWARDEES======
========MANCHESTER NH PARKS AND PLAZAS========
BRONSTEIN PARK, located Beech Street. Formerly called Hanover Square. Renamed to honor Ben Richard Bronstein who died Feb 27, 1942. A statue/monument honors those who served in the Spanish-American War.
HARRIMAN PARK, located Hall & Lake Ave. Memorial to Lt. Lynn H. Harriman, died May 31, 1918 France.
LAFAYETTE PARK, located at Coolidge & Amory Streets. Honors the French military leader, Marquis de Lafayette b 1757, d. 1834, ally and hero of the American Revolution.
PULASKI PARK, located Pine & Bridge Streets, renamed to honor Count Casimir Pulaski, 1749-1780. First called Tremont Common, dedicated in 1933 to Brigadier General Pulaski of the American Revolution.
STANTON PLAZA, dedicated between 1985-1987 to honor former mayor Charles R. Stanton. The Grieving Gold Star Mother statue dedicated here in 2011.
HENRY J. SWEENEY PARK – Pvt. Henry Sweeney, first soldier to die during World War I, from Manchester NH
VETERANS PARK, located at Elm & Merrimack Streets. Originally named Park Square, later known as Merrimack Common and Merrimack Square, and Monument Square. Contains a “Soldier’s Monument (Civil War)” placed there in 1878-1879. The park name was changed in 1985 to Veteran’s Park with the dedication of four granite blocks representing veterans who took part in WW 1, II, Korean and Vietnam. In 1991 a monument for POW-MIA soldiers was added here.
VICTORY PARK, located between Concord and Amherst, Pine and Chestnut streets.
–The monument and “Victory” statue was originally dedicated after World War I, but now is dedicated to all the Manchester veterans and current military personnel who have answered the country’s call to arms. The Rene Gagnon Monument was dedicated here in May 1995.
========MONUMENTS & PLAQUES========
=======BUILDINGS AND LANDMARKS==========
GOSSLER PARK SCHOOL, dedicated January 20, 1957 in memory of Henry Gossler, Jr., 1896-1918, killed in action at the Argonne Forest, France during World War 1.
GRENIER FIELD formerly known as the Manchester Airport, currently known as the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. When the airport was taken over by the United States Government prior to World War II, it was named for 2nd Lieut. Jean Donat Grenier. He was born in 1909 in Manchester, New Hampshire, the son of Alphonse and Ursula Grenier. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire, and was killed in a Utah plane crash (on 16 Feb 1934) while making a survey of a new mail route for the army.
JUTRAS POST AMERICAN LEGION, located at Boutwell Street Manchester NH. Named for Lt. William H. Jutras.
=========BROWN AVE/INDUSTRIAL PARK STREETS==============
========NOT YET SPECIFICALLY RECOGNIZED========
Killed in action in the Argonne Forest, 25 October 1918 (WWI). Pvt. Thomas Daudier (1889-1918), Co. H, 325th Infantry, 163rd Brigade, 82nd Division. . Buried Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Manchester NH.
Killed in Action on the USS Utah at Pearl Harbor: Seaman 1st Class David Lloyd Crossett 1917-1941; shot twice by a Japanese fighter as he headed to the crow’s nest of the USS Utah.
Killed In Action at Pearl Harbor: Sea1c. Joseph “Joe” Rozmus, Class of 1939 Central High School. He was a Navy seaman aboard the USS Arizona, was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Killed in Action at Pearl Harbor: Joseph Jedrysik, son of Antoni & Aniela (Wozniacka) Jedrysik, enlisted March 6, 1941 PVT 17 AAF Airbase Group, Air Corps, born May 28, 1917, died Dec 7, 1941.
Manchester NH’s Casualty of D-Day: Sgt. T/4 Charles William Blanchard (1922-1942)
New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Manchester — My compiled list of those who died in service, regardless of how or where during the Great War era (1914-1920) who were from Manchester or connected with the city. Details and many photographs.
New Hampshire’s World War I History – My overview of New Hampshire during World War One, the women and men who served and died. Many biographies and photographs.
New Hampshirites Who Gave Their All (Hillsborough County NH)
New Hampshire World War II Casualties
U.S. Military Fatal Casualties of the Korean War for Home-State-of-Record: New Hampshire
Military History of New Hampshire, by C.E. Potter, 1861
American Memorials Directory (New Hampshire)