New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Exeter

Circa 1910 postcard of Exeter New Hampshire’s Town Hall. The upstairs of this building was renovated in 1919 as a place for World War I military veterans to gather.

At Exeter New Hampshire’s town meeting of March 1919, a committee was appointed to consider the building of a memorial to the soldiers and sailors of the town. They recommended a sum not to exceed $10,000 be appropriated to remodel the upper story of the Town Hall building “to fit it for the use of said soldiers and sailors.” This remodeling would be overseen by a committee with the following members: Albert E. McReel, John A. Green, Albert J. Weeks, Thomas Smith and Thomas McLaughlin.

Also recommended was the employment of noted local sculptor Daniel Chester French, who would design and construct a “suitable memorial to Exeter’s soldiers and sailors” not costing more than $20,000. The committee to oversee this memorial would be John E. Young, Wendell B. Folsom, Albertus T. Dudley and James W. Bixler. Both sums were raised by means of town bonds, with an additional $3,000 raised as part of the town tax for that year. Albert E. McReel, Secretary for the Committee submitted this report.

Postcard showing the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Exeter, New Hampshire. It was designed by sculptor Daniel Chester French.

The memorial was dedicated on July 4, 1922. Note that in the same year on Memorial Day, the Lincoln Memorial and Daniel Chester French’s seated Lincoln sculpture was unveiled. The Soldier & Sailors monument in Exeter NH is composed of a statue is of a mother, “pointing out the path of duty to her soldier son,” and the inscription reads “With veneration of those who died. Gratitude of those who lived. Trust in the patriotism of those who came after. The town of Exeter dedicates this memorial. To her sons and daughters of the World War.” Unfortunately the memorial does not include the actual names of those who perished during this war.

I owe a debt of gratitude to the following people for helping me compile a list of heroes, and also to obtain or corroborate information on them: Gail Ferraro and Julia Lanter of the Exeter (NH) Public Library, Barbara Rimkunis, Curator of the Exeter Historical Society, Nancy Carnegie Merrill who wrote an Exeter History book that included a list of some of the names I am writing about here, and Randy Daley of the Exeter Cemetery who helped me identify several burial locations. There are many more graduates from Phillips Exeter Academy who died during WWI who I have not included here as their ties to other places are much greater.  If you know of someone who belongs on this list (close ties to Exeter, died during WWI any country or shortly after), please leave a comment.

Colorized postcard of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Exeter NH.

Those who lost their lives during WWI with a connection to Exeter, New Hampshire.

The following legend is used to show the source of the name provided on this list. Soldier or nurse is listed on:
[A] WWI Roll of Honor, Doric Hall, State House, Concord NH
[B] Adjutant General’s List of Killed in Action from New Hampshire
[C] Buried in Europe, American Battle Monuments Commission
[D] Other Official Military Source
[E] Gold Star Mothers of Massachusetts
[F] Graduate/Attendee of Phillips Exeter Academy
* Photograph or likeness provided or available.
[#] Numbers refer to a footnote following the list with additional information on a particular soldier/nurse.

Photograph of Oliver Moulton Chadwick from the 1919 Pean, Phillips Exeter Academy Yearbook

CHADWICK, Oliver Moulton* | Corporal | Killed in action 14 August 1917, north of Bixschoote, Belgium | Lafayette Flying Corps, French Army | Buried Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Cemetery, France; cenotaph plaque in Chadwick burial Lot 206 Exeter (NH) Cemetery | [*See Photograph on right]  [C][D][F] [1]
COLEMAN, Arthur I. | Seaman1c | Died 7 July 1918, Accidental Drowning, South Beach, Staten Island, NY | U.S. Coast Guard/U.S. Navy| Exeter Cemetery, Exeter NH | [A][2]
COVEY, Earl A.* | Corporal | Killed in Action 18 Jul 1918 | Co. D, 101st Engineer Regiment, 26th Div., U.S. Army | Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, Belleau, France|[See Photograph below with his biography] [A][3]
FULLER, Kenneth E.* | 2d Lieut. | Killed in Action 18 July 1918 near Vaux Castille, France  | 23rd Infantry Reg., 2nd Division, A.E.F.  | Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Picardie, France | Awarded Distinguished Service Cross and French Croix de Guerre | [See Photograph below in biography] [A][4]
GALLIGAN, Eugene* | 2nd Lieut. | Killed in Action 8 September 1918 near Blanzy-les-Fismes, France  | 308th Infantry, 77th Div. | Re-interred in Holyhood Cemetery, Brookline MA 1921 | Credited to Massachusetts | SEE Photograph below in biography |[D] [5]

Memorial photograph from The Pean, the 1919 graduate yearbook of Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter New Hampshire.

