New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Candia

Older postcard showing the Soldier’s Monument in Candia, New Hampshire’s Village Square.

The Candia New Hampshire World War I monument is actually one “side” of the Soldier’s Monument located in Village Square on High Street in that town. We know from the engraving that 34 men from Candia served, and that Lieut. Wm. Hervey Thomas was killed in Action.


This monument was originally placed to honor those who died during the American Civil War, the funds to build it furnished in 1892 by Frederick Smyth. The town funded $200 for its granite base.

I was contacted by email on 12 May 2017 by Diane Philbrick of the Heritage Commission that “a plaque on a mill stone (by the Fitts Museum) lists all of the names and the one fatality.  Clara Thomas, the wife of the deceased, had this monument made in his honor.”  I would love to have a photograph of the stone!

Over the years [probably updated in 1958] the monument was altered [the engraving for WWI was obviously placed after WWII) so that it now recognizes those who served in the French Indian War (1756), War of the Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War (1847), the Civil War, and World War I. Since then the monument has been given a thorough cleaning and re-dedication.

There were actually three men from Candia who died during World War I, however two are credited elsewhere.  All three are detailed here, plus mention of Saxton Foss, the son of Samuel Walter Foss, Candia’s famed poet.

*+*+*+* HEROES OF CANDIA, NH from WORLD WAR I *+*+*+*+

[A] Book: Soldiers of the Great War, by W.M. Haulsee, F.G. Howe, A.C. Doyle, Soldiers Record Publishing Association, 1920; attributed to Manchester, N.H.
[B] United States Adjutant-General Military Records for WWI [sent to me via mail from this source, does not seem to be complete].
[C] Honor Roll at the NH State House, Doric Hall (Hall of Flags)
[D] List of Mothers and Widows of American Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines Entitled to Make a Pilgrimage to War Cemeteries in Europe. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1930. The National Archives at Washington, D.C.
[M] Name on Candia NH Soldier’s monument or another named monument.
*Photograph included or is available.
[#] SEE Footnote biography of same number.

William Hervey Thomas* | 2d Lieut.  | Killed in Action, 10 August 1918 | ll | Co H 47th Infantry 4th Div., U.S. Army | Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, Picardie, France | Cenotaph, Hill Cemetery, Candia NH | [A][B][C][D][M][1]

Carl Gile Davis | Private | Severely Wounded and Died in France 18 October 1918 | Co. D., 327th Infantry | Plaistow Town Cemetery | Credited to Plaistow NH | Carl G. Davis Post, American Legion, named in his honor [A][C][M in Plaistow NH][2]

Samuel F. McDonald |Private | Died of Wounds, 12 November 1918 | Co B., 103rd Machine Gun Battery, 26th “Yankee” Div. | Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester | Credited to Manchester NH | [A – Burlington VT][B][C][3]

Saxton Conant Foss, son of local poet Sam Walter Foss, killed during WWI. A tree was planted in Candia NH in his honor.

*+*+*+*+ *+*+*+*+ *+*+*+*+ *+*+
*+*+*+*+ BIOGRAPHIES *+*+*+*+

[1] William Hervey Thomas, son of Jacob Herve & Louisa (Jennings) Thomas, and grandson of son of Aquilla & Jeanette (Benner) Thomas, was born 10 March 1892 in Westport, Fairfield Co. CT. In 1910 he was living in New Hampshire, boarding in Franconia NH, probably attending school there. It is also known that he was in the class of 1917 of New Hampshire College (now known as the University of NH) and his name was listed on the original plaque placed at Memorial Field in Durham NH.

Photograph of graduate William H. Thomas from The Granite

William H. Thomas married on 15 August 1917 in Candia NH to Clara Elizabeth Brown, a native of Candia, born 5 October 1894 daughter of James H. & Mary (Leach) Brown. They had a son William Hervey Thomas who was born 15 Feb 1919 (six months after his father died) in Manchester NH.  Service: William H. Thomas’ 29 May 1917 WWI Registration form shows him as single, living in Durham NH and a student candidate in the Reserve Officers Training Camp in Plattsburg NY. He was of medium height, slender with grey eyes and brown hair.  During WWI he was assigned to Co H, 47th Infantry, 4th Division. He was sent to France and was killed in action on 10 August 1918.  He was at first buried near the battlefield, and now lies at rest in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, Picardie, France.  His family placed a cenotaph in Hill Cemetery, Candia, New Hampshire [THOMAS | LT WILLIAM H | BURIED IN FRANCE | 1892-1918 | CLARA E. | 1894-1980.]  William H. Thomas’ name is listed on the Soldier’s monument in Candia, New Hampshire, and it appears on the WWI Honor Roll in Doric Hall of the NH State House.

Keystone View Company. “All their weary marches done, all their battles fought and won.” American dead in the Meuse-Argonne. Argonne France. Meadville, Pa.: Keystone View Co., manufacturers, publishers. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.

