New Hampshire WWI Military: Private Emile St. Hilaire of Berlin NH (1889-1918)

Emile St. Hilaire was born 1 June 1889 at Saint-Romuald, Levis, PQ Canada, the son of Procul & Arthemise (Nolin) St. Hilaire. His siblings included: Lea, Yvonne, and Marie Anna (who later married Ernest J. Perron).

Emile would have grown up and attended school in a village school in Levis Canada. His family moved to Berlin, New Hampshire after 1901 when they are shown in the Canadian Census in Levi, Quebec Canada, and before 1910 when the the family is established in Berlin, Coos County, New Hampshire.

In April of 1917 the United States became directly involved in the World War (WWI). On his military draft registration form dated 5 June 1917 he provides a great deal of information. He was married and he had a child. He is described as being of medium height and build, with blue yes and dark brown hair.

Signature of Emile St. Hilaire from his June 1917 WWI Registration form.

Emile St. Hilaire, had married 20 June 1910 in Berlin Coos Co NH to Delia Guilmette, daughter of Felix Guilmette & Marie Beaumond. They had a son, Joseph Antonio Emeric St. Hilaire, known as Antonio St. Hilaire. Antonio would grow up Berlin NH and marry Marie Florence Annette Blanchette, and have 4 sons: Leo, Richard, Robert Henry, and Paul Emile whose descendants carry on the family name.

Meuse-Argonne Offensive, September 26 to November 11, 1918. Scenes of 78th and 91st Divisions from US National Archives on Youtube.

Emile St. Hilaire entered the United States army, being assigned to the 309th Infantry Regiment, 78th Division, as a private. This regiment trained at Camp Dix, New Jersey, and served with the American Expeditionary Force in France from September 10, 1918 until the end of May 1918.  The 309th regiment was in three decisive battles in France. They were at St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and Lorraine. It was during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive when the 309th regiment would have been in the St. Juvin region where Emile St. Hilaire lost his life on 17 October 1918.

As was typical of the protocol, Emile would have been buried in a small cemetery near the battlefield, with a cross marking the spot, and also his dog tags or other personal military designation showing who lie there. Later his body was removed and reburied at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery at Romagne, France, in Plot B Row 13 Grave 17.

Emile St. Hilaire’s name can be found inscribed upon the memorial tablets in Doric Hall of the New Hampshire State House, Concord.  There is a WW1 monument in Berlin, New Hampshire but it is unknown if Emile’s name appears on it.

[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].

Additional Reading:  The Greatest Battle Never Told: The Meuse-Argonne Offensive (pdf)

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11 Responses to New Hampshire WWI Military: Private Emile St. Hilaire of Berlin NH (1889-1918)

  1. Pingback: New Hampshire World War I Military: Heroes of The Great War | Cow Hampshire

  2. Amy says:

    I hadn’t seen one of your WWI posts in a while. I sort of thought perhaps you’d run out of soldiers who’d been killed in that war, but alas, I guess not. Too many lost.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Amy, I have many many more to write. I took a break over the holidays so I could write about less sad things.

      • Amy says:

        I certainly can understand that. Sometimes I feel that way after writing about too many deaths, even of people who lived full lives. Then I need a break also.

  3. Pingback: New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Berlin | Cow Hampshire

  4. Dale St.Hilaire says:

    Thank you for the research. I now know a little more about my Great grandfather.

  5. Dan P St. Hilaire says:

    Janice, Thank you for sharing this. Emile is my Great Grandfather. Robert Henry “Bob” who was mentioned, is my father. I didn’t know much from my grand father, Antonio’s family history. The links are great! Thank you!

    • Janice Brown says:

      Dan, thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. Your great-grandfather was a hero, and you are right to be proud of him. The reason I write is to help connect people with the past, and even better to their ancestors or cousins. Let us not forget them.

  6. Janice, this is a great addition to our family history. I see you heard from my cousin Dick and updated the page to include his brother Paul. I have what appears to be a very old picture of Emile’s grave marker. If you would like, you have my permission to include it on this page. If I recall, my cousin Dick has the original and I took a picture of it last time I visited him. I believe he got it from another of his cousins that visited the gave.

  7. Pingback: 100 Years Ago: New Hampshire Gold Star Mothers | Cow Hampshire

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