Joseph Herman Roberge was born 8 November 1889 in Tingwick, Arthabaska, Canada, the son of Pierre & Rosalie (Cantin) Roberge. In 1891 they lived in Thetford Mines, Les Appalaches, Quebec, [listed as “Ermerz”] with older siblings Zephire, Wilfred, Joseph, Alfred, Angelina, and Ermidas. In 1901 he and his family were living in Windsor Mills, Richmond & Wolfe District of Quebec Canada In that year his siblings included Wilfred, Alfred, Angelina, Cermidas/Ermidas, Louis, Marie, Arthur and Joseph.
Pierre Roberge’s U.S. Border Crossing documents in 1924 indicate that he lived in Manchester NH from 1914 to 1917, and this is probably when Joseph H. accompanied his family to the city. In 1924 Armond, Joseph H.’s brother was living at 15 Notre Dame Avenue, Joseph’s former residence.
Joseph Herman Roberge married 2 October 1916 in Manchester NH to Marie Louise Corron/Caron, daughter of Joseph & Celina (Belleville) Corron/Caron. A few months later he would be called into service when the United States entered the World War.
On 5 June 1917 Joseph H. Roberge filled out a war registration card noting his birth place in Canada, that that he was working as a clerk for John B. Varick Co., of Manchester. His address was 15 Notre Dame Avenue, and he was married, tall with medium build, with blues eyes and blonde hair.
He entered the United States military, 309th Regiment, Signal Platoon and was sent to France. He was killed in action near Bois de Loges, France, while in service to his country on 28 October 1918. Prior to his death, he displayed acts of heroism that resulted in the award of the Distinguished Service Cross to him.
The Boston Globe of February 23, 1919 announced the award of the Distinguished Service Cross to Joseph H. Roberge, in two separate articles. PRIVATE JOSEPH H. ROBERGE DECORATED WITH D.S.C. MANCHESTER, N.H. Feb 23–Private Joseph H. Roberge of this city, awarded the American Distinguished Service Cross for great gallantry and heroism under fire is 28 years old and with the 309th Infantry. He was born in Manchester and is the son of Pierre Roberge of 15 Notre Dame Av. He has been in the service 18 months.
“THREE CROSSES TO NEW ENGLANDERS. ROBERGE, Joseph H. (deceased) 15 Notre Dame Av., Manchester, N.H. Headquarters Company, 308th Infantry, is awarded for his “extraordinary heroism in action, near St. Juvin, France, Oct 18, 1918. Private Roberge displayed remarkable courage in laying and repairing a telephone line under such intense artillery and machine-gun fire that the line was ultimately abandoned. He has since been killed in action.”
After the war ended, his body was returned home, and he was buried in Mt.Calvary Cemetery, Manchester, NH.
The inscription reads:
J. Herman Roberge
309th Inf. Signal Platoon
Killed Oct. 28, 1918
At Bois de Loges, France
M. Louise Caron
J. Louise Roberge
For additional stories of Manchester NH military in World War I, see: New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Manchester.
[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].