New Hampshire’s World War I military monuments were mostly built to recognize the
soldiers and sailors who were high ranking or the first to be killed in battle from their respective cities or towns. What many do not realize is that “influenza and pneumonia killed more American soldiers and sailors during the war than did enemy weapons.”
Over the next few months I will be writing about soldiers from New Hampshire who served during “The Great War,” aka WWI, who died in battle, from wounds, from disease, and some who were wounded but lived to return home to the Unites States. All of these warriors are heroes.
The first hero of this series is Walter Thompson Drew. He was a New Hampshire native, born 15 April 1895 in Concord NH, son of Emery Moore & Carrie E. (Thompson) Drew. He married 30 Nov 1917 in Concord NH to Mildred Louise Foss.
He had one sibling, Ernest Emery Drew, b. 15 April 1895 in Concord NH and who d. 9 Dec 1953. He and his family lived in Lynn MA.
At the time of filling out his WWI Registration form in 1917, Walter T. Drew was living at 21 Beacon Street, Concord NH, a chauffeur for Hall Brothers of Concord NH. Previously he had served one year in the New Hampshire National Guard.
Pvt. Walter T. Drew served in France during WWI, with the rank of ‘Wagoner‘ in the 303rd Ammunition Train. According to one source, the 303rd ammunition train (and Wagoner Drew) was part of the 78th division. Their combat service or service in theater of operations were St. Mihiel Sept 12-16th 1918; Meuse Argonne Oct 10-Nov 9 1918; Saizerais Aug 28-Sept 11 1918; Puvenelle Sept 17-Oct 4 1918. The inscriptions on their battle streamers are [St.Mihiel] [Meuse Argonne]and[Lorraine].
On Tuesday March 25 1919, the Boston Herald was among several newspapers who listed the soldiers who had “Died of Disease,” and among them was DREW, WAGONER WALTER T., 21 Beacon Street, Concord NH.
It seems that Wagoner Walter T. Drew served in several battles, surviving them, but he died of disease in France, on 8 March 1919, at the age of 26 years. The causes of death on his certificate state nephritis, and broncho-pneumonia–no doubt he was the victim of the “Spanish Flu” or Influenza Pandemic.
A newspaper notice in the BOSTON POST, of Friday, May 21, 1920, page 29 shows a FINAL APPEAL FOR HEROES MEMORIAL. The goal, “through this fund the post hopes to be able to decorate the grave of every New England soldier who is buried in France.” Among those donating money is Walter Thompson Drew’s mother. ‘In memory of my son, Walter T. Drew,’ Mrs. William A. Somers, No. Billerica MA, $1.00.’”
His body was returned home to the United States when the war ended, as there is a death and burial certificate for him here, on June 5, 1921 (burial) at Blossom Hill Cemetery, in Concord NH, Lot 68, Block CC [confirmed by staff at the cemetery].
—Partial Genealogy & Details about the Life of Walter Thompson Drew—
[Some information from the History of Pembroke, N.H. by Nathan Franklin Carter]
Samuel J. Drew, son of Jacob & Hannah (Jacobs) Drew, b. 21 Dec 1788 in Loudon, Merrimack Co. NH [or New Hampton NH], d. 9 May 1866 Pembroke NH; He married 24 April 1811 to Theodate Fogg, dau of William Fogg. She was b 18 Aug 1795 in Bridgewater NH [or New Hampton NH] and d. 9 Feb 1877. They settled in Pembroke NH in 1815. His occupation was a Farrier.
1850 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Pembroke
Samuel J. Drew 64 M Farmer 450 NH
Theodate Drew 54 F NH
John Drew 15 M Farmer NH
William Drew 12 M NH
Children of Samuel J. & Theodate (Fogg) Drew:
1. Chase Fogg Drew, b. 21 March 1813 in New Hampton NH; m1) 28 April 1836 in Pembroke NH to Mary A. Rowe; m2) 23 Dec 1869 in Concord NH to Mary Ann Richardson, daughter of Mark & Betsey (Shackford) Richardson. A farmer, lived in Pembroke NH.
2. Phineas Fogg Drew, born 6 Feb 1815 in North Hampton, NH. He d. 24 March 1904 in New Bedford, Bristol Co. MA; m. 19 May 1834 in New Bedford, Bristol MA to Sarah “Sally” Tabor of New Bedford MA. She was b. 23 Dec 1817 and d. 27 August 1886; 14 children.
3. Lydia Drew, born 1 Jan 1818 in Pembroke, Merrimack Co. NH, d. 9 May 1852; m1) —- Edgerly; m2) 5 April 1840 Joseph Witham of Deerfield NH. Child: Calvin Edgerly b 22 June 1837 who m. 15 Feb 1865 Marietta Baker and who d 26 Nov 1877. Calvin and Marietta had 6 ch.
