New Hampshire WWI Military: They Died of Disease

Photograph of the Base Hospital at Camp Devens MA. Property of the blog editor.

The United States World War One Centennial Commission has published an excellent narrative on the infectious diseases of World War I. The so-called Spanish Flu (that was not Spanish at all) was the primary killer of the World War I era, however measles, tuberculosis and other communicable illness took their toll.

Due to the crowding in army camps and transport ships many soldiers died before they even had a chance to participate in any battles. Their service was often omitted from local and state honor rolls. A large number of New Hampshire men and women died of disease and those who are not already credited to a specific town article on this blog will be included here

1917 Postcard showing marching soldier-trainees at Camp Upton.

The majority of New Hampshire service men were sent to Camp Devens in Harvard Massachusetts, to Camp Upton in New York, or to Camp Merritt, New Jersey. Of course there were exceptions depending on their battalion assignment or special skills. Hanover New Hampshire had a training camp that was affected to a slightly lesser degree by disease deaths. Because these deaths occurred in the United States, the bodies were returned to their families for burial.

These soldiers were heroes as much as those who served elsewhere. Some of them are listed here alphabetically, with mention of the town or city in New Hampshire to whom they are credited.

Who Died of Disease
During WWI Service


Arthur Littlefield Bean
Credited to Eaton NH
He was born 6 August 1889 in Center Conway, NH
Family: son of Isaac Aaron & Mary A. (Littlefield) Bean. In 1900 and 1910 living in Eaton, New Hampshire with his parents and siblings Lillian M. Bean (who married m. Angus M. Nickerson), and younger brother Norman R. Bean.
WWI Registration: Arthur L. Bean completed his WWI Registration form on 5 June 1917 in Eaton New Hampshire. He was 27 years old and farming for himself, while helping to support his parents. He described himself as tall, with a medium stature, with blue eyes and light brown hair.
Served during WWI: He had been a soldier for 2-1/2 months at the Dartmouth College Training School, Hanover New Hampshire before his death. The book “War Records of Dartmouth College 1917-1918,” well covers this topic. The chapter on “The Dartmouth College Training Detachment” is specifically interesting in Arthur L. Bean’s case, as he was probably involved with this aspect of the college, vocational training. Courses provided included principles of radio work; carpentry; automobile driving with field repair and maintenance; and telephone installation and operation. The training was about 2 months long.
Died: 1 October 1918 in Hitchcock Hospital, Hanover, New Hampshire of broncho-pneumonia and “grippe” after being admitted to the hospital only 2 hours prior.
Buried: Howard Bean Cemetery, Eaton Center, Carroll Co. NH.

Ray Herman Berry
Credited to New Durham or Wolfeboro NH
He was born 10 March 1897 in Wolfeboro NH, son of Alberton M. & Mary (Jenkins) Berry.  In 1910 he was living in New Durham NH with his parents and sibling, Guy Alberton Berry. ry.  During WWI he enlisted and was sent to Camp Devens in Harvard MA, where he died at the Base Hospital, on 31 October 1918.   He is buried in Buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Farmington NH.

Joseph Bettenski
Credited to New Hampshire
The Gold Star Record of Massachusetts book provides the little information I could learn about Joseph Bettenski. Born 1894 at Wierzbowo Poland, son of John and Emily Bettenski, brother of Annstaza. All of Giechanow, Province of Plock, Poland. Nephew of Sugment Uminezki of Chelsea. Laborer. Resident in Massachusetts four years. He enlisted 28 June 1918, assigned to the 151st D.B. He was transferred 1 Aug to Co C, 74th Inf. 12th Div.  He died 28 Sep 1918 at Camp Devens of disease.  He is buried in Garden Cemetery, Chelsea, MA.

Alfred Johnson Colby

Credited to Ossipee NH
He was born 11 Aug 1893 in Ossipee, Carroll Co. NH, son of Daniel & Mary Josie (Evans) Colby.  He completed his WWI registration at Ossipee NH on 5 June 1917, single, of medium height and build, with blue eyes and light hair. On his WWI Registration form it was stated he was born –11 August 1884– in Ossipee NH (wrong, aged 23 makes it 1893/94) and in 1917 he was living in Moultonville, a laborer for G.W. Bent Co. of Moultonville NH. [Moultonville was a village in Ossipee NH]. G.W.  Bent & Co. was a manufacturing company of beds, cot, spring and cabinet, morris chairs and house furnishings. They also had an excelsior mill [softwood shavings used for packing fragile goods or stuffing furniture.].

