New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Derry

On Armistice Day of 1923 public ceremonies were held by the Town of Derry New Hampshire, under the auspices of the Lester W. Chase post No. 9, American Legion to dedicate a monument to those who served from Derry in the World War (later called World War I).  The ceremonies included a line of march from Legion Hall to the Adams Memorial building where the ceremonies were held. Bands played, prayers were offered, music sung, remarks and addresses given. Rev. Donald Gerrish, 11th Army Corps chaplain of Lawrence, MA urged the audience “to never forget the sacrifice the boys of 1917 and 1918 made…”  

WWI monument in Derry New Hampshire.
Photograph courtesy of Richard Marsh at
Images of New Hampshire History.
Used with permission.

A description of this original monument was printed in The Derry News of 16 November 1923 [see the original newspaper story in its entirety]: “The base of the Memorial is of Concord granite and was cut by C.L. Piper, local granite worker. It is 8 feet 4 inches long; 3 feet 3 inches wide and one foot and 5 inches thick, and projects 10 inches around at the base of the granite slab on which the Bronze tablet is securely fashioned. The granite base weighs three tons. Upon the front of the base is the following inscription of places where the war heroes served and where some died: North Sea, United States Cantonments, Mexican Border, Canal Zone, Chemin Des Dames, Champagne, Marns, Aisne Marns, St. Mihiel, Meuse Argonne.” The bronze tablet and its granite back weigh four and a half tons. It was made by the Gorham Mfg Co., Providence R.I. Upon the bronze tablet at the top are emblems of the Army and the Navy, and the inscription: ‘Roll of Honor. Those from Derry, who served in the Armed Force of the United States in the great World War, 1917-1918.” Underneath are 300 names. At the right is the list of those who died in service as follows: Annie Frasier Norton. . .Charles E. Bitgood, Lester W. Chase, Arthur J. Clark, Joseph F. Clark, Irving R. Fisher, Ernest Goodreau (sic), Charles W. Hall, Edgar C. Hartford, Charles Hollingshead, Frederick Huson, Milford H. Lunt, Russel B. Rice, Carl H. Richards[on], and Maurice H. Roberts.’  The memorial shaft is a beautiful and enduring tribute to the young men from Derry, who made the supreme sacrifice, and to those who were willing to do their utmost, and sacrifice their lives if necessary that the Peace of the World might be secured.

Today the World War One monument is part of a larger display of Derry New Hampshire’s patriotic service, located at MacGregor Park near the Library.   [Additional photographs and a transcription of the entire monument can be found at Nutfield Genealogy blog]. ALSO the Derry Museum of History has additional resources on these WWI heroes. Please contact them for more research documents. My list of the WWI Heroes of Derry is gleaned from the monument itself, along with newspaper reports and military documents, as follows:

Heroes of DERRY NH
Died In Service During WWI


Charles E. Bitgood | Private | Died of Disease (pneumonia-influenza) 3 February 1918 Camp Valdahon, France | Battery B, 15th Field Artillery A.E.F. | Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, France |[1]

Lester W. Chase | Private | Died of Wounds RIA (septicemia) on 25 May 1918 Evacuation Hospital No. 1, Sebastopol, Toul, France | Co. K., 103d Infantry | Pleasant View Cemetery, Derry NH | [See story by T.J. Cullinane][2]

Arthur J. Clark | Private | Died 19 July 1918, Second Battle of the Marne, France | Co. D, 59th Infantry, A.E.F. | Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, France / Cenotaph in Forest Hill Cemetery, E. Derry NH |[3]

Joseph F. Clark | Sergt | Died of Accident/or/KIA  16 Feb 1919, Thuir, France | Battery E, 76th Field Artillery | Forest Hill Cemetery, E. Derry NH | [4]

Ervin Ray “Irving” Fisher | Soldier | Died of Disease (influenza) on 29 September 1918, Camp Upton, near Yaphank, Suffolk Co. NY | Forest Hill Cemetery, E. Derry NH | [5]

Ernest Godreau | Private | Died of Wounds, 7 June 1918 France | Co.. A 23rd Inf., 2d Div. | Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington VA | [6]

Charles W. Hall | Soldier | Died of Disease (influenza) 27 September 1918 Base Hospital, Camp Devens, Harvard MA | Training Cantonment | Burial unknown [7]

Edgar C. Hartford | P1c | Killed in Action 29 November 1918 France | HQ Co., 103rd Infantry | Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester NH | [8]

Charles Hollingshead | Sergt. | Died of Wounds, 29 June 1918 in the Chateau Thierry Sector, France | 20th Co, 3rd Batt. 5th Reg USMC | Forest Hill Cemetery, E. Derry NH | [9]

Frederick R. Huson | Private | Died of Disease (pneumonia from influenza) 9 April 1918, Base Hospital, Harvard MA | U.S. Army Camp Devens Cantonment, 14th Co, 4th Bn. 151st D.B. | Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, N. Salem NH | [10]

