New Hampshire World War I Military: Private Ralph W. Shirley of Conway NH (1896-1918)

A Boston Post newspaper of 2 August 1918 announced Ralph W. Shirley’s death.

Ralph Wellington Shirley was born on 28 May 1896 in Conway, Carroll County NH, son of Arthur R. & Bessie (Moody) Shirley and grandson of  Joshua & Mary E. (Woodward) Shirley.  He had siblings Lela E. (b 1894), Earl A. (b 1899) and Leon A. (b 1897).   According to newspaper and other records, Ralph grew up in Conway NH and Fryeburg Maine, a farmer’s son, attending Fryeburg Academy.  He was studying at New Hampshire State College (now called the University of New Hampshire) in the future graduating Class of 1919, but he left to enlist in the United States army.

Ralph was assigned to F Company of the 101st Engineers. His brother, Leon Arthur Shirley also appears to have been a member of the same military group.  He was trained and sent to Europe, where he was killed in action on 13 July 1918, probably in the Pas Fini Sector, Lorraine France, where his battalion would have been stationed from July 8 to the 14th, 1918. Continue reading

New Hampshire WWI Military: Private Louis U. Chartier of Manchester NH (1897-1918)

Louis U. Chartier from the Boston Globe newspaper of 1918.

Louis U. Chartier from the Boston Globe newspaper of 1918.

Louis U. Chartier was born on 4 May 1897 in Manchester NH, son of Antoine/Anthony & Angelina (Roy) Chartier. His parents were Canadian immigrants, who came to a city desperate for workers for its thriving industries.  Anthony Chartier was a shoemaker, and by 1910 his wife Angelina had given birth to 14 children, though only six were alive at that time.

Louis grew up at 255 Massabesic Street, and attended local schools.  He was 20 years old when the United States entered the World War, and he was among the first to enter the military.  He was a member of Company I, 23d Infantry, holding the rank of Private, according to the official inscription on his grave marker, though a newspaper report would state he was a member of the 101st Infantry.  He must have enlisted in Massachusetts, for he is credited to that State, though he was from New Hampshire. Continue reading