I have written several articles about Concord New Hampshire’s involvement in World War I. I introduce to you now another one of the brave heroes who did not return home from that war. Robert Clinton Beckett was born 22 Oct 1892 in Concord NH, son of John E. & Elizabeth C. (Clinton) Beckett. He grew up and attended schools in New Hampshire’s state capitol, and in 1910 the U.S. Census shows him living there with his parents, and two younger siblings, Rosaline E., and Dorothy C. Beckett.
Robert must have had some military experience before the United States entered the World War, as in November of 1917 the Boston Globe included his name in an article of men who had been recruited for the Coast Artillery, assigned to Fort Standish in Boston MA, and his rank was already one of Sergeant. Not quite a year later, his presence was needed overseas, and the U.S. Army Transport Passenger lists show him departing Hoboken, New Jersey bound for England aboard the ship NY 410 on 21 September 1918. At that time his home address was 106 North State Street, with his father John Beckett as his next of kin. On this passenger list several men’s names are crossed out, showing that they were redirected to military hospitals in the United States, probably ill with influenza.
Robert C. Beckett either contracted influenza on the ship over to England, or while there, for about 3 weeks after he had shipped out, he died–on 12 October 1918 in England of pneumonia. He was only 25 years old. He probably was first buried near the hospital where he died, but when the war ended his remains were returned to the United States. The Military Transport list shows that the body of Robert C. Beckett was aboard the ship Antigone, bound from Liverpool, England and arriving in Hoboken NJ on 7 August 1920. His service number was 580697. Sgt. Major Robert Clinton Beckett was buried with honor in Calvary Cemetery, Concord NH on 25 Aug 1920.
[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].