Milford H. Lunt | Private | Died of Disease (acute broncho-pneumonia, influenza) 17 October 1918 Ft. Bliss TX | Woodbine Cemetery, Ellsworth ME | [11]

Anne Frazier Norton | Yeoman (F) 2c | Died of Disease (influenza) 11 October 1918 Navy Yard, Portsmouth NH | United States Naval Reserve Force | Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett MA | [12] [Her story and photo]

Russell B. Rice | Private | Died of Wounds 16 July 1918, Crezancy France | M.G. Co. 38th Infantry | Chester Village Cemetery, Chester NH | [13]

Carl H. Richards | Private | Died of Disease (pumonary tuberculosis) Ft. Slocum, New Rochelle NY | Coast Artillery Corps, U.S. Army | Edgewood Cemetery, Nashua NH | [14]

Maurice H. Roberts | Corporal |Killed in Action 9 October 1918 France | Co. E., 9th Infantry | Forest Hill Cemetery, Derry NH | [15] [See Story here ]


[1] Charles Eugene Bitgood was born 19 Oct 1896 in Webster MA [his grandmother credited his birth to the 18th in Voluntown CT], son of Eugene Worden & Martha C. (Knight) Bitgood, and grandson of Charles Worden & Rebecca Elizabeth (Bentley) Bitgood. Charles’ father died in 1898 in Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War, and his mother remarried to Victor Holgerson.  He spent his childhood with both his remarried mother and then with on a Connecticut farm with his grandmother and uncles. The Derry Enterprise newspaper of 12 Feb 1918 stated of him:”He came to Derry a few years ago and for a time he worked upon the Hood farm. He worked last summer for George A. Varney, the ice man, at East Derry. He is remembered by many for his kind and courteous manners and his pleasant ways. He lived for a time at the Feinauer home and endeared himself to the family to quite an extent, looking upon Mr. and Mrs. Fernauer as his foster parents. On August 14, 1917 young Bitgood went to Manchester [NH] and

U.S. Army Camp Hospital No 12, La Valdahon,
France, General Surgical Ward, WWI, from the
National Library of Medicine Digital Collections.

enlisted in the U.S. army service. The following Monday, August 16, Harvey Feinauer enlisted. On August 30, they both left with others for Fort Slocum. From there they went to Watertown NY to Pine Camp. From there they went to Tena, NJ and then to Camp Merritt, NJ. At Thanksgiving time they started “across” and reached France December 30. On January 19, Mrs. Feinauer got a letter from Charles that was written December 31, and mailed January 1. The letters stated they were both well and also stated that they had lots of snow there. They were both in Battery B, 18th Field artillery A.E.F….From the large company who have enlisted from Derry this is the first death to be reported.”  The U.S. Military Transport Passenger Lists of WWI shows Private Charles E. Bitgood of Battery B, 15th Field Artillery departing NY NY on 12 December 1917 for Europe aboard the ship, White Star Line SS Adriatic.  At that time he listed his next of kin as Mrs. Edna Feinauer, and his residence as Derry, New Hampshire.  Private Charles Eugene Bitgood died of disease (pneumonia-influenza) on 3 February 1918 at the U.S. Army Camp Hospital No. 12, La Valdahon, France. His remains lie beneath a simple white cross in Plot E Row 41 Grave 22 at  Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, France [additional photograph of him on findagrave].

Newspaper photo of Lester Chase
from BJW at Findagrave
(permissions given on that site).

[2] Lester W. Chase was born 10 June 1896 in Derry NH [from 1897 Derry Town Report, son of Fred E. & Allettie M. (Young) Chase.  In 1900 he was living in Derry NH with siblings Frederick “Fred” E. Jr. (served WWI 1917-1919), Ernest E. (who m. Annie B. Titcomb, 152nd Depot Brigade), Charles H. and Eva P.  U.S. Military Transport Passenger Lists show that he departed the U.S. for Europe, a Private in Co. K, 103rd Infantry from NYC on 17 September 1917 on the ship Lapland. His residence was 17 Beacon Street, Derry NH.   On 31 May 1918 the Boston Globe newspaper printed the following story: “Fred E. Chase of Derry, N.H. received a telegram from Washington last night announcing the death of his son, Lester W. Chase, in a hospital in France. He was wounded in action May 5 and died May 25. He enlisted in the New Hampshire National Guard July 4, 1916 and went to the Mexican border. He went to France last October. He belonged to Co. K., 103d Infantry. News of his being wounded was received May 15. Besides his parents he is survived by two brothers, Dellmar and Ernest, and three sisters, Eva,

View of An American cemetery on a battlefield
near Toul, France during WWI, Henry L. Graves
Papers, WWI 55, Military Collection, State
Archives of North Carolina on Flickr.