Alfred J. Colby had been stationed in Washington DC for 3 months (per death cert) when he died on 9 November 1917 at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Takona Park, Washington D.C. of measles and acute bilateral broncho-pneumonia. His length of time in the hospital was 13 days. His residence was American University Camp, Washington D.C.  The American University camp was the location of gas and flame, camoulflage and forestry divisions were stationed.  He is buried in Chickville Cemetery, Center Ossipee NH.  [My thanks to Devon Williams who looked up the death certificate in Genealogy! Just ask! on Facebook].  The Washington Post, 12 November 1917, page 12. DEATHS REPORTED. Alfred J. Colby, 24 yrs. Walter Reed Gen. Hosp.

His gravestone shows:
Pvt Co A 1st Cav.
Co 20th Engineers N.H.


Old postcard of Noble Hospital, Westfield MA.

Lawrence C. Davis
Credited to Henniker NH
Lawrence Clarke Davis was born April 1899 in Warner NH, son of John Imri & Anna M. (Pierce) Davis, grandson of Sumner Clarke & Mary Maria (Elliott) Davis and grandson of Daniel & Nancy (Morgan) Pierce.  He is in the 1900 U.S. Census living in Henniker with his parents.  By 1910 he is living with his parents in the same town with siblings 1) Marian L. Davis b abt 1900 in Hopkinton NH, married 14 Sep 1919 in North Woodstock NH to Archie N. Morse, son of Forristall I. & Abbie M. (Eaton) Morse. She named a son Alfred Laurence in memory of her brother; (2) Harold F. Davis married 7 Seo 1927 in Henniker NH to Julia A. Howe, daughter of Harrison H. & Sarah (Twiss) Howe; (3) Raymond E. Davis m. 25 Oct 1933 in Bradford NH to Mary E. Favor, daughter of Charles D. & Annie E. (Locke) Favor; (4) Mabel M. Davis who m. Joseph Olezen Homo; (5) Helen A. Davis who married in 1928 to Albert J. Champagne, son of Alex Champagne; (6) Shirley/Sherlie E. Davis who married in 1935 to Winifred F. Dunlap; and (7) Doris A. Davis who married in 1937 to Howard E. Flanders, son of Carlton W. & Mary E. (Whitney) Flanders.   A death record shows that during WWI he was a soldier (probably stationed at Camp Framingham) when he died of pneumonia that results from measles, in Noble Hospital, Westfield MA.  He was buried in New Cemetery [currently just called Henniker Cemetery]  Henniker NH.

Lorenzo W. Douglass

Credited to Eaton or Ossipee NH
He was born 21 April 1897 Porter, Oxford Co. Maine.
Family: son of Perley & Lucinda (Day) Douglass.  In 1900 lived in Porter Oxford Co. Maine with family, and in 1910 was living in Eaton, Carroll Co. NH.  Siblings: Hattie (who m1st — French, m2d Perley Willliams), Elmer (who m. Ella B. Day), Everett, Gladys Eva (who married Sewell Johnson), Molly/Mollie (who married Chester A. Day) and Irving R. (who married Clara Blake).
WWI Registration: Completed form on 5 June 1918 at Ossipee NH (Eaton NH). His address was RFD Brownfield Maine. States his date of birth was April 21, 1897, Porter Maine. He was working for the Stewart Brothers in Freedom NH. Nearest relative: Perley Douglass, Brownfield Maine.
Served during WWI: Private 1C, 1st Battalion, 151st Depot Brigade
Newspaper notice: The Boston Globe, 19 Sep 1918 Thursday, page 1. DEATHS AT CAMP DEVENS.  The six privates who died since yesterday were: Private Ronald Frazer, 1st Co., Depot Brigade, son of Charles Frazer, 363 Concord Street, Manchester NH, Private Lorenzo Douglass of the 1st Co., Depot Brigade, son of Mrs. Lucinda Douglass of Eaton N.H. and who had been in the camp for about two weeks.
Died of Disease (lobar pneumonia, influenza) 19 September 1918 Camp Devens, Harvard MA.
Buried: Cole Cemetery, Brownfield Maine.