[2] Carl Gile Davis, son of Alonzo F. & Eva A. (Gile) Davis was born 10 May 1896 in Candia New Hampshire. During WWI he served in Co. H 327th U.S. Infantry. The Gold Star Mother’s List of Massachusetts shows the following: “Davis, Carl Gile: died 18 October 1918 in France, of disease. Ent. 4 Oct 1917, 151st D. B.; transf to Co D, 327th Inf. Severely wounded 7-8 Oct 1918. Overseas 25 April 1918. Born 10 May 1896 at Candia NH, son of Alonzo F. and Eva A. (Gile) Davis of Haverhill, 1896.  Grandson of Mrs. Eldra Davis of Plaistow NH.”  Carl Gile Davis died in an Army Hospital in France on 20 October 1918. Though the newspapers published that he “died of disease” and his death record shows he died of pneumonia, it is noted on that document that he was hospitalized for 13 days and that he “died from shell wounds received in action at Apremont Dept of Ardennes during the Meuse-Argonne offensive on October 7, 1918. Buried with military honors at Plaistow NH on June 5, 1921. Joseph S. Hills Town Clerk.”  His death certificate states he was buried in Center Cemetery, however Find-a-grave and the Plaistow records indicate he is in the Plaistow Town Cemetery.   His military service is credited to Plaistow where his name is inscribed on a WWI plaque, and the Carl G. Davis Post, American Legion, was named in his honor.

[3] Samuel Franklin McDonald was born 8 Feb 1898 in Candia NH, son of Leroy D. & Catherine (McKenzie) McDonald. He grew up in Candia and Manchester NH, his family living in the latter place in the 1910 Census on Brown Avenue. His siblings included Jim H., Lottie M. (who m. Pierre Fortin), Daniel Leroy (who m. Anna B. Ready), and John Henry (1899-1992). During WWI he served in Co B., 103rd Machine Gun Battery, 26th “Yankee” Division. He died of wounds, 12 November 1918 in France. Newspapers report he was of Burlington VT, however he is attributed to Manchester NH.  His name is listed on both the NH Adjutant General’s WWI Casualty List and the WWI Honor Roll in the NH State House.

*+*+*+*+ *+*+*+*+ *+*+*+*+ *+*+

who served during WWI and survived
(from U.S. Army Transport lists)

BROWN, Guy F., Regt. Sgt. Major, Co. H. Cro Bn, returned from Brest, France arriving in Hoboken NJ 17 Aug 1919, residence Candia NH, NOK: Edwin E. Brown, father. He departed as a member of HQ Co., 103rd infantry on the ship Baltic on 9 Oct 1917. Service #136,025
CLOCK, Vincent J., Private, Battery D, 103d FA, residence Candia NH, NOK: Mr. John [Charles on some recs is error] Clock, father. Left Newport News VA aboard ship Pennsylvanian to Europe on 14 Nov 1917.
CRITCHETT, Wesley, Private, Transport Corp, residence Candia NH; departs France on ship Canada for Boston MA arrives 21 Jan 1919, NOK: Mrs. Carrie W. Critchett, mother.
HALL, John H., Private, Field Hospital Co. No 29, 5th Sanitary Train, 5th Division;residence Candia NH; Departed NYC for Europe on the ship Mauretania on 4 June 1918, Returned from Brest France arriving in Hoboken NJ on 21 July 1919 on ship Agamemnon; nok: Mrs. Georgia A. Hall, mother.
ORDWAY, Frederick I. Jr., First Lieut, 27th Aero Squadron, Signal Corps; Departed NY for Europe on 26 Feb 1918, Residence Candia NH, NOK: Mr. F.I. Orway Sr., father.
–THOMAS, William H., 2nd Lt, 47th Infantry, R.C., R.A., departed Hoboken NJ for Europe aboard the shp Princess Matoika on 10 May 1918; nok, wife Mrs. William H. Thomas.

[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].

My personal thanks to Diane Philbrick, Chair of the Heritage Committee for being willing to assist me with this project. I hope that the town will recognize these heroes sometime in the future.

This entry was posted in History, Military of New Hampshire, NH WW1 Military and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Candia

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

  2. Adam Thomas says:

    Hello, I am the great grandson of Lieut. William Thomas and remember visiting my Grammy Clara when I was a kid. While I grew up knowing most of this info it was nice to see and find out one or two pieces I didn’t know. I recently got back into looking some info up do to it being 100 years later and for my kids. Thanks, Adam

  3. Betsy Fowle says:

    Adam Thomas, we were recently in France for a WWI commemoration and while visiting a cemetery looked for the grave of someone from our state, NH. I took a photo of your great grandfather’s grave marker, just looked him up and found his bio and your note. I would be happy to send you the photo if you’d like it. Betsy Fowle

    • Adam Thomas says:

      Thank you for the offer. I would like to have a recent picture. Did you want to meet or I’ll figure something else out. Do you live near Portsmouth NH?

Leave a Reply