Francois Joseph Alfred “Fred” Frechette was born in May 1883 and also baptized at Saint-Nicolas, a borough of the city of Levis in Quebec Province, Canada. Even today this district is small, with only 18,437 people.
His parents were Olivier Jean-Baptiste Frechette & Marie Caroline Filteau. Siblings included Olivier E., Marie, William, Georgiana, Joseph, Odina, Celanire [who m. Jacob Couture], Fabiola B., Emma [who m1) Goupill; m2) William Baker], and Theodore. Fred was the next to the youngest child.
In 1891 Fred can be found in the Canadian Census of St. Nicholas, Levis, PQ, Canada. His father died when he was 12 years old, and he moved to Berlin with family members where work could be found. In 1900 he was living there at 37 Elm Street with his mother and several of his siblings (as Alfred Frechette). The 1900 census indicates he immigrated in 1895 and was working as a day laborer in a pulp mill.
I cannot locate a WWI Registration form for him, so I suspect that he entered the New Hampshire National Guard prior to that requirement.
What is known is that Private Fred Frechette served in Company L of the 103rd Regiment of Infantry, 26th Yankee Division, during World War I. The Adjutant General’s Report confirms this.
The December 4, 1918 edition of the Lowell Sun newspaper (Lowell, Massachusetts) announced his death in Europe, from disease. His address at that time was 195 York Street, and his next of kin was Jacob Couture (who had married Fred’s sister, Celanire). We can also know that Fred Frechette died of disease in a military hospital.
Research on Fred Frechette was difficult, and documents were lean. He survived The Great War aka WWI (as peace was declared on November 11, 1918) only to succumb in Europe to disease, probably the flu which was the major killer at that time. I cannot find him among the buried or missing in Europe, so I must surmise that his remains were returned to the United States. Perhaps he rests in a Canadian grave. [I was recently notified by the Berlin & Coos County Historical Society that he is not buried in a Berlin, NH cemetery].
Fred Fredette’s name can be found inscribed upon the memorial tablets in Doric Hall of the New Hampshire State House, Concord. There is a WW1 monument in Berlin, New Hampshire but it is unknown if Fred’s name appears on it.
[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].