There are many who write about the famed ‘Buddies’ monument in Jaffrey New Hampshire. It stands 16 feet tall and was carved from a single block of stone by sculptor Virgo “Viggo” Brandt-Ericksen. But no one seems to known much about, or at least write about, those actually honored by the memorial.
Thankfully I had help from a friend, Richard S. Marsh, a talented photographer who gives freely of his time and talent. I recommend that visitors to the lovely town of Jaffrey should stop by the Public Library. Garrett Brinton and the Jaffrey Public Library Director, Julie M. Perrin, both were helpful in my quest to learn more about the war veterans. The “Buddies” monument is only steps away from the front door of their building. The monument is located at 21 NH-124 (Main Street) in Jaffrey NH.
On Armistice Day 1930, the townspeople and illustrious guests gathered to formally receive the monument from the sculptor. But first I focus on those 104 Jaffrey men who served during WWI. The list of names on the bronze plaque beneath the “Buddies” memorial follows. [Editor’s note:brief biographies of some of these military men follows].
JAFFREY BOYS IN THE WORLD WAR
ARMSTRONG, WILLIS M.
BALDWIN, RALPH I.
BESSETTE, ARTHUR J.
BLAIR, HENRY J.
BOURGEOIS, EMILIEN J.
BOURGOYNE, GEORGE R.
BOURGOYNE, JOSEPH A.
BROWN, LAWRENCE W.
BUCKWOLD, MAX W.
CANN, FREDERICK B.
CHAMBERLAIN, CLIFTON L.
CHARLONNE, HERMON C.
CHARLONNE, RUCK J.
CHENEVERT, ROCH JR.
CHOUINARD, JOHN T.
CLARK, HAROLD C.
COOLIDGE, ALVIN W.
COURNOYER, ALFRED C.
CROUCH, CARROL G.
DEFOE, LOUIS A.
DESCHENES, HOMER J.
DESROSIERS, LOUIS M.
DIONNE, ARTHUR J.
DONAHUE, JOSEPH D.
DUVAL, JOSEPH A.
EAVES, DICK R.
EAVES, DON A.
EAVES, GUY A.
ELLISON, ROY S.
FIELDS, FRED B.
FIELDS, JOHN W.
FLETCHER, DONALD A.
FOSTER, ALFRED L.
FOYLE, LINUS C.
GARFIELD, CARL F.
GARFIELD, JOHN T.
GARFIELD, RALPH M.
GELINAS, ANTONIO A.
GENTSCH, GEORGE H.
GOBEIL, DANIEL E.
GRANT, HAROULD C.
HARING, DAVID H.
HARLING, EREST J.
HARLING, HARRY J.
HARRINGTON, TRACY W.
HATCH, LAWRENCE B.
HENCHMAN, RUSSEL B. JR.
HILDRETH, WILIAM W.
HUMISON, FRANK C.
HUNT, FRANCIS T.
HUNT, GLENN A.
HUNT, HERMAN W.
HUNT, NORMAN M.
INGRAHAM, CLAYTON R.
JAQUITH, WILLIAM L.
KIDDER, HARRY B.
KIDDER, MARTIN J.
KIDDER, OREN J.
LAUGHLIN, LAURENCE C.
MATHEWSON, BENJAMIN R.
MATHEWSON, THOMAS C.
MCCORMACK, JAMES B.
NIGHTINGALE, JOHN T.
PARKER, ARTHUR H.
PELLETIER, FRANK J.
PERREAULT, JOSEPH P.
PIPER, OSCAR C.
POOLE, JOHN W III
PROCTOR, WARREN C.
ROCHFORD, DAVID J.
SPOFFORD, CARL C.
SPOFFORD, GUY L.
ST. PIERRE, OLIVER
STRATTON, GEORGE L.
SWEENEY, FREDERICK C.
TAYLOR, MEDDIE J.
TAYLOR, SAMUEL JR.
TROMBLEY, WILFRED C.
WELCOME, ALEXANDER L.
WHITEHEAD, EARL A.
WHITEHEAD, ROBERT L.