4. Samuel Bell Drew, born 2 April 1820 in Pembroke NH; He m1) 5 April 1840 Mary Davis. He m2d) 6 Jan 1855 in Hooksett NH to Hannah Abbott Towns. He had 6 children by his 1st wife and 4 children by his 2nd. His 2nd wife and his minor children received a military pension. They resided in Suncook NH. He d. 10 Aug 1864 at Millen, Andersonville Prison, captured at Reams Station VA, 29 June 1864. Served in the 1st NH Regiment, Company I, as a private. Interred 1 March 1865 in Beaufort National Cemetery, Section 17 Site 1391
5. Salley Jane Drew, born 24 April 1822 in Pembroke, NH; m. 10 Dec 1840 John Sawyer Purington of Weare NH. They resided W. Salisbury NH, 3 children: Almedia, Eliza N. and Lydia Delcina.
6. Simeon “Simon F.” Drew, born 31 January 1825 in Pembroke, NH; died 22 March 1900 in Newport, NH; m. 7 March 1852 Lorinda Hall, 10 children.
7. Elizabeth Ann Drew, born 9 March 1827 in Allenstown NH; m. 14 Jan 1845 Samuel Clay of Allenstown NH; resided Brattleboro VT; m2) Charles Hart.
8. Andrew Jackson Drew, b. 18 Feb 1829 in Allenstown NH; m. 20 May 1847 Emeline C. Denaco; resided Bow NH.
9. +John Fogg Drew, born 18 September 1832 in NH; died 1 March 1903 in Pembroke NH. He m. Lucinda Hall.
10. Mary A. Drew, born 9 Feb 1835; m 15 April 1851 Benjamin Hall of Hancock NH. She d. 23 Feb 1879 in Francestown NH
11. +William Fogg Drew, b. 112 December 1838/1839 Allenstown NH
John Fogg Drew, son of Samuel & Theodate (Fogg) Drew, born 18 Sep 1832 Pembroke NH, died 1 March 1903 Pembroke NH; m. 4 March 1854 to Lucinda Hall. She was b. 28 April 1832 Stoddard NH, and d. 2 January 1892 in Pembroke NH; buried Pembroke Street Cemetery, Pembroke NH. Occupation Brick Burner. Buried
1860 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Pembroke
John F. Drew 28 M Brickmaker 200/100 NH
Lucinda Drew 25 F NH
Calvin E. Drew 5 M NJ
Jenny H. Drew 4 F NH
John A Drew 3 M NH
Lydia Drew 1 F NH
–living next door–
Samuel J. Drew 71 M Farmer 150/100 NH
Theodate Drew 64 F NH
1880 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Pembroe
John F. Drew 48 Farmer NH NH NH
Lucinda Drew 47 NH NH NH
John A. Drew 21
Nellie M. Drew 16
Annie M. Drew 10
Emma F. Drew
1900 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Pembroke
John F. Drew 68
Abbie A. Dodge 38
Gertrude Hall 8
Children of John F. & Lucinda (Hall) Drew:
1. Calvin Edgerly Drew, b. 14 Dec 1854 Pembroke NH, d. 7 Sep 1915 in Concord NH, aged 60; m. 9 June 1878 Nellie Hicks of Boston MA (she was b. Gardiner Maine). He divorced. She was b abt 1857 in Gardiner, Kennebec Maine, and d. 25 Aug 1938 in Manchester NH. His occupation: Painter. Buried Pembroke Street Cemetery, Pembroke NH. She is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester NH [she listed herself as a widow]. They had children [DREW]: Clarence Irving, b. 10 March 1883, Gertrude May b 5 Sep 1887, Lilla Bell b. April 20, 1881, Maud A., b. 22 Jan 1899, Minnie Alice, b. 12 July 1889 (all in Pembroke NH)
2. Hannah Jane “Jenny H.” Drew, b. 31 Dec 1855 Pembroke NH, d. 23 Nov 1923 Concord NH; m. 12 Sep 1878 in Pembroke NH to John Beaton of New Ipswich NH, son of John & Isabella (McDougall) Beaton. He was b. 1851 in Glasgow Scotland and d. 1887 in New Ipswich NH.
3. +John Alva Drew, b. 29 Aug 1858
4. Lydia Ann Drew, b. 15 May 1859; d. 7 Jan 1865 Pembroke NH
5. Abby Amelia Drew, b. 30 September 1860 Pembroke NH, d. 8 Feb 1933 in Pembroke NH; m. 1 Jan 1879 Perley H. Dodge of Hillsborough NH, son of Daniel G. & Elvira (Hunt) Dodge. They divorced.