Goldie and Sylvia.”   Though at first buried in France, near Evacuation Hospital No. 1 at Sebastopol, Toul, France, his remains were returned to the United States in July of 1921 aboard the ship Wheaton (his service number then reported as 69157)  Lester W. Chase’s disinterment form shows that he died from septicemia resulting from wounds received in action, and that he was to be buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Londonderry NH.  That burial notation is incorrect, as his funeral information shows  Pleasant View Cemetery in Derry NH where his family’s plot and his grave marker is today located.  The Derry NH newspaper printed several letters sent home to his family by his commanding officer, the chaplain involved with his burial and the Red Cross worker who spoken with him.  The chaplain’s letter is reprinted here: “Chaplain Billings of Evacuation hospital No. 1, also writes as follows: Dear Mrs. Chase: Probably the army authorities have already sent you the sad news that Lester Chase died May 25. He came into the hospital gravely wounded, and suffering too from shell shock. At one time he seemed better, and gave some hope of recovery, but his wounds were too severe for him. I am very sorry for you but he was a brave boy and died gallantly in a high cause. I read the beautiful Episcopalian service over him and we laid him to rest among his comrades in the attractive little American cemetery near the hospital. I pray that the Lord will comfort you . Some day you will meet him again. Very sincerely yours. SHERRARD BILLINGS, Chaplain Evacuation Hospital No. 1.”  [See additional details in story about Private Lester W. Chase by T.J. Cullinane]

[3] Arthur John Clark was born 18 December 1889 in Derry NH, son of Elbridge P. & Nancy A. (Durant) Clark. In the 1900 US Census he was living in Derry NH with his parents and sibings Fred I. (who m 1910 Laura Kimball, d. 1947); William Herbert who m. Alice M. Gray); Nellie M. (who m. Albion D. Dean); Harry Elwin (who m1st Minnie Stewart; m2nd Clara Clayton Byrne), Walter Elbridge (who m2d Velisura Bell “Velna” Johnson-Brown); Jessie Adelaide (who m. Charles Myron Fisher); Esther Marion (who m. Henry Joseph Rau); Allen Ray (who m. Olive Ruth Ames); and Dr. Howard Elton (who m. Charlotte Keyes, died 1995).  Arthur J. Clark’s WWI Registration form was completed 5 June 1917 in Derry New Hampshire where he was living on South Road, working for Estes Griffin in farming. He was single and his physical description was short, of medium build with blue eyes and brown hair.  As Private Arthur J. Clark of Co. M 59th Infantry he was shipped to Europe from New York City on 5 May 1918 aboard the ship Olympic.  His service number was 1686210, and residence given as South Road in Derry NH. In September of 1918 the U.S. newspapers reported him missing in action, however he had died much earlier on 19 July 1918 during the Second Battle of the Marne [that lasted from July 15, 1918-Aug 6 1918], attributed to Company D of the 59th Infantry Regiment. He was buried in France at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, and his family placed a cenotaph in their plot at Forest Hills Cemetery in East Derry NH. On 27 Feb 1920 certificates from the French government of appreciation were awarded to living relatives of war heroes in Derry, including Arthur J. Clark.

[4] John Francis Clark was born in 1886/1891 at Fort Ann NY, son of William Edward & Mary “Nancy” (Gorman) Clark.   He married on 2 Apr 1916 Derry NH to Sylvia Bond, daughter of Leslie & Lillian (Twing) Bond. His obituary in the Derry News stated that he “lived on Mt. Pleasant street before entering the service. He went to camp Dix and then overseas. He was promoted to Sergeant of Battery F 76, F.A. American Expeditionary Forces.”  His service number was 1551023.   In September of 1920 the remains of Sergt. John Francis Clark were returned from Antwerp Belgium on 4 Sep 1920 in Hoboken NJ, aboard the ship Princess Matoika.   A funeral was held at that time and reported in the local newspaper as follows: “The Derry News, September 24, 1920. Funeral Services of Sergeant Joseph F. Clark. The first body of the Derry boy who died overseas in the great World War to be received here was that of Joseph F. Clark which arrived on the train that reached here from Boston at a few minutes before 8 o’clock Saturday morning. The casket was immediately taken in charge by the members of the Lester W. Chase post American Legion and by undertakers Pontaut & Kelley was taken to the Adams Memorial hall. The customary guard of Military men was placed at the casket till the funeral. The government officials did not notify the Legion here at what time the body would be received so definite funeral plans could not be made until Saturday noon. The remains were accompanied by First Class Private, Charles E. Heiler of Camp Dix. The funeral services were held on Monday afternoon in the Adams Memorial hall at 2 o’clock. There was a large attendance of Legion members and of the general public. The services were conducted by the Rev. J.H. Nichols former pastor of the Baptist church. He spoke very interestingly of the served the deceased had rendered the government and drew important lessons from the event. Following the service the line of march was formed with Chief of Police Dustin as the chief marshal, the Derry Band and a large delegation of Legion men, mourners and friends. They proceeded to Forest Hill cemetery where the Legion men performed their service a salute was fired by the Legion squad, in charge of 1st A.B. Shepard and the bugle taps were given by J J Taylor and Clifton Fling. The committal service was by Rev. J.H. Nichols. The bearers were also Legion men. Many beautiful flowers were upon the box which contained the steel casket and the remains. During the funeral service all places of business were closed, and flags were placed at half mast. The bell on the engine house opposite the place of the funeral was tolled as the remains were born from the building. to the hearse in charge of undertakers Pontaut & Kelley. Sergent Joseph E. Clark was a Derry man and lived on Mt. Pleasant street before entering the service. He went to camp Dix and then overseas. He was promoted to Sergeant of Battery F 76, F.A. American Expeditionary Forces. He died in France where he was buried. The French government forwarded the remains here. He is survived by the widow who was Miss Sylvia Bond. He had a large circle of friends and acquaintances who held him in high esteem.  Forest Hills Cemetery of East Derry NH records show him as being buried in section: Eastman Left 1 18.

