New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Farmington

“Keep ’em smiling!” Help War Camp Community Service poster. Created by the U.S. War Department, 1918. National Archives on Flickr.

On April 6, 1917 the U.S. formally entered the First World War. The Farmington (NH) News newspaper that was published the same day seemed quiet tame for headlines, except for page 4 where “DANGER FROM GERMAN INVASION” explained why New Hampshire should be concerned about an enemy attack. By August of 1917 the news was full of recruitment articles and indoctrination war stories. A letter to the women of New Hampshire requested 500 knitted outfits–a sleeveless sweater, a muffler and a pair of wristlets to be sent to the men of the battleship “New Hampshire.” The residents of Farmington “did their bit” to support the troops, and to follow the food and good restrictions placed on them in order to supply the war with same. Liberty bond drives were held, and Red Cross fund raising begun.

At least 82 men left to serve in various branches of the military, on land, sea and air. Of those two would never return alive to their home town–Clarence Leroy Perkins and Maurice P. Potvin. Continue reading

New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Chesterfield

Chesterfield New Hampshire’s Soldier’s Monument that includes both Civil War and WWI names. Photograph courtesy of Richard S. Marsh.

Chesterfield, New Hampshire is located in Cheshire County and contains the villages of West Chesterfield, Chesterfield Factory and Spofford. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the town of Chesterfield, New Hampshire had about 750 residents. Of these twenty of the town’s young men would be called into military service, and there would be at least one fatality in wartime.

On 20 August 1924 the town had a Soldier’s monument installed by the Town Hall on Route 63. Currently this includes series of 5 plaques honoring Civil War, WWI and those who died in “the other wars” (probably meant to reference the American Revolution, War of 1812 and the Spanish-American Wars at the time). Continue reading

New Hampshire WWI Military: Private Clarence F. Kelley of Manchester NH (1895-1918)

kelley-clarence-photograph-2-watermarkedClarence Fletcher Kelley was born on 25 January 1895 in Manchester, New Hampshire, the son of Thomas F. & Eola L. (Fletcher) Kelley. By 1900 both he and his brother, Carroll, were living with their mother at a 255 Auburn Street tenement house.  By 1910 they were living at 396 Manchester Street. He would have attended schools in those neighborhoods.

On his war registration card of June 1917, Clarence indicated the following: 22 years of age, occupation a conductor on the Manchester Street Railroad (trolley).  He was single, and had been a member of the NH National Guard Battery for 3 months.  He was of medium height, slender with light brown eyes and brown hair.   Continue reading

The Lost Faces of World War One — Part Seven

This is the continuation of a series of stories about men who died in World War 1, and whose photographs appeared in a publication called “Our Nation’s Roll of Honor.” The original post and explanation can be found at this link.  There will also be a complete listing of all the names researched at that same blog post.

LOST FACES OF WORLD WAR ONE: Our Nation’s Roll of Honor — Part Seven

EDDY Henry Leslie New Britain CTLieut. Henry Leslie Eddy
New Britain, Conn
Killed in Action

Henry Leslie “Les” Eddy was born 30 July 1894, at New Britain, Hartford CT, son of Horace W. & Agnes M. (Hodge) Eddy.

He graduated from New Britain (CT) High school, attended Colby College in Maine, and was a former student at Middlebury College in Vermont, entering in September 1915 and remaining only until January 1916. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. He graduated from first officer’s training school at Plattsburg and took advanced courses at the second camp. At the completion of his studies he received a second lieutenancy in the regular army. Continue reading

Remembering Grandparents Day 2015: Clarence Leroy Webster (1882-1969)

Tin-type photograph of Clarence L. Webster circa 1882

Tin-type photograph of Clarence L. Webster circa 1882

National Grandparents Day falls each year on the first Sunday after Labor Day. The creation of this recognition day was a labor of love for Mrs. Marian Lucille (Herndon) McQuade of West Virginia. In the past I’ve focused on my grandmothers, so this time I am writing about the only grandfather that I actually knew.

“Gramp,” as I called him, was born Clarence Leroy Webster in Canisteo, Steuben County, New York in 1882 to Isaac and Anna Lee (Smith) Webster. His mother died when he was 6 years old. His father remarried when he was 12 years old, and within a few years, while still of a tender age, he was pretty much shown the door and told to fend for himself. Continue reading