IRWIN, Katherine P.* | Nurse | Died of Disease (spinal meningitis) 24 June 1918 at No. 2 Evacuation Hospital, Baccarat France | A.E.F.-American Red Cross | Buried Kuttawa Cemetery, Kentucky | [6]  [SEE photograph at left.] [See separate STORY]
LAWRENCE, Earl(e) M. | Private | Died of Disease (influenza/pneumonia 20 November 1918, Hospital at Camp Colt, Adams Co. PA | Tank Corps, 383 Co. > Cas(ual) Co. 1 | Buried Exeter Cemetery (Exeter NH) Lot 714 | [D][7]
LITDKER, Frank L. | Private | Died of Disease 14 October 1918 | OM Corps, U.S. Army | Exeter Cemetery, Exeter NH  Lot 858 |[A][8]
NELSON, Harold P.* | Private | Killed in Action [newspaper says Died of Wounds] 18 October 1918 | Co. B., 104th Infantry | Exeter Cemetery, Exeter NH (name inscribed east side of monument) | SEE Photograph below in biography | [A][9]
PINGREE, Almon Richard | Corp | Killed in Action, 9 April 1918, St. Mihiel France | A.E.F., U.S. Army | Rochester Cemetery, Rochester NH | [A][10]

Florence J. Price, Class of 1906 Brown University. Served in the Canadian Infantry and was killed in action.

PRICE, Florence John* | Sergt. | Killed in Action May 1916, Ypres | Canadian Infantry, 42d Battalion | Buried Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium | See Photograph at right | [D][11]
WIGGIN, Elmer | Seaman2C | Died 27 January 1919 at Sint Franciscus Gasthuis, Schiekade 74-80, Rotterdam (St. Francis Hospital) as the result of internal injuries by being washed about on deck in storm on high seas.| U.S.S. “Absaroka,” U.S. Navy | Originally interred at Crooswijk Cemetery, Rotterdam, re-interred in Exeter Cemetery, 3rd grave from the north, Lot 1012 | [D] [12]

–FOOTNOTES on Exeter NH Heroes–

[1] Oliver Moulton Chadwick, was not born in Exeter, though his father Austin K. Chadwick was. Oliver was a 1907 graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and a noted athlete there.  After his death, a cenotaph to Oliver’s memory was placed in the Chadwick family burial plot in the Exeter Cemetery.  The Gold Star Record of Massachusetts describes his service best: “Chadwick, Oliver Moulton, Corporal, Lafayette Flying Corps, French Army, killed in action 14 August 1917, north of Bixschoote. Enl. 17 Jan 1917, French Foreign Legion; assigned 23 Jan to Aviation School; trained at Buc, Avord, Cazeaux, Pau, Groupe des Divisions d’Entrainement; 28 July to Combat Group 12, Escadrille 73. At front 28 July to 14 August. Brevetted Pilot 4 May 1917. Prior service on Mexican Border, with Battery A, 1st Field Artillery, Massachusetts National Guard. Attended both first and second Plattsburg Training Camps. Born 23 September 1888 at Lowell (MA) son of Austin Kilham and Julia M. (Moulton) Chadwick. brother of Frances (wife of James P. Long). Harvard A.B. 1911; LL.B. 1914; prepared at Phillips Academy Exeter where he received the Yale cup for scholarship and athletics. He was prominent in athletics at Harvard. He left his employment with Stone & Webster Boston in 1914 and offered his services to Canada, but found he could not enlist as an American citizen. Having learned to fly at Curtiss Flying School, Newport News, he sailed for France and enlisted in the Foreign Legion as mentioned above. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre with silver star 7 June 1919. Awarded war medal by Aero Club of America in recognition of valor and distinguished service, Jan. 1918.” Oliver’s passport shows that he sailed to France via England aboard the ship Rochambeau on 30 December 1916. His father wrote a note that accompanies the passport application, indicating he was going there to study banking. On this document Oliver states he is 28 years old, 6 ft.-1/2 inches tall, having a broad forehead, gray eyes, straight nose, regular mouth, long chin, light brown hair, naturally fair complexion,  and a long face.   His name is not included on the Roll of Honor in Doric Hall of the New Hampshire State House.  He is included in the Gold Star Mother’s List of Massachusetts (as shown above). SEE his photograph at top of page.