6. Helen Maria “Nellie” Drew, b. 15 Aug 1863 Pembroke NH, d. 9 April 1898 in Hillsboro NH; m. 5 Oct 1880 John G. Dodge of Hillsborough NH, sn of Daniel G. & Elvira (Hunt) Dodge. They are buried in Maple Avenue Cemetery, Hillsborough (town) NH.
7. Samuel Bell Drew, b. 4 Aug 1865; d. 4 Oct 1865
8. George Henry Drew, b. 23 Aug 1866 Pembroke NH; d. 20 Oct 1872
9. Mary Ann “Annie M.” Drew, b. 7 Dec 1869 Pembroke NH, d. 8 February 1953 in Boscawen NH; she m. 8 Sep 1889 in Antrim NH to William M. Shurtleff, son of Samuel & Mary J. (Milton) Shurtleff. He was b. in Claremont NH, and d. 7 Oct 1837 in Concord NH.
10. Emma Francis Drew, b. 3 Dec 1874, no more known.
William Fogg Drew, son of Samuel J. & Theodate (Fogg) Drew, born 12 December 1838/1839 in Allenstown NH, d 27 April 1820 in Canaan, Grafton Co. NH; He is buried in Concord NH. He married 11 Sep 1857 in Pembroke NH to Drusilla Baker, daughter of Joseph & Martha Jane (Abbott) Baker. She was born 25 September 1841 in Pembroke NH, and died 18 February 1901 in Concord NH. He was a farm laborer, and later a gardener.
Children of William F. & Drusilla (Baker) Drew: [for more details on children & grandchildren see here]
1. William Augustus Drew, b. 32 July 1859 Pembroke NH; m. Mary Ann Speed; resided Concord NH; had 7 children: Minnie Alice, William Farnum, Bessie Estella, Margaret Drusilla, Joseph Nelson, Herbert Cummings, Elmer Leonard
2. Joseph Baker Drew, b. 25 July 1862 Pembroke NH; m. 1881 Mary Elizabeth Cooper; m2d) 1891 Jessie Elizabeth Widmer. Children: Grace Lula, Bertie. In 1920 living in Canaan, Grafton Co., NH.
3. Phineas Erving Drew, b. 19 Dec 1863 Pembroke NH; m. 1881 Ella May Tucker. Child: Erving Scott
4. Marietta Minnie Drew, b. 28 March 1865, d. 22 June 1865
5. +Emery Moore Drew, b. 31 Dec 1869 in Pembroke NH.
Emery Moore Drew, son of William F. & Drusilla (Baker) Drew, born 31 December 1869 in Pembroke NH, and died 4 Oct 1953 in Lynn MA. He is buried in Blossom Hill Cemetery, in the family plot with his son, Walter [his date of death confirmed from cemetery records]. He was a descendant of Capt. Thomas Abbott of Rowley and Andover, MA, through his mother. Emery M. Drew m. 30 July 1888 Concord NH to Carrie Eliza Thompson, daughter of George F. & Emma J. (Mitchell) Thompson. She was b. 17 July 1869 in Sherburne NY. They resided in Bow NH. She divorced from Emery by 1918. As Carrie Eliza Drew, she married 2d) 2 March 1918 in Concord NH to William Albert Somers, son of Patrick & Catherine (Cavey) Somers. He was b. 2 August 1885 in Dorchester MA, and this was his first marriage. In 1930 they were living in Lynn MA, in 1940 they are both living in Foxborough MA. William A. Somers registered in 1942 for the WW2 Draft listing Carrie as his NOK, both still living in Foxborough MA. Meanwhile, in the 1930 US Census, Emery Drew is divorced, living in Billerica MA, a laborer. In the 9 Feb 1943 Lowell Sun newspaper, his brother Phineas E. Drew’s obituary mentions that Emery M. Drew is living in West Lynn MA.
1900 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Concord Ward 5 > 37 Pine Street
Emery M. Drew Head W M Dec 1869 30 m 12 yrs NH NH NH Teamster
Carrie E. Drew wife W F July 1869 30 m 12 yrs 2 ch 2 living NY NH NY
Earnest E. Drew W M Sep 1892 7 NH NH NY
Walter T. Drew W M Apr 1894 5 NH NH NY
1910 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Concord Ward 4 > 9 Perry Avenue
Drew, Emery M. Head M W 40 m1x 20 yrs Helper RR Machine shop
Drew, Carrie E. wife F W 40 m1x 20 yrs 2 ch 2 living Laundry work at home
Drew, Ernest M son M W 17 single Laborer Open House
Drew, Walter T. son M W 15 single Operator moving Picture Opera House
Children of Emery M. & Carrie E. (Thompson) Drew:
1. +Ernest Emery Drew, b. 21 Sep 1892 in Concord, Merrimack Co., NH
2. +Walter Thompson Drew, b. 14/15 April 1895 in Concord, Merrimack Co. NH
Ernest Emery Drew, born 21 Sep 1892 in Concord, Merrimack Co., NH, son of Emery M. & Carrie E. (Thompson) Drew, and died 9 December 1953. He married 8 Feb 1912 in Concord NH to Hazel L. Labonta, dau of Joseph & Lillian (Roberts) Labonta. She was b. in Pembroke NH. His WW2 Registration shows that in 1942, he was living at 27 Church St, Lynn MA, employed by Rail Way Express Co., Silsbee St., Lynn MA.
