New Hampshire World War I Military: 2nd Lieut Harry Dickinson Thrasher of Plainfield and Cornish, Famed Sculptor

Photograph of sculptor, Harry
Dickinson Thrasher, in Cornish NH
standing outside the Studio of the
Caryatids
– Saint-Gaudens workshop
in Cornish NH, after the winter of
1904 when this structure was built.
Courtesy of Saint-Gaudens NHS and
Mrs. Jay Russell. Used with
permission.

I learned about Harry Dickinson Thrasher by chance while researching the WWI heroes of a seacoast town. The Portsmouth Herald newspaper of 21 Sep 1918 on page 4 posted this brief notice: “American Sculptor Was a Native of New Hampshire. New York, Sept 21, — Lt. Harry Dickinson Thrasher, a well known sculptor, was killed in action in France Aug 1, while serving with the camouflage section of the army, according to information received here today by the National Sculpture Society, of which he was a member. He was 36 years old and a native of Cornish, NH. In 1909 he won the scholarship of the American Academy in Rome. He enlisted as a private, was promoted to a sergeant and won his commission as lieutenant after his command had reached the front.” [Editor’s note:  I should mention here that in researching him I discovered that Harry D. Thrasher is my 8th cousin 1x removed, through his 2nd great-grandmother, Olive Eastman.]

Harry D. Thrasher’s name does not appear on the New Hampshire Adjutant General’s list of casualties of World War I, nor does it appear on the engraved listing of New Hampshire’s WWI Roll of Honor in Doric Hall of the NH State House, though I believe it should. His name IS on the Town of Plainfield memorial plaque to WWI that sits on the lawn of the Philip Read Memorial Library.  How many times a day do people pass by? Do they ever wonder about his name on the plaque–the only one engraved in bold letters?

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