1918 Postcard: “The Happy Land Sanitary Bathing Pool at Happy Land, South Beach, Staten Island. [(pool, diving platform.]” Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy.The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

[2] Arthur Irvin(g) Coleman, was born 22 Feb 1897 in Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire, son of John & Eleanor Ella (Hunter) Coleman. He had one sibling, John Francis Coleman [born 26 August 1893 who married in 1917 to Eva May Day.  John survived WWI, returning home and died on  28 Jul 1942 in Exeter NH, aged 48 of a heart attack].  Arthur Irvin(g) Coleman’s name is listed on the Roll of Honor, Doric Hall, in the NH State House in Concord NH.  Arthur I. Coleman was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard/U.S. Navy and died of an accidental drowning, from diving into shallow water and breaking his neck at South Beach on Long Island, New York.  On the day of his funeral in Exeter, New Hampshire, the newspaper printed a long and detailed obituary with many details, that I now provide to you. [Portsmouth Herald, Thursday, July 11, 1918 Portsmouth, New Hampshire, page 2]: “The funeral services of Arthur I. Coleman, son of Mr. and Mrs. John F. Coleman, who lost his life by accident while a member of the United States Coast Guards at South Beach, Staten Island, last Sunday were held Wednesday afternoon at the home on Columbus avenue, conducted by Rev. John E. Lary, pastor of the Advent Church. A delegation from the Coast Artillery corps from the Atlantic coast stationed at Fort Constitution were the bearers there being six acting in that capacity and eight as body guards. The body was accompanied from New York by Master-at-Arms Lawrence J. Shea, representing the Coast Guards of New York, of which he was a member. The casket was draped with the the Union Jack and covered with a profusion of floral tributes, including a large anchor from his company. Vocal selections were given by Miss Alice Howe and Mrs. Edward E. Nowell.Young Coleman is Exeter’s second boy to lose his life while in the service, the other being Corporal Almon L. Pingree, who on April 9 was killed in action in France.Coleman enlisted in the Coast Guards June 1 and was called into the service June 5. The accident occurred Sunday afternoon while he was in the act of diving in shallow water striking and breaking his neck. He was an expert swimmer. He was to leave Monday morning for duty overseas, having been promoted to first class seaman. He was given a leave of absence for 24 hours and was one of the 48 out of 100 to be selected as first class seamen for duty abroad. He was well known as an athlete, being a member of the Exeter High school football eleven of 1914 and distinguished himself by making some long runs by receiving forward passes from Capt. Charles Broderick of New Hampshire college last year., who now is in the service. He was also known to hundreds of Phillips Exeter academy students as he closely followed their sports and acted as mascot and a bat boy for the baseball nine for several seasons. He was born in Exeter Feb 22 1897 having the distinction of the same natal day as Washington, the father of the country. After leaving high school he had held various positions, last year working for the American Cable company in New York, Washington and Philadelphia, and at the time of enlistment was acting as clerk in the Langhala hotel in Boston. Preceding the funeral service Wednesday, a naval funeral was held in New York Tuesday, conducted by Capt. Godfrey L. Carden, division commander of the Coast Guards. Sergt. Lawrence L. Shea was detailed to accompany the body to his home here, and remained in the services, Wednesday afternoon. The funeral was in charge of Undertaker F. Junkins of Exeter, and the burial in the Exeter cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Coleman have another son, John F. Coleman, now doing duty in France, who left with the draftees of April 26. They received a communication from him Tuesday in which he states that all was well.”

Photograph of Corp. Earl A. Covey, Co. D, 101st Engineers, State Library of Massachusetts. Killed in Action 18 July 1918.