WILLIAMS, MARCEL JR.
The Ultimate Sacrifice
Died During WWI
John Humiston | Bugler | Killed in Action 16 June 1918, France | Co B, 103rd Machine Gun Battalion, 26th Division | St. Mihiel American Cemetery, France | Gold Star Mother’s List |
John Edwin Humiston was born 26 February 1897, son of Franklin G. & Carrie R. (Tarbell) Humiston. In the 1900 U.S. Census he can be found living in Jaffrey, Cheshire Co. NH with his parents and siblings Alice M., Ruth T., Helen E., Frank, and Freda.
His 1917 New Hampshire College (now called University of New Hampshire) graduation yearbook details that he graduated from Lebanon High School, and was nicknamed “Hummie,” and was captain of his class baseball team, and was involved in other physical events such as Rope Pull. His brother Frank served in the same Battalion and shipped out to Europe on 19 May 1918 on the ship Mentor. John Humiston served as a bugler in Company B of the 103rd Machine Gun Battalion. He was killed in action on 16 June 1918. He was buried at St. Mihiel American Cemetery in Plot B., Row 13, Grave 4. As a Gold Star mother, Mrs. Carrie Humiston reportedly visited his grave in France when the U.S. Government gave her the opportunity. The American Legion Post of Jaffrey was named in his honor. His name appears on the Jaffrey WWI “Buddies” monument and also on the NH WWI Honor Roll, Doric Hall, State House, Concord NH.
George Lyman Stratton | Died 6 Dec 1918 St. Joseph Hospital, Providence RI (influenza, pneumonia) | Brown Naval Training Unit | Buried Conant Cemetery, Jaffrey, NH
This listing for George Lyman Stratton was added to this post on 9 June 2019 following additional research. George Lyman Stratton was born 21 April 1898, son of Frederick A. & Etta Lucinda (Hora0 Stratton. He completed his WWI in June of 1918 while living in East Jaffrey NH. He was 20 years old, listing his occupation as student/chauffeur, employed by Fred A. Stratton. He described himself as: 5’8″ tall, medium build , light blue eyes, brown hair. The book, Brown University in the War: A Report by the War Records Committee, Brown University provides the following details: George Lyman Stratton, 1922, a member of the Brown Naval Training Unit, died of pneumonia at St. Joseph Hospital, Providence (RI) on 6 December 1918. Stratton was born on April 21, 1898. He was educated in the public schools of East Jaffrey, N.H. He was salutatorian of his class in grammar school. After two years at Conant High, he entered Dean Academy, Franklin, Mass., where he was graduated with the class of 1917. He was very fond of athletics, particularly basket ball and baseball, and was also interested in music. He was an excellent violin player and leader of his school orchestra at Dean. After his graduation he was employed at West Brookfield, Mass., and in Winter Haven FL, returning in the spring of 1918 to assist his father in his business. In September he entered Brown and was inducted into the Naval Training Unit, where he died on December 6th at the age of 20. He is survived by his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Fred A. Stratton, and by a married sister, Mrs. Ola O’Neil. George Lyman Stratton is buried in Conant Cemetery, Jaffrey NH (per his death certificate, the death date is verified also in the Rhode Island Death Index.
BRIEF BIOS of SOME WHO SERVED
AND CLAIMED JAFFREY AS THEIR HOME
*George H. Bigelow, 1st Lieut. Medical Corp, U.S. Army Base Hospital No. 56. Departed for Euroep on ship Kroonland 3 August 1918, resident of Jaffrey NH.
Emilie J. Bourgeois, Private, Service No. 388109, 22nd Battery. Departed Brooklyn NY for Europe on 23 July 1918 aboard ship Tydeus. Brother, Henry Bourgeois of East Jaffrey NH.
Alfred G. Cournoyer, Sergeant, Motor Supply Train 401, Company 304, QMCNA. Departed Hoboken NJ for Europe on 19 December 1917 on the ship Huron. As a member of 304th MT Co. GRQ APO 706 he returned from Marseille France to NYC arriving 27 June 1919 on ship Regina De Italia. Service Number 215600. Father, George J. Cournoyer of Jaffrey NH.