James Hermon Downs
Credited to Danbury NH
Born 4 June 1890 in Danbury, Merrimack Co. NH.
Family: Son of George H. & Ida E. (Tucker) Down(e)s. In 1900 Census living in Danbury, Merrimack Co. NH. Siblings include William P. Downes who m. 1929 to Andrea Gora; and Damon George Downs who died 23 December 1918 in Danbury NH of influenza [he was b. 7 March 1895 in Danbury]. He married 2 June 1918 in Bristol NH to Mary (Travor) Braley, daughter of William & Valeria Jane (Colbeth) Travor (her 3rd marriage, he was 29 she was 54). [She m1 William F. Gould; m2d Charles Braley]
WWI Registration:  On 5 June 1917 he completed his WWI Registration form in Danbury NH. He was working as a teamster for E.D. Clough of Salisbury NH, was single, tall, of medium build with blue eyes and brown hair.
Service in WWI: Soldier in U.S. Army Training Camp
Death: He died 26 September 1918 at Camp Upton NY of broncho pneumonia.
Burial:  Eastern Cemetery, Danbury NH
Probably the soldier whose lung tissue was used to discover more about the Spanish flu (thanks to Nick for the New York Times link, see comment section)

Elden W. Drew
Credited to Tamworth NH.
Born as William Elden Drew on 27 March 1893 at Cambridge, Somerset Co., Maine.
Family: Son of Lewis/Thomas & Gertrude B.C. (Folsom) Drew.  In 1900 he was living in Ripley, Maine and in 1910 in Cambridge MA with his family.  Siblings include Jesse Warren Drew (who married in 1931 to Elsie Berry) and Annie Vera Drew (who married Albert Louis North).
WWI Registration form: Elden William Drew aged 24 completed his WWI Registration form on 6 June 1917 from Tamworth NH. He stated he was living at Mountain View NH. Date of birth 27 March 1893 in Cambridge Maine. He was working as a laborer for John Drew, and was married (wife Gladys). He was of medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair.
Death: Died 7 February 1918 of lobar pneumonia, duration 18 days, contributing cause measles.  Died at Base Hospital, Camp Devens, a 3 month resident there (Harvard MA); previous residence, Tamworth NH.
Newspaper Report: The Boston Globe, 11 Feb 1918, Page 3. Private Elden W. Drew of Tamworth N.H. who died at Camp Devens of pneumonia was a son of Mr. and Mrs. William L. Drew of Oakland pk, this town [Wakefield MA]. He was 24 years old and leaves a wife. The body was brought to the home of his parents here last night and the funeral will probably be held tomorrow.
Burial: His death certificate states he is buried in Wakefield MA. Forest Glade Cemetery in his parent’s plot.

Arthur E. Drouin
Credited to Windham NH
Arthur E. Drouin was born 22 January 1893 in  Lawrence MA, son of Ernest & Elmina (Brousseau) Drouin.  In the 1900 U.S. Census he is living with his parents and extended Drouin family at 138 Oxford Street, Lawrence MA. He completed his WWI Registration form at in June of 1917 at Windham NH where he was aged 24 and working as a shoemaker for the Derry Shoe Co. He was of medium height and build with grey eyes and black hair. Massachusetts Death Records show that Arthur E. Drouin was a Private in Co. E, 42nd Infantry stationed at Camp Devens, Harvard MA when he died of pneumonia on 25 September 1918.  He was buried  at Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Lawrence MA on 30 Sep 1918.  His name is engraved on the WWI Honor Roll in the NH State House, Concord.  His name is also mentioned on Windham New Hampshire’s WWI Honor Roll [see Nutfield Genealogy for photographs and transcription].