[5] Ervin Ray “Irving” Fisher was born 12 March 1887 in Derry NH, son of Orrin C. & Lydia H. (Flint) Fisher. In 1910 he was living in Derry NH with his parents and one of his two siblings, Harry Elwin Fisher (who d. 1931 in Derry NH).  Ervin R. Fisher married 16 Feb 1918 in Derry NH to widow Alice (Annis) Hoyt, dau of Charles O. & Jeannette (Elliot) Annis. Ervin R. Fisher worked as a grocer. He completed his WWI Registration form on 5 June 1917 in Derry NH. He was living at 45 Birch Street in Derry, proprietor of a Grocery. He was single and described himself as being of medium height and build, with blue eyes and dark brown hair.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to Camp Upton New York for training.  He was stricken with influenza and died of that disease on 29 September 1918.  His body was returned to Derry for burial. Derry News 11 October 1918, page 2
OBITUARY. Saturday afternoon the funeral services of Ervin R. Fisher were held at the home on Norton street. The Rev. Irving J. Enslin conducted the services. About the casket were a profusion of very beautiful flowers from these floral offerings and the kind works of the minister showed — young man was held by all who knew him. He enlisted in the service of his country and was willing and ready to dl all he could when the dread epidemic called him away from service, and from relatives, friends and associates he loved so dearly. He passed away at Camp Upton and the body was brought here for burial in Forest Hill cemetery by undertakers Homer A. White & Company. Members of the Boy Scouts of America acted as bearers at the funeral. The flowers were very beautiful and among the collection were the following pieces: Pillow, wife; 31 roses Frances and Thelma Hoyt, and grandma and grandpa Annis basket of flowers Mrs. Clay and Mrs. Ballou; basket of flowers from the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Orrin C. Fisher; basket of flowers from the brother, Charles M. Fisher and family; basket of flowers from brother Harry E. Fisher and family. Other beautiful flowers were given by neighbors and Mr. and Mrs. F.E. Nelson, Uncle George, Uncle Fred, Uncle Frank, and Aunt Ella, Mrs. Larabee, Mrs. Glines, Mrs. Calif, Mr. and Mrs. E.P. Flint, Mr. and Mrs. F.A. Flint, Mrs. F.M. Kelley, Mrs. Blanche Paquet and others.” [Card of thanks at bottom of notice from close family extending heartfelt and sincere thanks to all].  He was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, E. Derry NH.