1940 living in Lynn MA > 133 Washington Street
Ernest E. Drew 47 9 yrs schooling NH chauffeur xpress co
Hazel L. Drew 44 8 yrs school NH
Ernest Drew Jr. son married 27 6 yrs school NH gardening, private home
Charles W. Drew son 26 single h-3 NH chauffeur express Co
John Drew son M W 25 married 6yr school MA chemist
Walter Drew son 21 single h2 MA new worker
Catherine Drew daughter-in-law 29 married h3 MA
Judith Ann Drew grand-dau F 8/12 MA
Raymond Courage son-in-law W 21 8y MA
Jacqueline Courage daughter F W 19 marr h2 MA
Raymond Courage grandson M W 6/12 MA
Lillian Labonta mother-in-law 71 widow NH
Children of Ernest E. & Hazel L. (Labonta) Drew:
1. Ernest E. Drew Jr., b. 1912 in MA, d. 1962; married Catherine T. — In 1940 living in Lynn MA, a “garageman” at North Shore Cheverolet. Their children included Judith Ann, born 1939.
2. Charles W. Drew, b. abt 1914 MA; (possibly a twin); in 1940 living with his family in Lynn MA.
3. John R. Drew, b. 25 December 1914 Lowell MA;
4. Walter Edger Drew, b. 16 Feb 1919 Billerica MA; died Dec 1977. Buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn MA.
5. Jacqueline Drew, b. 1921 Billerica MA; married Raymond Frederick Courage. Child: Raymond Frederick Courage, Jr., b 1939 Lynn MA.
6. Helen Ruth Drew, b. 5 May 1920; died 4 November 1920 in Billerica MA of gastroenteritis
Walter Thompson Drew, [this story is about him, see top of page] born 15 April 1895 in Concord NH, son of Emery Moore & Carrie E. (Thompson) Drew. He died of disease (influenza) in France, on 8 March 1919, at the age of 26 years. As was the usual in WWI he was first buried in France near his death place. Records show that his body was returned to the United States for on June 5, 1921 he was re buried in Blossom Hill Cemetery in Concord, Merrimack Co., NH (his burial there is confirmed by cemetery staff). Walter T. Drew married 30 Nov 1917 in Concord NH to Mildred Louise Foss. According to a descendant, “although the marriage record of Walter and Mildred shows the father of Mildred as Edward Foss his name was Charles Linwood Foss, my gr-grandfather. He married Grace Roxina (Townes) 3rd July 1897. They divorced by Dec 1899 when Grace married(2) Frank Gilbert. The 1910 US census shows Mildred living in an orphanage in Concord, NH (Millville). She was also married several times.” She was born in Ossipee NH. Possibly at the time of Walter’s death she lived in the Penacook area of Concord, as Walter’s home town is listed as same. It is unknown if she divorced Walter, or if she was his widow, when Mildred Louise (Foss) Drew married 2d) June 6, 1919 in Albany NY to Frank Brino Jr. She was allowed a divorce from Brino on Jan 22, 1920 on grounds of extreme cruelty. At that time they were living in Canterbury NH. Mildred Brino was allowed to change her name back to Mildred Louise Foss, due to divorce.
Mildred L. Foss married 3rd) 24 Sep 1920 in Canterbury NH to Roger F. Langevin, son of Fred & Emma (Mombeau) Langevin. He was b. abt 1899 in Manchester, NH. Mildred must have died before 1938 as Roger F. Langevin, as a widower, m2d) 30 April 1938 in Merrimack NH to Mary Susan Bradshaw, dau of John & Welthy D. (Graham) Bradshaw.
1900, Emery, Carrie and 2 sons living at 37 Pine Street
1910 Emery, Carrie and 2 sons living at 9 Perry Avenue, Concord NH
1917 WWI Registration form: Walter is living at 21 Beacon Street, Concord NH
No known children
[Editor’s Note: this story is part of an on-going series about heroic New Hampshire men and women of World War I. Look here for the entire listing].