Harry Elliott
Credited to Mason NH
Born 31 July 1895 Mason NH
Family: son of Lucius & Mary (McGill) Elliott.
WWI Registration form: Farmer for Lucius Elliott; married, tall with medium build, blue eyes brown hair.
WWI Service: Private Co. H 74th Infantry
Death:  24 September 1918 at Camp Devens Base Hospital, of measles
Burial:  death certificate says Leominster MA but other info matches his burial place in Mason NH. Prospect Hill Cemetery, Mason NH

Roy Storms Ellison
Credited to Jaffrey NH
Born 2 Oct 1888 Goshen NY
Family: son of Albert & Martha F. (Babcock) Ellison. In 1910 US Census living in Smithtown, Suffolk NY with parents and siblings Charles H. and Walter O.  He married 17 July 1916 Rockingham VT to Genevieve Mary Greeley. He married 2d) Helen E. Humiston. WWI Registration:  form completed 5 June 1917 stating he was born 2 Oct 1888 Chester NY, occupation painter, working for Clark E. Small in Jaffrey NH. Formerly Private in NH National Guard Cavalry. Description: medium height and build, blue eyes , dark brown hair.
WWI Service: (from US Headstone Application) Private, Co. A, 74th Infantry
Died Oct 6, 1918 in E. Jaffrey NH.
Buried Conant Cemetery, East Jaffrey NH


Hospital at Fort McKinley Maine during WWI.

Credited to Alstead or Gilsum NH
Charles Thomas Freihofer was born 22 July 1894 in Malden Massachusetts, son of Charles & Vesta E. (Sadler) Freihofer. His father was a brick mason. In 1910 Charles T. Freihofer is living in Alstead, Cheshire Co. NH with parents and siblings Edna, Arthur and Ralph. He completed his WWI Registration form in Alstead NH on 5 June 1917 where he was working in farming. He was of medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair. He married 20 Feb 1918 in Gilsum NH to Mabelle Smith, daughter of Frank E. & Helen S. (Wright) Smith. Helen died 20 May 1958 in Gilsum NH, aged 66. She is buried Alstead Center Cemetery.   There is a death record for a “Charles Fraehofer”  who was 29 days a resident at Fort McKinley in Portland Maine, occupation chauffeur, born one day off who died at the Post Hospital on 1 October 1918 of pneumonia, 3 days duration. He was probably in soldier training there.  The place of burial is listed as Bellows Falls, Maine on 4 October 1918 (I have no idea where that is).

Mark W. Frost
Credited to E. Hampstead, NH
Mark William Frost was born 31 January 1889 in Haverhill MA, son of William F. & Georgianna (Delona) Frost. He had siblings Roy Leonard, Carl Wallace, and Percy Harold. He served twice in the U.S. military, once before WWI, and once after the war began in two separate branches of service.

First Service: on April 5, 1908 Mark W. Frost enlisted in the U.S. Army, at age 19-1/2 from Haverhill MA. He had flaxen hair, ruddy complextion, 5-11-3/4 tall, laborer. Assigend to the cavalry, 165th Regiment, discharged 4 April 1911 at Ft. Totten, NY, exp service. private, very good.  The 1910 US Census shows Mark W. Frost in U.S. Army Barracks, part of the 165th Company, Coast Artillery Corps, U.S. Army.
Second Service: U.S. Navy Casualties Book 1776-1945. FROST, MARK W., machinist’s Mate, second class, United States Naval Reserve Force. Enlist; Boston MA June 4, 1917 Died, Boston MA October 3, 1917 Cause: Typhoid Fever Next of kin: Wife, Annie M. Frost, East Hampstead N.H.

Mark W. Frost of Haverhill MA married on 31 Jan 1912 in Maine  to Annie M. Clough of E. Hampstead NH, dau of George A. and Priscilla P. (Small) Clough.   They had one child, Clyde Eugene Frost, born 27 January 1918 (born 3 months after his father died) in Somerville MA, died 5 April 2010 in Amesbury MA. In 1930 living with mother and stepfather (Patrick Donahue) in Merrimac, Essex Co. MA.   Annie M. (Clough) Frost married 2nd  by 1923 to Patrick Donahue. Children (Donahue:) Ruth, Mary, Marjorie, Robert and Richard.

The death certificate of Mark W. Frost shows that he died on 2 October 1917 at the Somerville Hospital, of typhoid fever.  The document notes that he had been working as a motorman for the railroad previously.  Possibly he was home on leave as there were no naval bases in Somerville MA. This same document states he was buried East Hampstead MA [this probably should be E. Hampstead NH] on 5 Oct 1917.

