Chesterfield, New Hampshire is located in Cheshire County and contains the villages of West Chesterfield, Chesterfield Factory and Spofford. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the town of Chesterfield, New Hampshire had about 750 residents. Of these twenty of the town’s young men would be called into military service, and there would be at least one fatality in wartime.
On 20 August 1924 the town had a Soldier’s monument installed by the Town Hall on Route 63. Currently this includes series of 5 plaques honoring Civil War, WWI and those who died in “the other wars” (probably meant to reference the American Revolution, War of 1812 and the Spanish-American Wars at the time).
In this story my focus is WWI so only that specific plaque is transcribed here. Oddly enough the town decided to engrave the surname and then just the initials of the first and middle name of the men who served. This action may have made sense at the time, since everyone knew each other in this small town.
THE WORLD WAR
DAVIS, R. M.
*POST, C.O. [Clarence O. Post]
WILSON, A.L. Jr.
AMIDON, A.N. — Albert N. Amidon, brother Henry (Herbert) C., of West Chesterfield NH, Sergt. CAS Co. 204, returned from France 6 Jan 1919; son of Nathaniel Squire & Annie Amidon. Died 1961 buried Chesterfield West Cemetery, prob. born Westmoreland NH]
BARCOME, W.N. — William Nelson BARCOMB, b 16 Feb 1897 Ellenburg NY, registered for WWI Draft from Spofford NH, parents Nelson & Albina (Pregent) Barcome]. He is buried in Island Cemetery, Harrisville NH.
BUTLER, E.R. [Ernest Ray Buter, b 25 July 1896 Chesterfield NH; Private U.S. Army WWI Died Nov 27, 1988; Buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Hinsdale NH; Enlisted 21 Oct 1918, released 13 Dec 1918
CHASE, N.C. — Norman Charles Chase, son of Warren C. & Nellie (Ingalls) Chase. Died 1 Dec 1925 Keene NH of pneumonia. Buried West Cemetery Keene NH]
CRIPPS, A.C. [Chesley Alden Cripps, son of Chesley J. & Laura M. (Howe) Cripps b 25 Jan 1900, d. Feb 1980, buried West Cemetery, Chesterfield NH.
DAVIS, R. M. — Robert Mervin Davis, b 7 Aug 1894 Chesterfield NH; in 1942 residing Hampden MA. buried Springfield Street Cemetery, Agawam MA; SF2, U.S. Navy WWI.
DEARING, E.E. — Ernest Elmer Dearing b 25 March 1885 Randolph VT, d. 11 March 1971, buried Oak Hill Cemetery, W. Swanzey NH; son of Monroe H. Dearing. P1c, 35th Co. 12th Bn. 20th Engineers.
FOSTER, F.H. — Frank Herbert Foster, b Sep 1892 IL, son of Frank H. & Annie L. (Dunn) Foster. In 1900 living in Chesterfield NH with family, older sibling Harrold E. Corporal, US Army WWI. Sv Start 28 June 1918, interred 29 Nov 2000, NH State Cemetery, Boscawen NH, section C2 Site 9b, 5 May 2015 moved to MA Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Winchendon MA.
FOSTER, R.P. — Raymond Partridge Foster, son of Austin O. & Evelina Maude (Patridge) Foster, born 9 July 1896 NH, d. June 1966 MA. Buried Spofford Cemetery, Spofford, Cheshire Co. NH.
FURLONE, G. C. — Giacomo C. Furlone, b 24 June 1881 Italy. Died 4 July 1935 buried St. Joseph Cemetery Keene NH. B&M RR employee, RR Shop Keene, wife Katherine.
JOHNSON, C.E. — Carl Emil Johnson, b 25 March 1882 Sweden, wife Harriet (Haroldson); naturalized citizen. WWI Registration at Richmond NH; buried Middletown Cemetery, Richmond NH]
KUHLKE, J.R. — John Reginald Kuhlke, son of John C. & Caroline C. (Weber) Kuhlke. Died 2 Feb 1928 Spofford NH. Buried Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn NY.
MARSHALL, J.E. — Joseph Edward Marshall, b 3 July 1881 Manchester NH son of John & Mary (Gendron) Marshall; m. in Hinsdale NH to Luella E. Amidon. In 1930 living in Dublin NH. His wife, Luella is buried in West Cemetery, Chesterfield NH.
POST, A.L. Albert Llewellyn Post, b 5 May 1896 NY; son of Charles & Wilhelmina (Hughes) Post.
