Victor Willie Lemay was born 20 August 1898 in Concord NH, 8th child and son of John & Bridget (Cavanaugh/Kavanagh) Lemay. His father’s occupation on his birth record was painter. His mother was the daughter of Gile Kavanagh. His father, John Lemay, was son of Paul and Annie Lemay.
Victor’s siblings included Annie Rose Lemay who m. William John Kelley; Marie Julie Lemay who m1) William J. McMullen, m2) James H. Grant; Arthur Lemay who m. Lula May Farmar, d. 1947 California; and Wilfred Anthony Lemay, a tree surgeon in Lowell MA.
Victor grew up in Concord, and in the 1900 US Census his family (and widowed mother) was living at 11 Walker Street. By 1910 they had moved to 8 North Spring Street. In 1910 Victor’s older brother Wilfred, at 14, was already working as a messenger for the Postal Telegraph service. Victor attended Concord’s schools at least into his early teens.
When the United States entered the war (WWI) he became part of the 103rd Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division (the “famed” Yankee Division).
It is not known exactly when Victor Lemay was wounded in battle. The 103rd was involved in several campaigns. He first appeared as being wounded in the newspapers of August 6, 1918. Announcements of this kind showed a delay of a few days to several weeks following the actual casualty event. The official death date on his grave marker is 17 July 1918. His regiment participated in several of the major battles in June and July.
His family had not heard from him for a while after learning of his being wounded. This newspaper article explains what happens next. October 27, 1918, The Boston Globe
CONCORD, N.H. Oct. 26–Through the American Red Cross, Mrs. J.B. Lemay of this city today received word of the death of her son, Victor Lemay, 103d Infantry. Private Lemay was reported in the Aug 6 list as seriously wounded and since then his mother has been unable to secure any information concerning him until she appealed this week to the Red Cross. He was born in Concord 20 years ago. A brother, Wilfred, is also overseas.
As was usual for the time, his body would have been buried in a small grave site near where he fell. His remains were removed again and buried with honors besides his fallen comrades at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at Belleau, France. He lies in Plot A, Row 7, Grave 37. His name can be found inscribed on the monument at Concord NH’s Memorial Field, and on New Hampshire’s Honor Roll in Doric Hall of the NH State House.