[3] Earl Adelbert Covey, was born 4 December 1895 in Berwick Maine, son of Adelbert & Viola B. (Smith) Covey, and grandson of Oliver & Sarah (McDuffee) Smith.  In 1900 Earl was living with his family in Exeter, New Hampshire, where his father was an agent for Standard Oil.  On Earl’s WWI Registration form of 5 June 1917 he gives his address as 142 Front Street Exeter NH, and occupation as “Salesman, Standard Oil Co., Exeter.”  On this same form he states he has been a Private in NH’s Coast Artillery [NH National Guard] for 4 years, and describes himself as tall with brown eyes and light brown hair.   He became a member of Co. D., 101st Engineers, 26th Division.  He was killed in action in France on 18 July 1918 and is buried at  Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, Plot A Row 11, Grave 53 at Belleau, France.  Earl A. Covey’s name is listed on the the WWI Roll of Honor in Doric Hall, NH State House.  In addition, on 21 September 1921 a huge bronze and marble tablet in memory of the 101st engineers who died in WWI was placed in Boston, Massachusetts in the entrance hall of the Cadet Armory on Columbus Avenue. “More than 750 members and friends of the 1st corps Cadets, who, with the 10st Engineers Veterans’ Association,erected the tablet. J.H. McIntyre, the cadet armorer, unveiled the tablet, which is 6 feet 8 inches square, set in a frame of pink marble. The design was  executed by George H. Hallowell, a former member of the corps, in collaboration with Maj. Edward H. Hoty, architect. In bold relief on the tablet is the inscription, “Montrat Viam, 1741” (“We Lead the Way”) the date when the organization was formed. Following are the words: “To commemorate the service of the officers and men of the 101st engineers, 1st corps Cadets, 26th division, United States army in France, in the world war, here recruited and here organized, and to record the names of those who there gave up their lives for their country.” The 68 names then followed in alphabetical order, including that of Earl A. Covey.  [Editor’s note: the building was sold and is now in private hands, called Castle at Park Plaza. It is not known whether the plaque is still in that location.] The Fuller-Covey post VFW (VFW Post 2181) was named in his and Fuller’s honor.

Kenneth Eliot Fuller, 2nd Lieut during WWI, Killed in action. Photograph from the 1919 Pean.

[4] Kenneth Eliot Fuller was born 9 Mar 1894 in Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire, son of Arthur G. & Ellen (Minot) Fuller.  [Editor’s note: Richard Buckminster Fuller, the architect, was Kenneth’s first cousin, son of his father’s half brother.]   Kenneth’s siblings included Margaret Crane, Constance (who m. Paul S. Howes), Elizabeth Minot (died 1907), Arthur Davenport, George Minot, and Faith Greenleaf (who married Edward Alvan Lewis).  He received an A.B. degree from Harvard Law School, Class of 1916, being active on the varsity track team.  On the 31 of May 1917 he filled out his WWI Registration form at the Plattsburg Training Camp.  On the form he noted he had been there one month, and was a Corporal in the Infantry. His residence was listed as 80 Court Street, Exeter, New Hampshire and his physical description was  of medium height and stature with brown eyes and dark hair. On August 17, 1917 the Portsmouth Herald newspaper reported that “Kenneth E. Fuller, son of Attorney Arthur O. Fuller, who received a commission as second lieutenant at the Plattsburg camp, is at his home here on a brief leave of absence.”  He was sent to France as part of the 23rd Infantry, 2nd Division.  On 18 July 1918 he was killed in action near Vaux Castille, France.  In the book, “American Decorations (1862-1926),” Volume 1, it is stated he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross: “FULLER, KENNETH E. | Second lieutenant, 23d Infantry, 2d Division | Killed in Action Near Vaux Castille, France July 18, 1918 | Resided and Born in Exeter NH | G.O. No. 22, W.D., 1920 | When his company was temporarily halted by heavy machine-gun fire, Sec. Lieutenant Fuller personally led a group of 10 men in an attack on machine-gun position. He was killed while leading the attack, but due to his heroic example the enemy position was captured and his company was able to continue its advance. Posthumously awarded. Medal presented to father, Arthur O. Fuller.” Kenneth was also awarded the French Croix de Guerre.  He is buried in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Plot A. Row 17 Grave 3.  Kenneth E. Fuller’s name can be found on the WWI Roll of Honor in Doric Hall of the NH State House, Concord NH.  The Fuller-Covey post VFW (VFW Post 2181) was named in his and Covey’s honor.