Donald A. Fletcher, Corporal, HQ Co. 13th Regiment, USMC. Returned from Brest France, arriving in the U.S. in August of 1919. Service Number 4608610. Father: Edwin C. Fletcher of East Jaffrey NH.
Linus C. Foyle, MR Junior Grade, Co. A 33rd Engineers. Service Number 1672978. Returned from Brest France to Brooklyn NY arriving 2 June 1919 in the ship Frederick. Spouse, Florence E. Foyle, East Jaffrey NH.
Tracy W. Harrington, Private 1C, Co. D, 307th Supply Train. Service Number 1921316. Returned from Paillac, France arriving Brooklyn NH on 6 May 1919 in ship Huron. Mother, Eva J. Champney of East Jaffrey NH.
Frank Humiston, Private, Machine Gun Co., 309th Infantry. Service Number 1749376. Departed Brooklyn NH on ship Mentor. Mother, Carrie R. Humiston.
Norman M. Hunt, Private, Battery A., 302nd Field Artillery. Departed Boston MA for Europe on 16 July 1918 aboard ship Fort Lincoln. Service No. 2794425. Mother Elizabeth Hunt. Returned on ship Canadaigua on 3 May 1919 at Boston MA. Rank, Corporal.
Herman W. Hunt returned from Europe as a member of Battery B, 103rd Machine Gun Battalion, arriving in Boston MA from Brest France on 17 April 1919 on the ship Patricia. Mother, Eva L. Hunt.
Don Alton Eaves, Private 1C, Motor Car Company, #304 Quartermaster Corps, National Army. Departed Hoboken NJ for Europe on ship President Lincoln on 30 March 1918. Mother, Eliza Jane Evans. Service No. 784142. He returned a Sergeant from Nazaire, France to Brooklyn NY on the ship South Bend on 28 August 1919.
Martin J. Kidder, Sergeant, Co B, 103rd Machine Gun Battalion. Returned from Brest France, arriving in Boston MA on 17 April 1919 aboard the ship Patriccia. Service No. 110183. Father, Harry V. Kidder of East Jaffrey NH.
James E. McCormack, Private, #2 Engineers Bappers. Departed NYC, NY on 20 October 1918 on ship Orduna bound for Europe. Father William McCormack of Jaffrey NH.
Charles Myers, Sergeant. Service E214721. QM Depot #8 Advance Sec. Returned from Brest France on ship Virginian arriving Boston MA on 5 July 1919. Brother, Louis Myers.
John Trowbridge Nightingale, Captain, Regimental Headquarters, 71st Artillery (CAC). Departed Boston MA on ship Margha on 31 July 1918. Returned from Brest France, arriving in Hoboken NJ, ship George Washington, on 8 July 1919. Mother Ella Trowbridge, East Jaffrey NH.
Oliver St. Pierre, Private, Service No 110236. Company B., 103rd Machine Gun Battalion. Arrived from Brest, France in Boston MA on 17 April 1919 on ship Patricia. Mother, Rosanie St. Pierre, East Jaffrey NH.
Levi Serois, Private 1C, Co B, 103rd Machine Gun Battalion. Arrived from Brest France in Boston MA on 17 AUgust 1919 ship Patricia. Father, Frank Sirois of East Jaffrey NH.
Albert N Tipple, Private 1C, 28 POD, Co 2 Ordnance. Service No. 5159067. Departed Brest France for the U.S.A. on 7 Feb 1919 on ship Ortega. Spouse, Hazel Tipple of Jaffrey NH.
William F. Wesselhoeft, Major Mrc, USA Base Hospital No 44, 82nd Div, M402-wnd Phase. Departed Brooklyn NY for Europe on ship Ulysses on 6 July 1918. Spouse, Emily W. Wesselhoeft, Jaffrey NH. He returned from Brest France a Lieutenant Colonel, Base Hospital No 44, arriving in Hoboken NJ on ship Graf Waldersee.