[6] Ernest Godreau was born 8 April 1892 in L’Islet PQ Canada, son of Canadian immigrants, Maxime & Blanch Godreau. In 1909 he was living and attending school in Brooklyn, CT.  He completed his WWI Registration form on 5 June 1917 at Derry NH where he was residing on 20 Martin Street. He was working as a shoemaker at Woodbury Shoe Co in Derry NH. He described himself as single, of medium height and build, with blue eyes and brown hair.  In June of 1918 he sailed on the ship Huron, a Private in Co. A., 23rd Infantry.  He died of wounds on 7 June 1918 while serving in France, probably wounded at the Third Battle of the Aisne that lasted from 27 May 1918 – 6 June 1918.   The Derry Enterprise newspaper of 18 June 1918 noted: “Second Death Toll. Ernest Godreau Was in Action in France. The sad news reached relatives and friends here in Derry Friday evening of the death from wounds of Ernest Godreau who enlisted in the great world war from Derry on July 24, 1917. At the age of 25 years he entered the service enlisting as a private and went from Derry to Syracuse NY. The following September he went overseas with the American Expeditionary forces, with company A, 23rd Infantry. Derry was his home for a number of years although his father and mother and six brothers and five sisters live in Mooseup Conn. Young Goudreau is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Maxime Goodreau, six brothers, Maxime, Isadore, Augustine, Amadee, Frank and Joseph. The latter is with the American Expeditionary Forces in France being a mechanic in a supply company 38th infantry, 3rd division. He also leaves six sisters, Blanch, Anna, Yvonne, Marion and Louise of Moosup, Conn., and Mrs. Laporte of Derry. The sad information of the death was sent here to his sister, Mrs. Clara Laporte. It was sent from Adjutant General McCain, Washington D.C. and was as follows–“Deeply regret to inform you that it is officially reported that Private Ernest Godreau, infantry, died June 7 from wounds received in action. It is believed here that he must have been killed in a battle for no information of his having been wounded had been received. The death of Ernest Laporte makes two that have been killed in the world war out of the 300 and more who have gone out from Derry. Men and women here are realizing as never before the seriousness of this awful war and are looking forward with strong faith and hope to the day when the world’s peace shall come and war shall be no more.” When the war ended his family arranged for his remains to be returned to the United States, arriving in Hoboken NJ on 2 July 1921, where his service number was noted as 49568.  He was buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington VA.

[7] Charles Wilfred Hall was born 5 May 1888 in Lowell MA, son of Leroy Wilfred & Alma (Woodbury) Hall.  He married 23 July 1918 Derry NH to Emma Malinda Tewksbury dau of Alfred & Annie May (Spears) Tewksbury.  He completed his WWI Registration card on 5 June 1917 in Derry NH, his residence being 8 Hall Street. His occupation was Registered Pharmacist for George Colbath of Pittsfield NH. He stated he supported his mother and described himself as single, of medium height and build with bue eyes and light hair. During WWI and was sent to Camp Devens for training. He died of disease (pneumonia from influenza) on 27 September 1918 Base Hospital, Camp Devens, Harvard MA after being ill for 11 days. The Derry Enterprise of 1 October 1918 printed an obituary [but I could not find one for his funeral]. “Charles W. Hall.  After a Brave and heroic struggle with the prevailing epidemic in the service of his country at Camp Devens, Mass., Private Charles W. Hall passed away Saturday morning early. The sad news came as a shock to many in this town for it was understood that the crisis had passed and that he was on the sure road to recovery. The influenza took firm hold upon him but he withstood its attacks stoutly, till pneumonia set in then he held up bravely and well but his heart failed after the long struggle with the disease. His wife, his wife’s mother and his stepmother went to the camp and administered the kindest and most careful attention possible. They also secured a trained nurse to care for him. All efforts to save the young and promising life were fruitless and he has joined the large army of the soldiers, “Over There.” Charles W. Hall was born in Lowell, Mass, May 5, 1888. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Leroy W. Hall. His father and mother have both passed away. The family lived in this town a number of years and Charles attended the local schools and was graduated from Pinkerton academy in the class of 1908. Soon after his graduation he entered the employ of S. Howard Bell in the local pharmacy. He worked for Dr. Bell about three years and went from here to Epping and worked as clerk in a drug store. From Epping he went to Salem Depot and was employed in the drug store of Mr. Soule. From Salem Depot he went to Pittsfield and was there when called into his country’s military service. On Wednesday July 24 he left his home here and went to Exeter, and on the following day July 25 he went to Camp Devens where he had been in the line of military service till the time of his death. On Tuesday July 23, the day before he left his home and friends here he was united in marriage to Miss Emma M. Tewksbury, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred R. Tewksbury, of No. 10 Norton street, this town. Mr. Hall is survived by his wife, a step-mother, an uncle Walter Hall of Salem Depot, and an aunt, Mrs. Ellen Wakeley of Boston. Mrs. Hall was completely prostrated by the death of her husband and was brought from Camp Devens in an automobile to her parent’s home in the town. She is still in a very feeble condition. Private Hall was a young man of most exemplary life and character. He was very highly esteemed by his associates in military life, and also by his large circle of friends and acquaintances in business and civil life.”