2nd Lieut Eugene Galligan, 308th Infantry, 77th Division. Killed in Action in France. Photograph from book, “On the Field of Honor.”

[5] Eugene L. Galligan, was born 16 Jan 1897 in Boston MA, son of Dr. Eugene T. & Mary Hart (Kinney) Galligan (both died 1925); brother of Joseph W. and Mary A. Galligan. The Gold Star Record of Massachusetts offers a detailed biography of this hero: “Galligan, Eugene, Second Lieutenant, Inf.: killed in action 8 September 1918 [near Blanzy-les-Fismes]. Enlisted 5 Jan 1918, N.A., Officers Training School, Camp Upton; trans. 26 March to Co. B 305th Inf, 77th Div. Sergeant 8 May 1918. Dis 12 July 1918 to accept commission. Commissioned 2d Lieut., Inf., 13 July 1918 to date from 1 June; trans to 308th Inf 77th Div. [1st Lieut. Inf 5 Sep 1918 but had not taken oath prior to death. In command of company at death]. Overseas 16 April 1918. -Born 16 Jan 1897 in Boston, Instructor in Military Science, Phillips Exeter Academy. Harvard, A.B. 1917; prepared at Roxbury Latin School. An annual prize awarded in Roxbury Latin School is known as “The Eugene Galligan Memorial Detur.” Square named in his memory.” [Editor’s note: The Harvard Alumni Bulletin, Vol 21, 1918 states: “Square Named for 1917 Man. ‘Eugene Galligan Square’ is to be the name of the square formed by the intersection of Warren Street, Harrison Avenue and Warren Place. Roxbury, Mass., in honor of Lieut. Eugene Galligan ’17, who was killed in action near Revillon, France, Sept. 9, 1918. Galligan was born in a house facing this square, and lived here most of his life. His class at the Roxbury Latin School has established in his honor a scholarship to be known as the “Eugene Galligan Prize.” Galligan was killed by a shell while he, as acting captain, was leading his company of the 308th Infantry in an attack near Revillon. SEE what it looks like now. ] OBITUARIES: Boston Post, 18 July 1921. The fourth and last funeral will be that of Lieutenant Eugene Galligan, who was acting captain of his company in the Three Hundred and Fifth Infantry of the Seventy-eight Division, when killed September 8, 1918, at Biogny. Services for him will be held tomorrow, Commander Donnelly to announce final details today.  // 19 July 1912 Boston Post, page 20. GALLIGAN–Lieut Eugene Galligan, killed in action in France, Sept 8, 1918, son of Dr. Eugene T. and Mary Kinney Galligan. Body will lie in state at residence, 84 Warren st., from Monday noon. Funeral at 9 a.m., Tuesday, July 19 with solemn requiem mass at St. Joseph’s Church, Circuit St., at 10 a.m. Military funeral. The book, “On the Field of Honor, a collection of war letters and reminiscences of three Harvard undergraduates who gave their lives in the great cause,” has several additional stories about Galligan that were written by men who fought beside him on the battlefield. “There was no better or braver officer serving under the flag than Lieutenant Eugene Galligan.”
[6] Katherine P. Irwin was born on 14 March 1870 in Dayton, Montgomery County Ohio, the daughter of Andrew Barr & Jane (Schenck) Irwin. Her family nickname was “Kitty,” as shown in the census, and she grew up in Dayton, attending the local schools. She trained as a nurse, and in 1918 was the Infirmary nurse at Phillips Exeter Academy.  She went overseas as a nurse during WWI and died there of disease. SEE her photograph at top of this page.  READ a separate story regarding her life and death.
[7] Earle Madison Lawrence, was born 8 June 1896 in Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire, son of Edwin T. & Ellen J. “Nellie” (Marsh) Lawrence. He had a siblings Lula B. Lawrence (who died 1901, aged 18 of heart disease), and  Glenn Willis Lawrence (who married Agnes Cora Sullivan).  Earle’s WWI Military Service Card shows that he enlisted at Ft Slocum NY on 1 June 1918 at the age of 21-11/12 years. He served in 383 Co. Tank Corps to Nov 11, 1918. Cas(ual) Co 1 Tank Corps to his death on November 20, 1918 of influenza and pneumonia.  His Pennsylvania death certificate states he died at Camp Hospital, Camp Colt PA, Adams County.  In 1900 and 1910 censuses he is living in Exeter NH with his family, and so no doubt he attended school there. He is buried in Exeter Cemetery.
[8] Frank Louis/Lewis Lietdker/Litdker alias Lake was born 17 August 1892 in Germany, son of Louis & Amelia (Kruger) Lietdker/Litdker, alias Lake.  In 1900 he was living in Exeter New Hampshire, with parents Louis & Amelia Lake.  They immigrated in 1892 from Germany, and while Frank the oldest child was born in Germany, his siblings were born in New Hampshire.  He married (as Frank Louis Lake) 13 April 1918 in Exeter NH to Lucy Heidke, dau of Theodore & Pauline (Mitskie)  Heidke.  They probably had a son, Frank Lewis Lietdker (Jr.) who was born in 1919 and later living with the Kurtz family.  As his widow, Lucy married 2d)  6 August 1921 in Exeter NH to August G. Kurtz,  son of Fred and Amelia (Black) Kurtz.  Frank also had siblings: Gustav Adolph Lake (who served in WWI in MA),  and Emma A. Lake who m1) Howard J. Hodgens who was murdered in 1937. She m2d) 28 April 1949 in Exeter NH to William F. Summerfield .  On his WWI registration form of June 5 1917 Frank L. Litdker indicates that he is a naturalized citizen and has already served 3 years in the NH National Guard as a private in the artillery.  By 1917 he is single and working as a cable splicer’s helper at the New England Tel & Tel Co. of Dover New Hampshire.  He was of medium height and stature with blue eyes and light brown hair.  His burial information indicates he served in the O.M. as a private. He does not appear to have had any children. His burial in the Exeter Cemetery, Exeter NH was confirmed by cemetery staff [under the name Leitdker]. Frank L. Litdker’s name is listed on the WWI Roll of Honor in Doric Hall of the NH State House.