Patrick Gilmore
Credited to ?  (If my readers know please leave a comment).
Patrick Gilmore was born 7 Feb 1890 in Galway Co., Ireland, son of John & Symbina (Teveneam) Gilmore.  In the 1901 U.K. Census he is found living with his family in Woodfield, Carrownagur District, Co. Galway, Ireland including siblings siblings Thomas, Mary, Ellen, and Julia.   By May 1912 Patrick Gilmore had immigrated to the United States on the ship Cymric, and he applied for naturalization in September.  That application shows that he worked as a laborer, had a dark complexion, stood 5 ft 10 inches tall, weighed 159 pounds and had  black hair and brown eyes. brown eyes. In September of 1912 he was living at 14 Broadway Boston MA.  A death certificate for Patrick Gilmore shows that he was a Private in the Dev Battalion at Camp Devens, Harvard MA, when he contracted influenza and died on 26 Sep 1918 at the Base Hospital of lobar pneumonia. The document states he was buried at Norfolk-Downs Station, MA. The Boston Globe, Boston MA 1 Oct 1918 page 10 published the following, and it is the main source of my information about him: “GILMORE–At Camp Devens, Sept 26, private Patrick Gilmore, 1st Company, 1st Battalion, Depot Brigade, son of John and Synbina (Teveneam) Gilmore of County Galway, Ireland. Funeral from the home of his cousin, Mrs. Nellie T. Coyne, 3 Moscow St. Atlantic. Tuesday Oct 1, at 10:15 a.m. Requiem high mass at Sacred Heart Church. Wednesday Oct 2. New Hampshire papers please copy. [because of the epidemic the funeral was private].”  Normally newspapers request an obituary be copied to another place if the deceased has relatives there, and that shows a New Hampshire connection somehow.  I contacted the Quincy MA cemetery department, and they have no record of a Patrick Gilmore being buried anywhere in that city, so his burial location is unknown.

William O. Gordon
Credited to Salem, New Hampshire | Lawrence MA
William Osmar Gordon was born 1 July 1894 in Harcourt, New Brunswick Canada, son of Orrison & Lucy (Chambers) Gordon.  In the 1910 United States Census he was living with his family in Lawrence MA, including a sibling,  Earle Gordon.  He completed his WWI Registration form on 5 June 1917 in Lawrence MA (22 Green Street). He was single, of medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair.  He was employed by Champion Int. Paper Co., Lawrence MA.  U.S. Military Transport Passenger Lists show that Private William O. Gordon departed for Europe on 24 April 1918 aboard the ship Leviathan. He was a member of Co. F, 306th Field Artillery. His service number was 1684569.  Private Gordon would serve during the war but not survive it, for he died on 1 March 1919 at Tours, France of diphtheria and pneumonia.  His body was returned to the United States where he was buried with honors in Pine Grove Cemetery, Salem NH on 26 Sep 1920.

Albert P. Haas

Credited to Bennington NH
Albert P. Haas was ‘Albert Amandos Haas,’ born 6 July 1898 at Bennington NH, son of Albert & Olga (Eckardt) Haas. His father a Swiss immigrant who arrived in the United States in 1889 at New York City.  By 1895 the family was living in Bennington, Hillsborough Co. NH.  Albert P. Haas grew up and was educated in Bennington NH.  He is shown in both the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Census with his family there. His siblings include Carl Joseph, Ida Katharina, George Victor, Frank W., John J. and Alace/Alice Mary.  During WWI Alice P. Haas served as a Private in Battery C, 15th Field Artillery.  The WWI Military Transport Passenger Lists show that he (with his unit) departed New York City for Europe on 12 December 1917 on the ship, White Star Line SS Adriatic. The History of the 15th Field Artillery Regiment details his training and battles he participated in.  He would never return home.  Like many soldiers who survived the battlefield, he succumbed to disease (not specified) and he was buried in St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Thiaucourt, France in Plot A, Row 14, Grace 2.

Frederick C. Harnold
Credited to Barnstead or Salem NH
Frederick C. Harnold is a bit of a mystery.  Based on his age at the time he was married, he seems to have been born in England about 1885, son of Alfred & Fanny (Macey) Harnold.  On July 3, 1916 he married in Windsor Vermont to Ella May Powell, daughter of Sylvester & Etta (Barry) Powell.  Ella was born in Barnstead NH, but was living in Salem NH at the time of her marriage.