*POST, C.O. — Clarence O. Post. [SEE Biography below].
PUTNAM, D.L. — Don Lincoln Putnam, b 13 Dec 1896 Charlestown NH. Served US Army 15 Aug 1918-23 Dec 1918, died 15 Oct 1972; son of Henry L. & Grace Hattie (Griffith) Putnam.
PUTNAM, M. — Myron Solon Putnam, same parents as Don, Henry L. & Grace Hattie (Griffith) Putnam.
ROBBINS, E.A. — Elijah A. Robbins, son of David Z. Robbins, Co L 327th Infantry, served in Europe, Service #1908193.
ROBBINS, P.P.– Perley Peter Robbins, b 31 March 1899, d. 9 Oct 1918 Chesterfield NH, son of David O. & Georgiana (Whittemore) Robbins, of influenza. Buried Chesterfield West Cemetery, Chesterfield. NOTE: Technically he died in wartime. His service has not been determined so I have not included him in the “ultimate sacrifice” listing below.
WILSON, A.L. Jr. — Arthur Leslie Wilson Jr, b. 12 Aug 1896 in Brooklyn NY, son of Arthur L. & Laura (Smith) Wilson.
THEY MADE THE ULTIMATE
Clarence Orazio Post | Private | Died of Disease (influenza) 20 Sep 1918, Alexander Wentworth Hospital, Dover NH | U.S. Service | Spofford Cemetery, Spofford NH
Clarence Orazio Post was born 20 Sep 1891 in Brooklyn, New York, son of Arthur H. H. Post & Ella M. Judd. He had one sibling, a younger brother Walter J. Post. He completed his WWI Registration form in 1917 when he was living in Spofford NH, working as an electrician lineman for Pine Grove Springs Hotel Company of Spofford. He was single, tall of medium build with brown eyes and brown hair.
Clarence Orazio Post died on 20 September 1918 at Alexander Wentworth Hospital in Dover, New Hampshire of pneumonia from influenza. His death certificate states he was in “U.S. Service (Private)” but does not describe his military assignment. If he had been assigned to training in New Hampshire College (now UNH) at Durham he probably would have been placed in the infirmary there, unless it was full. The seacoast area was home to the U.S. Coastal Artillery groups, along with training troops to protect the camps (Fort Stark, Fort Constitution and Fort Langdon) and the Dover and Portsmouth ship yards. Private Clarence O. Post could have been involved in one of these. His body was brought back to Chesterfield and he was buried with honors in the Spofford Cemetery.
CLAIMED CHESTERFIELD AS HOME
NAME NOT ON MONUMENT
The following soldiers claimed Chesterfield NH as their home town on the U.S. Army Military Transport Passenger Lists, so I have included them here.
Fred J. Bassett/Barrett, stepfather Bert Mundell, Co. F 101st Ammunition Train, Private, 205423, arriving from France on 23 Apr 1919 from Boston MA.
Elmer Burt Chamberlain, son of Charles W. Chamberlin of W. Chesterfield NH. Co G, 315th Ammunition Train, 90th Div. Private. To Europe from NYC on 6 July 1918 ship Louisville.
Claude B. Rice, son of Herman S. Rice, Private, Battery C, 335th Field Artillery, 2957129. Return from Pauillac France to Newport News VA on 8 March 1919 ship Martha Washington then P1C.
IN TOWN CALENDAR
The town historian, Audrey Ericson, informed me that a certain soldier’s photograph was shared on a recent calendar. I’ve researched him for future reference.
Paul Jakob Schlichting was born 15 Oct 1889 Weisenau, Germany, son of Johannes & Christine Schlichting. He immigrated to the United States. He registered for the WWI Draft from Everett MA (and so is credited there). He became a naturalized citizen of the United States on 19 Feb 1917. At that time he stated his residence as 110 Plimpton Street, Walpole NH. He was unmarried and working as a chauffeur. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 20 September 1917 and served until 13 December 1918. In 1942 he was living in Spofford Village, Chesterfield, Cheshire NH. He died in Florida in 1978 and is buried in Royal Palm Memorial Gardens, Punta Gorda, Florida.
OTHER HEROES WHO LIVED
IN CHESTERFIELD NH
The town historian, Audrey Ericson, related to me that a veteran of WWI who had been gassed during the war, and was still demonstrating the after-effects, moved to Chesterfield from other places when the war ended. By 1942 when WW2 was requiring Draft registration, Henry Elbridge Knight was living in Chesterfield NH, employed by P.M. Penning, Chesterfield NH.