Photograph of Harold Nelson, B Co., 104th Infantry. From Massachusetts State Archives.

[9] Harold Plummer Nelson,was born 29 September 1895 in Exeter NH, son of John A. & Carrie Belle (Dame) Nelson.  He had an older sibling, George A. Nelson.  By 1910 he was living in Exeter NH with his parents (by now his mother had married a 2nd time to Walter Sargent). On his WWI Registration Form, filled out on 5 June 1917, he shows his name as Harold Plummer Nelson, occupation shoemaker for Gale Bros, Exeter NH.  He was single, of medium height and stature, with blue eyes and light brown hair.  During WWI he served as a Private in B Co., 104th Infantry, Yankee Division.  He was Killed in Action 18 October 1918 [newspapers later in November  reported died of wounds]. His name is listed on the Sargent-Nelson monument in Exeter Cemetery, inscribed on the east side.   Newspapers of the time credit his residence to Springvale, York Co., Maine so probably either his mother or brother was living when he died.  Harold Nelson is listed on the WWI Roll of Honor in Doric Hall of the NH State House.
[10] Almon Richard aka Richard Almon Pingree  was born 8 May 1894
in Concord, New Hampshire  son and 4th child of Frank A. & Jennie M. (Clark) Pingree, and grandson of John Henry & Celestia (Prescott) Pingree.  He completed his WWI Registration form on 15 June 1917, stating his name as Almon Richard Pingree, residing at 182 Front Street in Exeter, NH. At that time he was 23 years old, single, of medium height and stature, with gray eyes and black hair. He was employed as an express driver for American Express Co., in Exeter NH.  He was at first buried in France, then after the war ended his remains were returned to the United States.  He is buried in Rochester Cemetery, Rochester, New Hampshire.  His marker stone shows: CPL | A. Richard Pingree | A.E.F. | 1894 St. Mihiel 1918.  He was the first Exeter man to give his life in WWI. The Pingree-Moss-Chatigny Post No. 13 American Legion was originally named after him. He is also listed on the WWI Honor Roll in Doric Hall of the New Hampshire State House.

