The ordinance approved 20 February 1945 proclaims: “That the square located in West
Manchester, where South Main, Boynton, and Woodbury Streets intersects, be officially designated … as “Francis P. Lally Square.” The document was signed by Mayor Josaphat T. Benoit, and a sign was duly prepared and erected with ceremony.
The plaque officially reads: “Francis P. Lally S.K.2/c U.S.N.. Escort Carrier Liscombe Bay. Born Aug 26, 1919. Died Nov. 24, 1943. Off Gilbert Islands.”
Francis Peter “Pat” Lally, born August 26, 1919 in Manchester NH, was the son and eighth child of Irish immigrants Patrick J. & Annie A. (Joyce) Lally. He grew up at 32 Boynton Street [later his parents lived on C Street], graduated from West High School, and went on to attend St. Anselm College. Somewhere along the way he held a part-time job at Sully’s Superette on South Main Street [the store in Manchester, not Goffstown]. He enlisted in the United States Navy in January of 1942, a month after Pearl Harbor, at the age of 22. Immediately after training in Newport Rhode Island he was shipped out.
Eighteen months later, in the summer of 1943 he was allowed to return home to Manchester, New Hampshire on leave. Once leave was over, in August of 1943 he reported, as Storekeeper Second Class, to USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56), a Casablanca-class escort carrier. Part of Operation Galvanic, the craft was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sunk off Makin Island, in the Gilberts on 24 November 1943. There were some survivors, but Pat Lally was declared Missing in Action, and later Killed in Action. He was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.
His body was not recovered. His death was recognized on the Tablet of the Missing, in Honolulu, Hawaii. In addition to Manchester’s plaque, the Southwest Little League named a field after him [Lally Memorial Field, at 60 Harvell Street in Manchester NH].
=====PARTIAL GENEALOGY of Francis Peter Lally======
Patrick James Lally, son of Patrick & Mary (Mills) Lally, b 16 March 1874 in Ireland, d. 12 November 1954, buried St. Joseph Cemetery in Manchester NH ; m. 2 August 1904 in Manchester NH to Anne Catherine “Annie” Joyce, daughter of Peter & Barbara (?) Joyce. She b abt 1885 in Ireland, and died 18 February 1951 age 66, buried St. Joseph Cemetery. He was a shoemaker and shoe worker, G.P. Grafts/Grofts, Corner Second & Hancock [marriage]
1910 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
Patrick Lally M 34 Ireland [b abt 1876 Ire, immigrated 1896]
Ann Lally wife F 24 Ireland [b abt 1886 Ire, immigra 1901]
Martin Lally son M 3 NH
1940 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 32 Boynton Street
Lally, Patrick J. Head M W 65 married Ireland, 8th grade, tow man, shoe factory
Lally, Annie wife F W 55 married 6 yrs school, Ireland
Lally, Anna L. dau F W29 single h-1 NH
Lally, Henry P. son M W 27 single H-4 NH
Lally, Esther B. dau F W 25 S H-4 NH
Lally, Theresa B dau F W 22 single H-4 NH
Lally, Francis P. daughter [should be son] F W 20 H-4 single NH
Lally, Margaret H. dau F W 16 single H-3 NH
St. Joseph Cemetery – Lally
Children of Patrick J. & Annie A. (Joyce) Lally:
1. Mary Agnes Lally, b. 2 May 1905, d. 23 Aug 1905 Manchester NH, age 3 months 21 days of gastro enteritis.
2. Martin H. Lally, b 2 Aug 1906 Manchester NH, d. 1 January 1913 Manchester NH of broncho pneumonia, buried St. Joseph Cemetery.
3. Matilda M. Lally, b. Dec 1908, d. 30 July 1909, age 8 months 4 days.
4. Ann Loretta Lally, b abt 1911 NH; m. 12 July 1945 in Manchester NH to Daniel Christopher Sheehan, son of Daniel T. & Mary (Sullivan) Sheehan. In 1953 Manchester City Directory, they were living at 430 Auburn Street, she was listed as a nurse. In 1964 he is still at same address.
5. Henry P. Lally, b 7 June 1912 NH; d. 20 Feb 1996 buried St. Joseph Cemetery
6. Esther B. Lally, b 27 Nov 1914 NH; d. 17 June 1994, buried St. Joseph Cemetery Manchester NH
7. Theresa Bridget Lally, b. abt 1918 NH; m. 27 Oct 1947 in Manchester NH to Francis Steven Fitzgerald, son of Stephen & Mary (Ashe) Fitzgerald.
8. ***Francis P. Lally, b. August 26 1919 Manchester NH; d. 1 January 1943 Gilbert Islands
9. Margaret H. Lally, b abt 1924 NH
NOTE: I would be deeply grateful if any relatives who have more information and/or a photograph of Francis Lally would contact me through this blog.
[Editor’s Note: This article is one of several I have written at the request of Don Pinard, Department of Public Works, Chief of Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Division, City of Manchester, New Hampshire. It is a volunteer project (on my part) to better record and share the stories of the men memorialized by the city’s “Military Squares.” All the information specifically within the body of this project is shared copyright free with the City of Manchester and its representatives, with the exception of photographs provided by family or friends who still retain whatever rights conveyed to them by law.]