Frederick C. Harnold’s death certificate shows that he was 33 years old when he died on 9 April 1918 at the Base Hospital of Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio Texas. The cause was acute empyema, left pleural cavity.  He was noted as being a soldier in the U.S. Army. The document states he was buried in Centre Barnstead Cemetery, Barnstead NH on 11 April 1918.  His name is noted on the NH WWI Honor Roll in Doric Hall of the NH State House.

Frank E. Kilduff

Credited to Brookline, Hillsborough Co. NH
Frank E. Kilduff was born 30 December 1881 in Somerville MA, son of John C. & Adah Marion “Maria” (Macomber) Kilduff.  He is shown in the 1910 U.S. Census living in Milford New Hampshire. He married 4 Feb 1905 in Chelsea MA to Clara A. Willoby.  The Fitchburg Sentinel newspaper of 23 July 1918 reported: “Frank E. Kilduff of Brookline N.H. enlisted in the Coast Artillery and will go to Fort Warren.”   His death record shows that Frank E. Kilduff [spelled Kildorf] died at the Base Hospital of Camp Merritt, Dumont, Bergen Co. NJ on 29 September 1918. The cause was broncho pneumonia from influenza.  His body was returned to New Hampshire and he was buried with honors in Pine Grove Cemetery, Brookline NH.

Kenneth B. Laird

Credited to Brockton MA and Durham NH (NH State College)
Biography from Brockton’s honor roll of her sons who made the supreme sacrifice in the world war by Brockton World War Victory Association 1919: “Kenneth Bradford Laird of the Army Hospital Corps, was born in Brockton, April 26, 1893, the son of Eversleigh R. and Alice (Wade) Laird, 119 Newbury Street, Brockton (MA). He was educated in the Brockton schools including the High School and also the Massachusetts Agricultural College. He was a teacher in Hartford for one year and also a teacher at the New Hampshire State College for a year. He belonged to the University Club, Hartford, and the Swedenborgian Church of Brockton. He died January 5, 1919 of pneumonia at New Haven (CT) where he had been studying at Yale Army Laboratory School since August 1918, before beginning work in the Sanitation Department, Medical Corps.”  His name appears on the NH WWI Honor Roll in Doric Hall of the State House, Concord.

Edward W. Millerick
Credited to Walpole, NH
Edward William Millerick was born “Edmund Millerick” on 17 July 1895 in Walpole, Cheshire Co., NH, son of Irish immigrants William & Norah (Grogan) Millerick.  In 1910 he was living with his parents in Walpole NH, along with one sibling, John Joseph Millerick. Edward W. Millerick completed his WWI Registration form on 5 June 1917 at Walpole NH. He was living on 8 Ash Street, North Walpole NH working as a paper-maker for International Paper Co. of Bellows Falls VT. He was single and support of his mother. He described himself as being of medium height and build with brown eyes and black hair. Edward W. Millerick died on 29 September 1918 in Harvard MA at the Base Hospital in Camp Devens of lobar pneumonia. He was a Private in Co C, 212th Engineers, aged 23 years old. His death certificate states he is buried in Bellows Falls Vermont.

Oscar Guymont Morehouse
Credited to Milton NH
Oscar G. Morehouse
was born ‘Hiram Oscar Morehouse’ on 11 May 1887 in Highgate VT, son of Herbert & Minnie (Guymont) Morehouse. [Minnie E. Guymont, daughter of Marshall & Mary (O’Donald) Guymont] married 18 May 1884 in Highgate VT to Herbert E. Morehouse, son of Eli & Sarah (Carman) Morehouse.]  In 1908 Oscar G. Morehouse was working as a clerk in Boston MA. He completed his WWI Registration form on 5 June 1917 at Milton, Strafford Co. NH. He was single, a shoe operative for J.F. Cloutman & Co. of Farmington NH. He was of medium height, slender stature, brown eyes and dark brown hair. The Barre Daily Times newspaper of Barre, Vermont on 1 March 1919 published in a list of recent casualties: ” Died of Disease. Pvt. Oscar G. Morehouse, Union, N.H.”  As was typical of deaths in Europe during WWI he was probably buried near the hospital or clinic where he died.  Later his body was returned to the United States.  During WWI he served as a Private in Co B, 163d Infantry. His body was returned to U.S., departing St. Nazaire, France, arriving Hoboken NJ on 18 Oct 1920 on the ship Pocohontas. His service number was 2723019. He was buried in Hayes Cemetery, Milton NH. Inscription:
Oscar G. Morehouse
Co B 163d Inf. A.E.F.
Born May 11, 1887
Died in France
Feb 5, 1917
[PLEASE NOTE: his tombstone is incorrect. It should be 1919]