[8] Edgar Carl Hartford was born 1 October 1892 in Deerfield NH, son of Alfred H. & Cora A. (Fife) Hartford. In the 1900 US Census living in Deerfield NH with his parents and siblings: Everett James (who m. Fannie May Burwell); Walter Frank (who m. Mabel Edith Richardson); Edith M. (who m. James Durrell); and Guy Scott (who m. Ebba Peerson). Edgar C. Hartford registered for the WWI Draft on 5 June 1917 at Derry NH where he was living at 26 Birch Street. At that time he was an engineer for H.P. Hood & Sons of Derry. He was single and stated he had just joined the NH National Guard. He described himself as tall with a slender build, brown eyes and black hair.  During WWI he served as a Private in Headquarters Co., 103rd Infantry, departing NY NY for Europe on 25 September 1917 aboard the ship Saxonia. He participated in several battles, and was killed in action on 28 November 1918 in France.  When the war ended, his remains were returned to the United States and buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester NH. The NH Adjutant General credits his service to Derry, New Hampshire.  The Derry News of 19 August 1921, page 8 published his funeral details: “EDGAR C. HARTFORD. The funeral services of Edgar C. Hartford were held in Manchester Sunday afternoon in Pine Grove cemetery chapel. Mr. Hartford’s home was in Manchester, but he worked in Derry at the Hood creamery when he enlisted and went to the World war. He was killed in service in France and his remains were forwarded to his Manchester home. More than 50 went from here to the funeral as he was a member of the Odd Fellows, the Rebekahs, the Knights of Pythias, Ivanhoe Temple and the Derry Grange. Members of the Lester W. Chase post American Legion and the Auxiliary united with the Manchester post and auxiliary. The officiating clergyman was the Rev. G.S. Morrell, of Manchester. The singing was by Miss Cheever and Miss Taylor. The Manchester post firing squad fired a salute at the grave. The ritualistic services were conducted by officers of Echo Lodge, I.O.O.F. including Earl Hight, noble grand; Richard Durkee vice grand; R.H. Adams, chaplain and E.G. Simpson, marshal. The bearers were D.W. Johnson and Otto Steizal of the Manchester post. A.J. Grant and Oscar Sprague of Chase post of Derry; William H. Drew and Harry E. Clark of Echo Lodge I.O.O.F of Derry.”

[9] Charles E. Hollingshead was born in 18 September 1890 at Lambton, Ontario, Canada [an obituary states Hamilton MA], son of Samuel & Anna “Annie” (Coffey) Hollingshead.  In 1900 living in Mill Street in Hamilton MA, with parents and siblings Samuel William (d. 1910), Rachel, Frank (d 1905), Morley (m. Iva B. Proctor), Alfred (m. Emma M. Allen) and Abbie Elizabeth ( who m. Addison R. Gibb).  The book, “A List of the officers and enlisted men in the United States Marine Corps.” shows the following:  HOLLINGSHEAD, Charles Sgt. 20th 5th.  DIED OF WOUNDS June 29, 1918 in the Chateau Thierry Sector.  Annie Hollingshead (Mother) #3 Mt. Pleasant St., Derry, N.H.”  The Derry Enterprise of 23 July 1918 reported: “Charles Hollingshead, of Derry, son of Mrs. Annie Hollingshead and the widow of Samuel Hollingshead, died from wounds received in action while at the front on June 29. Late Saturday evening Mrs. Hollingshead received a telegram from Washington D.C. signed by Major George Barnett which stated that a cablegram had been received informing the department that Private Charles Hillingshead of the United States Marine Corps died June 29 of wounds received in action. It also stated that the body would be interred abroad until the end of the war. The message added “Please accept my heartfelt sympathy in your great loss. Your son nobly gave his life in the service of his country. Charles Hollingshead was born in Hamilton, Mass., September 18, 1890. He lived with his parents and attended school in his native town. His father Samuel Hollingshead moved with his family to Derry some 12 years ago. He passed away four years ago. The widow has lived at the homestead No. 3 Mt. Pleasant street. Charles and the youngest sister Abbie made their home with their mother after the father’s death and Charles assisted his mother in her iving expenses materially. On May 12, 1915 he enlisted at Boston in the United States Marine Corps, and was sent direct to Virginia. From there he went to Cuba and did duty there in the naval service. In January 1917 he came north again and after a short furlough passed at his home here he rejoined his marine associates and went across to aid in the defense of his country’s honor. Charles Hollingshead was a member of the Derry Aerie of Eagles No. 663 and was the first member of the aerie to be taken away while in the U.S. service. While living here he joined the D.A.A., the Mayflower grange, the A.O. D.W. and the Foresters of America. During his long absence his membership in some of the orders had lapsed. Besides his mother and sister mentioned he is survived by two brothers, Alfred Hollingshead who is in the U.S. Naval service at present stationed in California, and Morey Hollingshead who lives in Derry. The widowed mother, brother and sister here

Ceremonies held in a Hoboken pier for the war dead in flag-draped caskets, Hoboken, 1921. Hoboken Historical Museum.

