New Hampshire WWI Military: Fireman 3d Class Charles Oliver Barnard USN of Plymouth

Charles Oliver Barnard was born 30 August 1890 in Plymouth, New Hampshire son and second child of Wesley G. & Eveline (Sanborn) Barnard. In the 1900 U.S. Census he is shown living with his parents and sibling John C. Barnard. He completed his WWI Registration form on 5 June 1917 in Plymouth NH, stating he was farming for himself. He claimed occupation and physical disability as a reason for a military exemption. He describes himself as of medium height, stout with blue eyes and light brown hair.

USS America (1905) steams up Boston Harbor,
Massachusetts, upon arrival from France with
troops of the 26th Division on board. U.S. Naval
Historical Center – via Wikipedia.

Apparently the day he filled out his registration form, he entered service in the U.S. Navy. A lengthy eulogy on a find-a-grave site states: “Charles was detailed to the U.S.S. America on transport duty. From Fireman 3d Class, he was promoted December 1917 to Fireman 2nd Class. On a return trip he contracted pneumonia and was removed to the Brooklyn Naval Hospital where he died April 6, 1919.” [SEE the Find-A-Grave Site for more about his funeral].

The U.S. Naval History web site gives details on his service: “BARNARD, CHARLES OLIVER, Fireman, 2nd class, (father, Wesley J Barnard, Plymouth, N H; enlisted Boston, Mass, July 5, 1917), Naval Hospital, New York, N Y, respiratory disease, April 6, 1918.”

Charles O. Barnard is buried in his family’s plot in Riverside Cemetery, Plymouth, New Hampshire. His name is listed on the Roll of Honor in Doric Hall, 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].

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4 Responses to New Hampshire WWI Military: Fireman 3d Class Charles Oliver Barnard USN of Plymouth

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

  2. Amy says:

    Does that mean his exemption was rejected? Or that he enlisted despite claiming an exemption?

    • Janice Brown says:

      Amy, I’m not sure. I would have to order his naval records to be certain. He enlisted immediately after he completed his registration form so he would not have had a physical to determine eligibility for the U.S. Army. However, he might have thought it would disqualify him, and the navy had different requirements OR perhaps he had reasons entirely different from that.

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