“BUDDIES” MONUMENT DEDICATION
8 Nov 1930 The Boston Globe page 3
DEDICATION OF WAR MEMORIAL
SCHEDULED ARMISTICE DAY
16 Foot Doughboy Monument Carved by Bradt-Ericksen,
Danish Sculptor, Given as Labor of Love to
Granite State Town of Jaffrey
By MARY K. HUTCHINSON.
JAFFREY, N.H. Nov 7–Armistice Day will be on of the biggest days in the history of the town of Jaffrey for on that day a World War Memorial Monument will be presented to the town, dedicated and unveiled, before thousands of people who have watched the progress of the making for the memorial for the past 2-1/2 years.
– That such a monument should be erected in a small town, is in itself, a surprising fact and comes to the people who love the town as a sort of Santa Claus surprise, even though they’ve been expecting it for so many months It would have been impossible, in these days of high taxes, for the town to have bought and paid for such a monument, which, by some who pretend to know, has been estimated as being worth all of a quarter of a million dollars.
– Several years ago Miss Dorothy Caldwell, a Cambridge girl, spent her summers in the town of Jaffrey and, through her childhood days, gathered from Mt. Monadnock and other beauty spots a love of the beautiful in nature which decided her on a career as an artist. She went to Paris to study art and while there met Viggo Brandt-Erichsen, a Danish artist and sculptor. They were married in Paris and two years later, Mrs. Erichsen died, after giving birth to a daughter. Her last request was that her body should be cremated, taken to Jaffrey and buried in the town she loved.
–Carves Grave Marker–
Mr. Erichsen with the ashes of his wife and with his infant daughter, came here with a tourist’s passport, which gave him time to erect, in the Old Jaffrey Cemetery, which dates back to Revolutionary days, a fitting memorial to his wife and infant daughter. This memorial monument is one of the most unique in this section and attracts attention from all visitors to the town.
– During the days he was carving this monument, he met many of the girlhood friends of his deceased wife. He was given a friendly, neighborly attention by the people of the town, who felt sympathetic toward the young widower, who had never before visited America. Appreciating this friendly spirit he felt, when his task was completed, a strong inclination to “do something for the town” which his wife had loved, and which he, from his visit here, was learning to love. He approached some of the members of the American Legion with a suggestion that he might erect here a donated to the town a World War Memorial. This was received with great enthusiasm, and he was urged to make his offer, formally, to the Selectmen of the town. This he did, and they accepted his generous offer, with the understanding that the town would provide and place the bowlder, and would bear such incidental expenses as might arise during the work of cutting the monument.
-Wide Quest for Stone-
James W. Austin, one of the members of John Humiston Post, American Legion, tells an interesting story of how he and “Viggo” as the whole town now calls the sculptor, started out to find the right sort of bowlder for the work. For four weeks-end Mr. Austin and Mr. Erichsen drove around the town and into Dublin, Peterboro and Fitzwilliam roads, searching for a bowlder large enough, free from quartz veins and free from cracks.
– At last a large stone was found, within the town limits, and measuring almost exactly the size that was needed for the figures which had been modeled by the sculptor. This stone was moved to the little common, in the business section of the town, and from it, in the past two years, Mr. Erichsen has freed the figures of a monument that will stand for centuries as one of the most original designs in World War memorials in the country.
– This monument stands 16 feet from the ground; the figures represent a World War veteran, in World War uniform, carrying in his arms a wounded soldier, as in World War uniform. In his right hand the standing figure holds a revolver, evidently in protection against a nearby foe; his face has a look of determination, a look of concern over the condition of his friend; the other figure lies inert, evidently insensible, with collar open at the throat, showing that an effort was probably made to prove that life still existed. The steadiness of purpose in the face of the man who is rescuing the wounded lad, and the dropped head and evident insensibility of the latter, both brought out by the carver from the solid stone, bear abundant testimony to the genius of the sculptor and have called forth much praise from all who have seen the work.”