have the deepest sympathy of the community. When the war ended, the remains of Charles Hollingshead was returned to the United States, arriving 2 July 1921 at Hoboken NJ aboard the ship Wheaton. Service #118473.  He was reburied with military honors in Forest Hill Cemetery, Derry NH.   The Derry News of 29 July 1921 reported on the  following:  CHARLES E. HOLLINGSHEAD. Funeral Services for Veteran of World War. The body of Charles E. Hollingshead, arrived in Derry from Hoboken N.J. Friday Evening, on the 7 o’clock train. Its arrival here was signalled by two blasts upon the fire alarm. It was immediately taken by undertaker White with American Legion escorts to the home of the mother, Mrs. Annie Hollingshead, on Mt. Pleasant street. There it remained till Monday morning. At 9 o’clock when a prayer service was held attended by the relatives and neighbors, and then body was then taken escorted by Legion men as bearers to the Adams Memorial hall where it lay under the charge of Legion guards until 2:30 o’clock when the public funeral services were held. The hall was filled, as the day before at the Lester W. Chase funeral, quite to its capacity. The Rev. William Warren of the Methodist church conducted the services. He spoke very impressively of the deceased and paid a high tribute to his faithfulness and courage, his manliness and his patriotism. Mr. Warren also read the letters of high commendation that came from officials of the French government and from our own. He had been regularly cited by the French and the awards and medals were to be seen beside the casket. A profusion of beautiful flowers was to be seen about the casket as tokens of love and esteem from relatives and friends. Following Mr. Warren’s service the officers of the Derry Aerie of Eagles, of whom the deceased was an honored member, performed their beautifully impressive and emphatically Scriptural service. The elegant uniforms and regalia of the Eagles were noticeable. During this service appropriate selections were rendered by soloist Charles A. Sefton. At the close of the service the large delegation of Legion men, left the hall first, followed by the Auxiliary members, the Eagles 150 strong and then the mourners. The casket covered with the American flag was carried out by the Legion bearers and placed in the hearse surrounded with the beautiful flowers. Then with the Derry band leading the line was slowly moved along Broadway to Forest Hill Cemetery, East Derry where interment was made by H.A. White. During the funera services the stores, banks and places of business generally were closed as a mark of honor and respect to the memory of the World war veteran. Legion chaplain, Louis W. Morse, performed the committal service.

[10]  Frederick Ray Huson was born 1 May 1892 in Salem NH, son of James A. & Sadie S. (Stratton) Huson. In 1900 he is found in the U.S. Census living in Derry NH with his parents as “Freddie” and sibings Fay I. (who married Forrest D. Ayer), and Verne Albion (who m. Bernice E. Moynehan).  On 5 June 1917 he completed his WWI Registration form, a resident of Derry NH, aged 25. He was employed at the Carter Hoisery Mill in Derry, was single, and described himself as tall with a slender build, grey eyes and brown hair.  He was serving as a Private in the 14th Co., 4th Bn, 151st D.B. [according to his tombstone] at the Camp Devens Training Contanment when he contracted influenza, which developed into pneumonia.  He died on 9 April 1918 in the Base Hospital in Harvard MA.  The Derry Enterprise of Tuesday, 10 April 1918 reported: DEATH OF SOLDIER. Frederick R. Huson, youngest son of Mrs. Sadie B. Kimball, died at Camp Devens, Mass., Tuesday evening following a brief illness from pneumonia. He enlisted in the army service of the United States and went to Camp Devens on Friday, March 29. The following week he was stricken with pneumonia and passed away Tuesday night, April 9. His mother was notified of his serious illness and went to the camp hospital remaining with him till the last. Frederick R. Huson was born in Salem 26 years ago May 1. He had lived on the old homestead, near Island Pon, and was well and favorably known by a large number of friends. He was a member of the Junion Order of American Mechanicas and was an earnest and faithful worker in the order. Besides his mother, he is survived by an older brother, Verne A. Huson, who has been at Camp Devens since early last fall, also by a sister Mrs. Fay Huson Ayer of Haverhill, Mass. At the request of the mother Undertaker White went to Ayer, Mass. Thursday and after some strict army regulations obtained leave to take the body and conveyed it to the family home, reaching there late in the afternoon. The funeral service was held at the late home of the deceased on Sunday afternoon. Rev. Frederick I. Kelley of the First Church conducted the services. Burial was in Fairview cemetery at North Salem by Undertaker H.A. White & Co.  He was buried at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in N. Salem NH.

[11]  Milford H. Lunt was born Feb 1894 in Ellsworth Maine, son of Willie Tinker & Mary Josephine (Porter) Lunt.  In 1900 living in Ellsworth Maine with his parents, and siblings Rosamond Mabelle (who m. Gerald Randall Oldham), and Howard Porter. He also had (later) siblings Otis Eugene (who m. Pauline Toothaker); Ruth Margaret, who m. Preston H. Way/Waye; Allister, and Eldon Everett. During WWI he was serving as a Private in Co. M, 5th Cavalry at Fort Bliss Texas when he contracted influenza, which developed within 8 days into acute broncho-pneumonia. He died at the Base Hospital at Ft. Bliss on 17 October 1918, aged 24 years.   His body was returned to Maine and buried in Woodbine Cemetery, Ellsworth Maine.  The following newspaper notice explains his connection

Photograph of training at Fort Bliss, TX
during WWI.

