New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Charlestown

Charlestown NH’s WWI plaque on the
back of the Civil War monument.
Photograph courtesy of
Richard S. Marsh.

In front of the Silsby Pubic Library in Charlestown, New Hampshire sits a memorial to both the Civil War and World War I.  The Civil War monument was placed earlier, unveiled on 6 October 1911. At that time there was no inkling that only a few years later another war, the World War, would erupt in Europe.

After the Armistice of 1918, a list was compiled and a bronze tablet bearing the names of Charlestown citizens who had served in World War I was added to the west face (rear) in 1929.  The monument reads as follows, with an asterisk (star) denoting the soldier who did not return home.  [Editor’s note, the comments in parentheses in the following list do not exist on the original monument, as they are notes I have added to show their service regiments.  The names in brackets are those who claimed Charlestown NH as their home but they are not listed on the Charlestown NH plaque].

Closeup of Charlestown NH WWI
monument. Courtesy Richard S. Marsh.

1917 Honor Roll 1919

Maurice G. Ahern (Wagoner, 101st Ammunition Train)
Alexander Allen
Walter E. Arnold
[Duane M. Bannister] (P1c, 104th Ambulance Co., 101st Sanitary Train)
Frank H. Bashaw
Ernest A. Bixby (2nd Lieut, US Corps of Cadets West Point, NY Class of 1921 (5th Platoon)
Ernest F. Bowen
Nathaniel P. Brooks (Major, Marine Corp)
Thomas Bushway
Bert A. Call
Frank Cenate
[Charles F. Chase] (Pvt, Battery E., 303rd Field Artillery)
Byron G. Clark Jr.
Rodney Darrell
Harold H. Dean
Clinton G. Farrow
Howard M. Gilmore
Paul A. Goewey
Edward F. Herbert
Earl B. Holbrook (Pvt., HQ Co., 103rd Infantry)
Harold P. Hutchins
Paul L. Hutchins (P1c, 103rd Infantry)
Perl L. Hutchins
Harold L. Jones
Sidney T. Jones
Earl D. Kendall (Pvt, 58th Balloon Company, Air Service)
Byron B. Knight
James F. Mayette (Pvt, Supply Co, 103rd Infantry, 26th Div.)
Herbert F. Muzzy (Pvt, Co. E., 103rd Infantry)
Earl Newton
Robert F. Perry
Victor Phelps
Frank Piper
Louis C. Reed (Pvt., Company One, Army Service Corps., 31st Rents Requisition and Claims Co.)
Rolla F. Smith (Pvt., Co. F, 101st Ammunition Train)
John W. Stewart
Eliot F. Stoughton (P1c, Co B., 301st Field Signal Battalion)
Baron R. Stow (Musician 2c) HQ Co., 1st Army Headquarters Regiment)
Harry E. Sylvester
Lucius S. Tallman (Pvt, Co. E, 103rd Infantry)
Charles P. Thayer (Pvt, Co. F, 604th Engineers)
Alfred L. Tower
John E. Toye
Lyman Walker
Bert Wallace
Joseph Waters
Leroy D. Webster
William Weir
Oscar D. Weld
*Roswell D. Whitcomb
Harrison W. Wilson

Anti-aircraft gun (LOC), from glass
negative. Bain News Service
publisher, The Library of Congress
on Flickr.

Died In Service During WWI


Roswell Dexter Whitcomb | First Lieut. | Died of Disease (bronchial pneumonia) 20 Oct 1918 in France | Co B, 4th Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun Bn, National Army | Forest Hill Cemetery,Charlestown NH

Roswell D. Whitcomb was born 23 April 1888 in Orford, Grafton Co. NH, son of Dexter Kenyon & Grace Celinda (Whitman) Whitcomb. In 1900 he was living with his famiy in Charlestown NH, including siblings Alice Aurelia (who m. Ralph K. Weeks) and Harriet Azella who married 1) Guy L. Worthen; m2d) Joseph Maynard Fosie.   Roswell married 8 Sep 1917 at Fort Riley in Jackson Missouri to Olive E. Kendall. She was born 24 Feb 1895 Charlestown, Sullivan Co. NH, daughter of Horace S. & Abby S. (Fairbanks) Kendall. She married 2d) 28 Sep 1935 in Charlestown NH to Paul W. Glynn, son of Walter B. & Katherine (Stevens) Glynn. She d. 30 Nov 1986 in Bellows Falls VT, age 91 [earlier she owned a gift shoppe there]. She is buried Saxton’s River Cemetery.

Cover of booklet, Military Cartoons by
D.W. Whitcomb, 1916.

Roswell D. Whitcomb enlisted in the U.S. Army in enlisted in 1904 in the U.S. Army (age 18-1/2).  His occupation was scholar, and he is described as having brown eyes, dark brown hair, and a dark complexion.  In 1910 he appears in the Cheyenne, Wyoming City Directory as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army.  In 1911 he was stationed at Fort Slocum NY, Sgt. Co D, 4th Field Artillery Regiment US Army.  In 1916 while stationed with the First Cavalry, he created and published a booklet on Military Cartoons. He remained in the U.S. Army until  Feb 17, 1917 when he was discharged at Ft Ethan Allen VT as a Sergeant in order to re-enlist in the National Army (for WWI purposes).

He was shipped to Europe on  8 Sep 1918 aboard the ship Zeelandia and served there as a 1st Lieutenant in Co B, 4th Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun Battalion.  While in France he died on 20 Oct 1918 of disease, broncho-pneumonia officially, however probably due to having contracted influenza.  Roswell Whitcomb’s body was shipped home after the war ended, aboard the ship, Wheaton departing Antwerp Belgium on 26 April 1921.  His re-interment certificate states that he was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Charlestown, New Hampshire.

[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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6 Responses to New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Charlestown

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

  2. Amy says:

    Remarkable that out of the long list of those who served, only one died while serving.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Amy, first thanks for taking the time to ready my blog stories. I always appreciate your feedback. And yes, it seems some towns were “spared” when it came to the percentage of deaths among those who went to war.

  3. Sam says:

    I understand it’s been a few years since you posted this but thank you!!! I truly appreciate the time you spent to share this historic knowledge. Future local generations will hopefully appreciate it as well when they finally want to appreciate things in general. I am one. It took me years before I began to register the magnitude of how much our previous families and their neighbors went through, just to survive daily needs and on top of that…. with keeping our homes and community safe. That’s without the thought of going off to war in a foreign country. Strong men to go off and fight. Strong women to step up and keep our small communities alive and prosperous. Much different times. One for all and all for all kinda thing. Or at least I hope it was. Lol

    Sam Putnam

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