Henry Elbridge Knight was born 17 August 1894 in Fort Fairfield Maine, son of Adelbert H. & Charlotte E. “Lottie” (Turner) Knight. In the 1900 U.S. Census he was living with his family in Easton Maine, with his parents and siblings Annie, Estella and Holden. The Maine military index shows that he enlisted in the regular army from Syracuse New York on 7 September 1917 as a Private. On 23 November 1917 he was promoted to Private First Class and assigned to Co. C, 30th Infantry. From 1 December 1917 to 18 Feb 1918 he was a member of Co. A, 9th Machine Gun Battalion. He was transferred to Co. D, 30th Infantry on 18 Feb 1918. He was sent overseas on 2 April 1918. He was in some of the major battles of WWI including Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne; Defensive Section. He was wounded in action (gassed) on 10 October 1918. He was sent back to the U.S. on 20 December 1918, and honorably discharged on 24 April 1919. He was awarded the Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Service Cross. Henry Elbridge Knight was buried in Togus National Cemetery, Togus, Maine, where his marker reads:
HENRY E KNIGHT
PFC CO D 30 INFANTRY
WORLD WAR I DSC-PH
AUG 17, 1894 – DEC 26 1959
Carl A. Castle was born 21 Dec 1875 in Swanzey, Cheshire Co. NH, son of Charles & Gertrude Maria “Gertie” (Moore) Castle. He died 28 Nov 1969 in Hartford VT, aged 93. In 1900 he was living in Londonderry NH with his parents and siblings Bessie G. and John L. The 1940 US Census shows Carl and his brother John Castle living in Chesterfield NH working their farm on Horseshoe Road. During WWI He served as a Private in 31st Company, 2nd Engineers. The US Army Transport Passenger List shows him returning from Europe from Bordeaux France, arriving in Hoboken NJ on 1 June 1919 on the ship KI Luckenbach. That list states he was a Private in the 30st Company 20th Engineers, Service Number 298859, next of kin a sister Mrs. Bessie C. Hoffecker of Adrvore PA. Credited to Windham VT. He is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery, Jamaica VT.
John Liberty Castle was born 29 Aug 1890 in Swanzey NH.During WWI he enlisted on 18 June 1918 and was honorable discharged on 11 June 1919. He (like his brother) served as a private in 31st Co. 20th Engineers, Service number 298861. He returned from Bordeau France arriving at Hoboken NJ on 1 June 1919. He married in 1945 to Dora M. Bowker-Cameron. He is buried in Chesterfield West Cemetery, Chesterfield NH. Service credited to Windham VT.
Frank Bedford Fowke, born 22 March 1896 in Victoria British Columbia, Canada, son of Ralph Bedford & Charlotte A. (Preston) Fowke. He died 14 August 1954 in Brattleboro VT. He was a naturalized citizen. His WWI service is credited to Anson, Somerset Co. Maine. In 1942 when he completed his draft registration card he was living in Chesterfield NH, aged 46, wife Ada Evelyn Tibbetts, self employed. He is buried in Chesterfield West Cemetery, Chesterfield NH.
Captain John Thomas Prout was born 25 October 1880 in Dundrum, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, son of Maurice & Mary (Brown) Prout. He married Kathleen Liddane. His military service is credited to New York State. At the time of his death he was living in Chesterfield NH. Prior to WWI (between July 1916 and March 1917) he served as a 2nd Lieut, then a 1st Lieut in New York’s Supply Co. 69th Infantry National Guard. During WWI He served in the 165th Infantry (was 69th NY National Guard) to 11 Oct 1918. Transferred to 370th Infantry to discharge. He served in the following engagements: Lorraine, Champagne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel and Oise-Aisne, serving overseas from 31 Oct 1917 to 9 Feb 1919. He was awarded the French Cross de Guerre with Silver Star. Later he served as a training officer in the Irish Republican Army (1919-1921) and as a senior commander in the Irish Army during the Irish Civil War (1922-23). At the time of his death he was living in Chesterfield NH. He was buried in St. Michael Cemetery, Chesterfield NH.
My special thanks to town historian, Audrey Ericson, and the Chesterfield Historical Society for assistance in obtaining photographs of these WWI heroes and other information. Please visit and support your local research society.
[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].
Please visit the Chesterfield New Hampshire Historical Society web site!