with Derry NH: “Derry Enterprise newspaper 29 October 1918.
Clifton Bloomfield Home. Clifton Bloomfield, son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Bloomfield arrived home from Fort Bliss, Elpasso Texas yesterday. He was detailed from the camp by the government officials to accompany the body of Milford J. Lund to his home in Ellsworth, Me. Lund died at the Fort of the epidemic and was sick but a few days. He was 24 years of age. He formerly lived in Derry and worked as cook in a local restaurant. He roomed for a long time in the Central block of which Mrs. Emma J. Morse is the Matron. He had many friends here all of whom are sorry to learn of his death. Bloomfield will stay by permission of the officials at his home here only two days and will then be obliged to return to Fort Bliss. All were much pleased to see him home again.”

Anne Frasier, later Mrs. Edwin Norton in her graduation dress from Pinkerton Academy, Derry NH circa 1911. Photograph courtesy Pinkerton Academy Archives. Used here with permission.

[12]  Anne “Annie” Frasier was born on 10 April 1893 in East Boston MA, daughter of Charles Warren & Catherine (Walsh) Frasier. Her mother died when she was 9 years old and moved with her family to Derry NH where she graduated from Pinkerton Academy.

Annie Frasier married Edwin Norton who was also from Derry. She served as a yeoman in the United States Navy during WWI (not a nurse as some stated) but rather a stenographer in the office of the Commandant of the Portsmouth Naval Ship Yard. She died of complications from influenza on 11 October 1918.

[See this story for more details of her life].




FIG. 56.-Triage, 42d Division, near Suippes, France, July 17, 1918. U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History

[13] Russell Benjamin Rice was born 28 July 1898 in Derry NH, son of Charles T. & Martha E. “Mattie” (Forsaith) Rice. In 1900 he was living with his parents, aged 2 in Derry NH, his father working as a woodworker.  He had a sibling Rufus Kingsley (who m. Millie L. Stack). During WWI he enlisted in June 1917 and served as a Private in Machine Gun Co. of the 38th Infantry. He died of wounds received in action on 16 July 1918 at Crezancy France, probably in the Champagne-Marne Operation.  When the war ended his body was returned home to the United States and reburied in Chester Village Cemetery, Chester NH  on 28 June 1921.

[14] Carl Horace Richards was born 4 February 1890 in Claremont NH,  son of George Horace & Etta (Gardner/Gardiner) Richards. In 1900 he was living in Claremont NH with his family and sibings Howard Chesley (who m. Dorothy May Witham), and Florence Jane (who m. Willis Edwin Hurd). In the 1916 Derry Directory he

WWI era postcard of the Hospital at Fort Slocum, NY.

was living at 13 Grove Street in Derry working as a shoe cutter. He completed his WWI Registration form on 5 June 1917 at that time living in Derry NH working for Emerson Purington Co. as a shoemaker. He described himself as being of medium height and build with green eyes and light hair. Carl H. Richards died 15 June 1918 at Fort Slocum in New Rochelle NY of pulmonary tuberculosis, and was interred in Edgewood Cemetery, Nashua NH on 20 June 1918 (from disinterment record).

[15] Maurice Herbert Roberts was born 2 May 1900 in Derry NH, son of Albert Burton & Carrie (Nutter) Roberts. He served during WWI as a Corporal in Co. E, of the 9th Infantry.

He was in several battles and was killed in action on 9 October 1918 probably during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. When the war ended his body was returned to the United States where he was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery Derry. [See extensive story about him here].

Other Heroes of Note
Died In Service During WWI


James M. Forsaith | Corporal | Died from Wounds 28 September 1918 | Co. C, 103rd Infantry | Chester Village Cemetery, Chester NH.   Corp. Forsaith was born in Chester NH, and credited to that town.  His parents were living in Derry NH at the time of his death, so you see him name on some lists.  Read his story here.

[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].


This entry was posted in History, Military of New Hampshire, NH WW1 Military and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Derry

  1. Pingback: New Hampshire World War I Military: Heroes of The Great War | Cow Hampshire

  2. T.J. Cullinane says:

    Janice, thank you so much for this wonderful piece. The research contained herein is of inestimable value to our efforts to preserve the memory of our fallen warriors during the Centennial Observance of the Great War. We are in the process of adding ten missing names to the town memorial and will identify Derry’s veterans of the Canadian Expeditionary Force by affixing a bronze maple leaf next to their name. Thank you again for this outstanding article and for everything you do to preserve Granite State history. Very respectfully, T.J. Cullinane, Derry History Museum volunteer

    • Janice Brown says:

      T.J., thank you for your kind words. It is an honor to write about these often forgotten heroes of World War I. I know that Derry is very active in honoring its veterans, I wish all towns and cities were as proactive. Kudos to you and all at the Derry History Museum for this.

Leave a Reply