New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Francestown

Old postcard showing the Francestown WWI
monument. Property of J.W. Brown.

Francestown was, and still is, a rural community southwest of Manchester, New Hampshire.  In 1910 before the World War the town’s population was 602. Just a few years after the war in 1920 the census had drastically dropped to 363, followed by 342 a decade later. Then slowly the population began to grow to its estimated 1600 people today.

There were many in the town, men and women who though not in the military, still served their town and country through supportive activities.  Victory gardens, Red Cross work, philanthropic efforts were all important pieces of Francestown’s community World War promotion.

When the Armistice was announced, the town was determined not to forget not only the soldiers who did not come home, but all of the men that went to war.  Francestown arranged for a monument that was dedicated in 1920.  This beautiful plaque was created by the famed woman sculptor, Theo Alice R. Kitson, and cost the town $400.  Today the monument still sits where it was installed, at 35 Main Street beside the Old Meeting House, between two flag poles (USA and NH flags). Continue reading

New Hampshire WWI Military: Private George Clayburn of Piermont

Photograph postcard: “Arrival of Lightning
[78th] Division in Semur-en-Auxois” After
Armistice, 1918-1919. WWI Scrapbook, College
of William & Mary Digital Archive.

Piermont New Hampshire had less than 600 residents during World War I. Following that war the number of citizens would plummet to 475 by 1930 and then rise and fall until there was continuous slow growth beginning in 1980. The town sent around 10 men–its full quota that was less than 2% of its total population. Besides George Clayburn, those from Piermont who enlisted and were sent to Europe were John A. Ames (134th Field Artillery), George’s brother William Albert Clayburn (Co E, 14th Railway Engineers to Company D, 11th Engineers), Edward S. Lebeaux (Co K, 103rd Infantry), and Harry A. Wilson (Co. C, 103rd Infantry). Continue reading

New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Bethlehem

Old postcard scene of
Bethlehem NH.

Though a small New Hampshire town, Bethlehem sent at least 53 of its young men and women to service during World War I. In addition, those who stayed behind also worked for the war effort as the White Mountain Echo newspaper of the time attests. Bethlehem  NH depended greatly on its summer tourists, and so it was hard hit financially from 1917-1919. Continue reading

New Hampshire WWI Military: Sergeant Major Andrew Jackson of Littleton and Rochester (1882-1960)

I would not have known about Sergeant Major Andrew Jackson of New Hampshire except for a brief newspaper notice placed in the Nashua Telegraph in September of 1919. It stated as follows: “Concord–Sergeant Major Andrew Jackson of Rochester was decorated with the Croix de Guerre from the French Government by Governor John H. Bartlett Wednesday afternoon for bravery at Chateau Thierry. Members of the legislature, guards of khaki, members of the Legion, the soldier’s family and citizens gathered before the state house for the ceremony.” Continue reading

New Hampshire WWI Military: Private Earl Bodge Clark of Barnstead

Headstone of Private Earl B. Clark
at Arlington National Cemetery.

Earl Bodge Clark was born 26 April 1896 in Barnstead, Belknap Co. NH, son and only child of Frank H. & Ethel (Bodge) Clark. He grew up there, attending the local schools. Earl registered for the WWI Draft on 5 June 1917 while living at Center Barnstead NH. He was 21 years old, single, and working as a leather finisher. His description was of medium height and build, with dark gray eyes and dark brown hair.

Earl served during World War I as a Private in Co. K, 309th Infantry, 78th Division. He and his battalion departed Brooklyn NY on 19 May 1918 for Europe. His Service number was 1749270. Seven months later he would be dead. Continue reading