On the same day that he filled out his World War 1 Registration form (5 June 1917) Willliam married in Campton NH to Ruth Esther Moulton, daughter of Dean L & Lizzie J. (Brigham) Moulton. Within a few months, he had gone through training and was sent to the battlefront in Europe. They did not have children. This same registration indicates that William B. Southmayd was of medium height and build, with blue eyes and brown hair. He was employed as a laborer for SD Tilton in Thornton, New Hampshire.
William B. Southmayd served in the 309th Infantry Regiment, 78th Division during World War I with the rank of private. The 309th as well as the 78th Division served with the American Expeditionary Forces in France from September 10, 1918, until the end of May 1919. The History of the 78th “Lightning Division” explains that during the summer and fall of 1918 this Division was involved in the final offensive and was involved in three major campaigns–Meuse-Argonne, St. Mihiel and Lorraine.
William B. Southmayd died of wounds on 20 October 1918 in France. It is not known exactly when he received those wounds, but it would have been during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He was buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne France in Plot D., Row 19, Grave 24. There is also a cenotaph at Blair Cemetery, Campton Lower Village in Grafton, NH, erected by his wife, Ruth.
William B. Southmayd’s service is recognized on the Memorial Tablet in Doric Hall (Hall of Flags) New Hampshire State House.
[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].
of William B. Southmayde
William Southmayd Sr. & Jone —
William Southmayd Jr. & Milicent Wood, of UK & Gloucester MA
William Southmayd & Esther Hamlin, sea captain, ship owner
Rev John Southmayd & Susannah Ward
Daniel Southmayd & Hannah Brown
John Southmayd & Ruth Baker
Levi Southmayd & Mercy Smith
Benjamin B. Southmayd & Hannah C. Merrill
Merrill Clark Southmayd & Augusta A. Moulton
William Baker Southmayd [this story is about him]