The Town of Lyman, New Hampshire (NOT to be confused with the town of Lyme) is located in Grafton County, near Lisbon and Landaff. In 1910 the population was a small 374, and after World War I ended that number dropped to 310 by 1920. During the World War at least one man left the town, never to return– William Harry Barrett, the focus of this story.
William Harry Barrett was born 18 July 1894 in Lyman, New Hampshire, son of Elbridge G. & Minnie G. (Judd) Barrett. In the 1900 U.S. Census he was living in Lyman in the household of his uncle, William F. Judd and family, along with his mother and siblings Gladys Beryl Barrett who m1) Reuben H. Bean, m2d) Elbridge J. Blake; and George Nelson Barrett. William H. Barrett completed his WWI Registration form on 5 July 1917 from the nearby town of Lisbon, New Hampshire. He was living there working as a carpenter for K.D. Cummings of Dixville Notch. William describes himself as being of medium height and stature with gray eyes and brown hair.
The next known of him is from his death certificate stating as a “soldier” he died on 27 September 1918 in the Base Hospital at Camp Devens in Harvard, MA. The cause of death was lobar pneumonia, no doubt due to contracting influenza which was raging through the camp at this time. William was only 24 years old.
William H. Barrett’s death certificate states he was buried in Lyman, New Hampshire, though the cemetery is not specified. The rest of his family are buried in Grove Hill Cemetery, Lisbon NH, and the name “William” is carved in the top of his father’s tombstone, so probably he is in the family plot. His name is listed on the Roll of Honor in Doric Hall of the New Hampshire State House.
[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].