–Its Title, “Buddies”
Realistic details have entered into the mind of the sculptor, in such little matters as the showing of a bootlace, which had been broken and tied together, with the end sticking out beyond the knot, in one of the shoes of the standing figure. Beneath the two figures appears the word explaining the whole idea: “BUDDIES.” As much commendation has been given the sculptor for capturing the idea of friendship, rather than the war spirit for this monument.
— The stone is declared by experts to be a granite State field stone, the hardest stone in existence, harder to cut than any marble or granite, and as lasting in qualities as the Granite mountains. It has been an arduous task to cut this stone, and Mr. Erichsen has worked early and late, Summer and Winter, and three times, during the process of carving the figures, his tourist passport has expired and had been renewed through the efforts of Senator Henry W. Keyes, who recognized the fact that the young sculptor was doing something of considerable importance to the town, State and nation in making this beautiful memorial.
–Gen. Edwards to Speak–
On Armistice Day the town will be filled with guests. Major General Clarence R. Edwards will be the guest of honor. Gov. Charles W. Tobey, Senator Keyes, all the Legion posts in New Hampshire and many from other parts of New England will be present. No special invitations have been issued by the committee, but the town has said through its citizen’s committee “Everybody is invited.” All visiting Legion men in uniform will be provided with free lunches in Union Hall from 11:30 am until 1 o’clock. At 1:30 sharp a parade will start from in front of St. Patrick’s Church and will march through the business section of the town, which is already gay with decorations. At the monument a band will play “Hail to the Chief,” in honor of Gen Edwards, who will be escorted from the Rindge line, when he enters the town, by an escort of motorcycle mounted police, all of whom are Legion men. Rev. William J. Cavanaugh, a member of the citizens’ committee, will introduce Gen. Edwards, Gov Tobey, WIlliam T. Morrison of Manchester and Town Historian Albert Annett, all of whom will speak. Mr. Hebert N. Packard, chairman of the citizen’s committee, will introduce the sculptor, Viggo Brandt-Erichsen, who will make a formal presentation of the monument to the town. The gift will be accepted in behalf of the town by Chairman Fred L. Cournoyer of the Board of Selectmen. It is expected the exercises will take the greater part of the afternoon, and in case of rain they will be held in Union Hall, with simply the unveiling of the monument out of doors.
–Honor Roll Nearby–
The work on the monument base is being rapidly finished. The monument itself has stood in a wooden building erected to protect the sculptor while at work. about the base of the monument have been placed 14 large bowlders of field stone, and in the center front stands the largest bowlder bearing, on a bronze tablet the names of the boys who went from this town to the World War. There are 104 names in this list, among them being the name of John Humiston, who was the first soldier from this town to lose his life in the war. In his honor, the local post of American Legion has been named the John Humiston Post, and to his mother, Mrs. Carrie R. Humiston, the only “God Star Mother” of the town, has been accorded the honor of unveiling the monument on Tuesday.
– The sculptor, Viggo Brandt-Erichsen, is a native of Denmark, a young man in his early 30s, who has a friendly smile for all he meets and who, during the time he has been residing in this town in way, assisted in entertainments, spoken before the Woman’s Club and given his famous “dagger dance” for the benefit of the American Legion and other organizations.
–Said To Be Nobleman–
He is said to hold the title of Count in his native land, but, during his long residence in Paris and while he is in this country, he has dispensed with his title, His present passport expires on Nov 18, when he will sail on his return trip to Paris. He will be greatly missed by many friends here, including the large colony of Summer visitors, who for the past two seasons have watched the progress of his work with great interest, as he made the two soldier figures step forth from the huge bowlder which came from the foot of Mt. Monadnock.
–To the town of Jaffrey he is giving a real work of art, which will increase in value as the people of the town see the appreciation it is bound to receive from thousands of visitors who understand more about art, and recognize the genius of the young man who had made these two stone “buddies” so lifelike and so full of the message of courage and sacrifice.
Viggo Brandt-Erichsen in Jaffrey, by Margaret C. Bean
Viggo Brandt-Erichsen, a Biography by his son
The United States WWI Centennial Commission: The Buddies Memorial
[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].