Though small in population, the town of Newmarket New Hampshire contributed between 4-5% of its total population to military service. The remaining citizens each participated in some way, either through careful rationing, home gardens, holding fund raisers, making contributions to the Red Cross and Liberty Bonds, or by supporting patriotic events.
On 11 June 1918 R.W. Husband, State Historian, Secretary of the Committee on Public Safety notified the local historians of new honor families in New Hampshire. An honor family is one which has three or more men in the military service. Newmarket led this week with three families–Mrs. James Sharples of Newmarket had four sons in the service, Mrs. Jeremiah St. Hilaire of Newmarket had three sons in the services, as had Mrs. Leon Deauteuil of Newmarket.
What follows is a list of the men who claimed Newmarket NH as their residence, and served in Europe, returning home alive. These heroes include [incomplete list]:
Howard Warren Barss, 2nd Detachment Labor Foreman, Administrative Labor Co., Service No. 2883974. Departed Newport News VA on ship K. Den Nederlanden. Next of kin, friend Hazel B. Robinson.
Arthur L. Bergeron, Private, Battery E., 149th Field Artillery, Returned from Brest France to Hoboken NJ on 26 April 1919 on ship Leviathan. Service No. 388043. Next of kin, mother Frances Bergeron.
William J. De Blaker, CO, Battery B, 66th Artillery, CAC, Returning from Pauillac France to Hoboken NJ on 5 March 1919 on ship Powhatan. Next of kin, father, James De Blaker.
E. Deauteuil, Private, Co. I, 103rd Infantry. Departed NY City for Europe on 27 Sep 1919 on ship Lapland.
Joseph D. Deronin, Private, 337th Squadron Air Service. Service No. 2350698. Departed NY City for Europe on 8 August 1918 on ship Emp of Russia. Next of kin, father Joseph Deronin.
Murrel H. Elmore, Private, 11th Infantry. Returned from Brest France arriving Hoboken NJ on 20 April 1919 on ship Great Northern. Service No. 4007895. Next of kin, mother Laura Elmore.
Thomas J. Filion, P1C, 1st Engineer Service Co. (Forestry), 20th Engineers. Returned from Pauillac, France, departed 7 May 1919 on ship Martha Washington. Service No. 185019. Next of kin, father, Joseph A. Filion.
Thomas F. Iveson, Private, Battery D, 103rd Field Artillery. Mother, Jennie Iveson. Departed Newport News VA for Europe on 14 Nov 1917 on ship Pennsylvanian.
John D. Lacombe, Private, Company L, 309th Infantry. Departed St. Nazaire, France 18 Dec 1918 bound for USA on ship Madawaska. Service No 1748782.
Rodolph I Lamothe, Private, 301st Mobile Ordnance Repair Shop, Service No 2723080. Departed Montreal Canada for Europe on 14 July 1918 on ship Ajana.
Henry F. Murphy, Wagoner, Co. D, 101st Engineers. Service No. 185156. Returned from Brest France to Boston MA arriving 4 April 1919 on ship Mount Vernon. Next of kin, stepmother Mrs. Mary K. Connors.
Thomas F. Norton, Wagoner, M.P., 82nd Military Police Company. Service No 1919551. Departed Bassen Docks Bordeaux France for NYC departing 9 May 1919 on ship Sierra. Next of Kind, brother Michael Norton.
Frank Orlando, Private, Battery A., 307th Field Artillery. Service No. 2412480. Returned from Marseille, France to NYC arriving 14 May 1919 on ship Guiseppe Verdi. Next of kin, father Pasquale Orlando.
Ludger Rondeau, Private, Battery A, 66th Artillery C.A.C., service No. 587924. Returned from Pauillac France to Hoboken NJ arriving 5 March 1919 on ship Powhatan. Next of kin, mother Zipherin Rondeau.
Benjamin E. Runnals, 1st Sgt., Battery F, 101st Field Artillery. Service No. 134146. Departed Brest, France, arriving Boston MA on 10 April 1919 on ship Mongolia. Next of kin, wife, Eva M. Runnals.
Ralph W. Sewall, Private, Battery D, 6th Anti Aircraft Battalion. Serivce No 3589277. Departed Brooklyn NY for Europe on 25 Sep 1918 on ship Plassy. Next of kin, father Charles E. Sewall. Returned from Liverpool England on 12 August 1918.
Henry M. Sullivan, Private, Co A, 301st Military Police. Service No. 1682369. Departed Boston MA for Europe on 8 July 1918 on ship Cardiganshire. Next of kin, sister Mrs. Genevieve Lemay.
Stephen Wallace, Private, Battery E, 54th Artillery, C.A.C., Service No 582532. Departed Portland Maine for Europe on 22 March 1918, ship Canada. Next of kin, uncle Stephen Wallace.
Band Stand Veterans’ Memorial
According to the Newmarket Historical Society website, on 4 July 1923 a celebration was held to observe the holiday and to dedicate the men from Newmarket NH who served during the World War (WWI). A memorial bandstand with engraved tablets was presented to the town following a parade and other festivities. This memorial exists today near 100 Main Street/1 Willey Court, a continuing tribute to their service.
Newmarket NH Heroes
Died In Service
The Newmarket Historical Society has compiled a list of biographies of those men of the town who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I. Thee list includes Edward Alfred Trottier (died of influenza), Robert Greenleaf Durgin (died of influenza), Arthur Beauchesne (killed in action, Canadian Infantry), and Horace Grant Rose (died of spinal cord inflammation, Canadian Expeditionary Force). The Historical Society also reports on an incident in 1917 where two Army Privates of Co. L, 6th Massachusetts Infantry were struck and killed by a train.
To this list I add the following person: Seth Perkins Bickford.
Seth P. Bickford | Boatswain’s Mate 2c | Died of Disease 19 Sep 1918 (pneumonia) | U.S. Navy, U.S.S. Tjisenbang | Buried At Sea per Davis Cemetery records | Cenotaph Tablets of the Missing at Suresnes American Cemetery | Cenotaph Davis Cemetery, Lisbon Maine |
Seth P. Bickford was born in April 1895 in Edgecomb, Lincoln Co., Maine, son of Edward T. & Lillian Maude (Perkins) Bickford. In the 1900 U.S. Census he was living in Edgecomb Maine with parents and his only sibling, Mildred Lilian Bickford (who m. Edward L. Keenan). The U.S. NAVY CASUALTIES BOOK shows– Bickford, Seth Perkins, boatswain’s mate, second class. United States Navy. Enlisted: Cavite, P.I., July 14, 1917. Died: U.S.S. Tjisenbang, September 19, 1918. Cause: pneumonia, lobar. Next of kin: Father, Edward P. Bickford, Newmarket, N.H. The cemetery card of Davis Cemetery indicates he was buried at sea, and it is the reason why he is also listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Suresnes American Cemetery, France (though he did not die there). His name can be found on the NH WWI Honor Roll in Doric Hall, State House, Concord.
[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].