Florence John Price’s 1906 Brown University Year Book notice.

[11] Florence J. Price,  born April 1870 in Ireland. Immigrated to the United States in 1894 and by 1900 was boarding in Exeter, NH a student.  He graduated in 1901 from Phillips Exeter Academy, a member of Kappa Delta Pi, and graduated in 1906 at Brown University. He enlisted in the Canadian military during World War I, a Sergeant of the  42nd Battalion.  He was Killed in action on 30 May 1916.  His official records state: “Whilst on duty with his Company in the front line trenches near Hooge, at about 3.00 P.M., on May 30th 1916 he was hit by shrapnel from an enemy shell, dying almost immediately.”  He is buried Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium.  On his records he stated his next of kin was Miss S. Hall, 29 Herbert Avenue, Merrion, Co. Dublin Ireland.  [See Photograph above, from Brown University Yearbook, Class of 1906].

Report of the Death of an American Citizen–Elmer Frank Wiggin.

[12] Elmer Frank Wiggin, was born 30 March 1897 in Newmarket NH, 1st child and son of Joseph Frank & Ethel P. (Paul) Wiggin. He had siblings Dorothy Robert Wiggin (who m. 1922 to Robert H. Seward), Paul Wiggin of Hampton NH, Evelyn (Wiggin) Rowe of Exeter and Pauline (Wiggin) Cowell of Contoocook NH.  He served in the U.S. Navy during WWI aboard the U.S.S. Absaroka. He died of injuries at St. Francis Hospital in Rotterdam, Holland on 27 January 1919.   At the time he was interred at Crooswijk Cemetery, Rotterdam.  The official records state: “Reports of Death of American Citizens Abroad–ELMER FRANK WIGGIN, native; died January 27, 1919 at Sint Franciscus Gasthuis, Schiekade 74-80, Rotterdam. Cause: Internal injuries caused by being washing about on deck of  U.S.S. “Absaroka” in storm on high seas. Burial: interred at Crooswijk Cemetery, Rotterdam. Father: Joseph Frank Wiggin, Exeter NH.  Family notified: by Naval Attache through Navy Department,  Washington. A copy of this report is also being transmitted to  family. Remarks: Deceased arrive at Rotterdam on the U.S.S. “Absaroka” on  January 12, 1919, and was at once transported to the above mentioned hospital, where he died. A military funeral was accorded him today at which an American and Duth Naval Guard, as well as representatives of the office of the American Attache and this Consulate-General were present. Originally buried in Rotterdam, his remains were returned to the United States and he was re-interred in Exeter Cemetery (Exeter NH) in the 3rd grave from the north Lot 1012 [burial located confirmed by cemetery staff].  He is NOT listed on the WWI Honor Roll in the NH State House, though he should have been listed.

Henry “Harry” Smith McLeod was born 22 March 1895 Bass River, Kent, New Brunswick, Canada, son of William & Louisa (MacLean) McLeod.  He married 30 March 1921 in Brewer Maine to Helen I. Nearwood, daughter of Albert W. & Mary A.l (McLouris) Nearwood. They lived in Brewer, Penobscot County, Maine.  During World War I he listed his residence as Exeter NH. He served during WWI as a Sergeant in the 59th Infantry, Advance School Detachment, 4th Division Regular. He departed for Europe on the Ship Finland in 1918, and while in Europe was wounded in action.  He recovered from his ordeal and returned home to the United States when the war was over. He died in March of 1976 in Brewer, Maine. He had several children including Harry Jr., Paul, Mary, June, Margaret, Patricia and Myrtle.  He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Brewer Maine.

[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].



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5 Responses to New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Exeter

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

  2. Amy says:

    As always, incredible research. Have you thought about compiling all your NH WWI work into a book?

    • Janice Brown says:

      Not yet. Maybe at the end of the year. I am hoping to write something about every single person from NH who died in WWI. It is an ambitious goal. If I manage to do that, I may consider compiling it all into a book for publication. Thank you as always for reading, and especially for the encouragement.

      • Amy says:

        You’ve done such incredible work—it really should be preserved in a format where historians and other scholars will be able to study it in years to come.

  3. Edward Garland says:

    A great read, Thank You, from the grandson of a WW1 Veteran from Exeter, NH.

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