James Weller Perrott
Credited to Center Barnstead NH
James Weller Perrott was born October 1897 Newburgh, Orange Co. New York, son of Richard M. & Lillie (Weller) Perrott. He had an older brother David E. Perrott b, 22 Feb 1886 Newburgh NY, living in Attleboro MA in 1942.  In the 1900 U.S. Census he was living in Newburgh NY with his parents and brother. In 1910 he was living in Fishkill, Dutchess County NY with parents and his sibling, with his father being the superintendent of a nearby cemetery.  Records do not place James W. Perrott in New Hampshire, however his parents continued to live in New Hampshire until their deaths, his father died in Concord NH in 1937 and his mother died in Brentwood NH in 1940. Both of them are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in New Windsor NY (near Newburgh).

The U.S. Navy Casualty Book shows: “PERROTT, JAMES WELLER, Pharmacist’s Mate, 3rd class, (father, Richard W Perrott, Center Barnstead, N H; enlisted Boston, Mass, May 24, 1917), USS Mercy, ex-liner Saratoga, hospital ship (ID-1305, later AH-4), served along US East Coast, respiratory disease, October 13, 1918.”   His burial place is unknown.

Walter S. Randall
Credited to Manchester, New Hampshire
Walter S. Randall was born 28 February 1894 Haverhill New Hampshire [death certsays Haverhill MA, birth record shows Haverhill NH], son of son of William F. & Myrtle (Ferguson) Randall. In the 1900 U.S. Census he was living in Tilton NH with parents, and sister Nettie May (she m. 1911 in Nashua NH to James C. Brennan).  When he completed his WWI Registration form on 5 June 1917, he was living at 7 Mast Street Manchester NH, a laborer for N.H. Cement Co., Manchester NH. He was single, of medium height, strong stature, blue eyes and blonde hair.  He indicated on his form that he was a Private in the Infantry for the past 9 months, NH National Guard.   His death certificate shows he was a Private 39-10 Bn DB and that he died on 3 October 1918 at Base Hospital Camp Devens MA of pneumonia. He was buried with honors at Pine Grove Cemetery Manchester NH on 7 Oct 1918.

Ernest Frank Sanders
Credited to Madbury, New Hampshire
Ernest F. Sanders was born 10 Dec 1897 Madbury NH, son of Frank W. & Carrie A. (Burke) Sanders. In 1910 he was living in Madbury NH with parents and siblings William B, Mary E, Ida F., Robert C., Stephen E., Waldo J. Alice E. and Mildred C.  In 1917 he completed his WWI Registration form, stating he was working as a clerk in the Portsmouth NH Navy Yard for the U.S. Govt. He died in Kittery, Maine on 21 March 1919 of lobar pneumonia (from influenza), an electrician for the U.S. Navy. He is buried in  Pine Hill Cemetery, Dover, NH.  His name is listed on the New Hampshire WWI Honor Roll, Doric Hall, NH State House, Concord.

Ellis Roscoe Sanborn
Credited to Tamworth [and Wonalancet] NH
Ellis R. Sanborn
was born 15 Sept 1894 in Tamworth NH, son of John F. & Addie M. (Green) Sanborn. In the 1900 US Census he was living in Tamworth NH with his family. He had siblings Albert J. “Bertie” and Clifford H. He completed his WWI Registration form from Wonalancet, a village in Tamworth NH where he was employed in farming by William Ellery. He was single, of medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair.   He enlisted during WWI, being sent to Dartmouth College U.S. Army Training Detachment on 14 August 1918.  While there he contracted influenza which developed into lobar pneumonia and acute nephritis.  He died on 5 October 1918 at Hanover NH in the Dartmouth College infirmary.  His death certificate states he was buried in Mt. Whittier, NH, and a subsequent document shows it was Chocorua Cemetery in Chocorua NH.  On 7 February 1950 another public document shows that his body was exhumed and reburied in Conway Village Cemetery, Conway H on 7 February 1950.

Chester Herman Shapleigh
Credited to Nottingham NH and Eliot, Maine
Chester H. Shapleigh was born born 13 October 1895 in Elliott, York Maine, son of Herman A. & Mary E.(Brown) Shapleigh. On 5 June 1917 completed his WWI Registration form, living in Nottingham NH where he was farming for P.B. Batchelder. He was single, aged 21, short, of medium build with blue eyes and brown hair. During WWI he served as a Private in Co. I, 103rd Regiment (mostly Nashua men), U.S. Army. He departed New York City for Europe on 27 September 1917 aboard the ship Lapland. When the war ended, his remains were returned to the United States from Cherbourg, France to Hoboken NJ in May of 1921, on the ship Wheaton.  One newspaper reported that he died of accident on 4 on November 1917 (aged 22), however subsequent reports all state he died of disease. He was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, South Eliot, York Co. Maine.  The Portsmouth Herald newspaper of 6 Nov 1917 published this story: “EIOT BOY DIES “SOMEWHERE” / Mrs. Shapleigh Receives Word Stating Her Son is Dead. / Chester H. Shapleigh, aged 22, a member of Company J, 103rd Regiment, recently sent to Westfield, the son of Mrs. Mary E. Shapleigh of Eliot, died from pneumonia, whether in France or at some United States Army cantonment, his mother is at a loss to say. Wednesday evening: Charles W. Downing station agent at the Eliot depot received a telegram from Adjutant General Cane at Washington, stating that Shapleigh had died. This was all the news the dispatch contained. Mrs. Shapleigh heard from her son about three weeks ago and at that time he was stationed at Camp Bartlett, Westfield Mass. The news of her sons death was relayed to her from cable dispatch received at Washington from General Pershing in France. Mrs. Shapleigh is at a loss to say whether Chester died in the U.S. or with the forces in France. Two of the Shapleigh boys enlisted at the same time last August, Chester’s brother, Willis Shapleigh is a member of the heavy artillery corps at Camp Devens, Mass. Officials at Fort Constitution have been in communication with the distracted mother, and state that they will assist her in locating her dead son.  The Reading Times newspaper, Reading PA on 8 No 1917 published with a list of other soldiers who died: “Private…Chester H. Shapleigh, died Nov 4, from pneumonia. Shapleigh’s next of kin is his mother Mrs. M. Shapleigh, Elliott, Me.”  His name can be found on the Eliot Maine WWI monument.  Eliot Maine Memorial Marker in August of 1937 on the Fogg Library grounds. Present was the mother and sister of the late Chester Shapleigh, an Eliot boy who gave his life for his country in France. His mother is Mrs. Mary Shapleigh who resides with the sister in Rye. [Portsmouth Herald 23 Aug 1937 Mon] and his name is listed on the NH WWI Honor Roll plaque in the New Hampshire State House’s Doric Hall.

Louis Somers
Credited to Manchester, NH and Boston MA
Louis Somers was born in July 1897 in Belgium, son of Joseph Augustus & Louise (Meyers)  Somers. By the 1910 U.S. Census he was living in  New Haven CT with his parents and siblings. At some point before 1917 the family moved to Manchester NH and lived at 16 Galts Street where Augustus was working as a cigar maker. They had other children, Peter Herbert Somers (who married Diana Frances Van Wambeke) and Josephine Somers (who m. George R. Desrochers).  The book, Officers and Enlisted Men of the U.S. Navy Who Lost Their Lives, shows: SOMERS, LOUIS, seaman, second class, United States Navy. Enlisted Boston, Mass., 7 March 1918. Died United States Naval Base 9, Gibraltar, March 30, 1918. Cause, meningitis, cerbrospinal. Next of kin: Father, Augustus Somers, 84 Conant Street, Manchester, New Hampshire.    During WWI Gibraltar was an important naval base and source of escort ships.  Though probably buried at Gibraltar at the time of his death, his body was later returned to the United States as evidenced by a Death and Disinterment Record showing that at his death on 30 March 1918 he was 20 years and 8 months old. He was re-interred in Pine Grove Cemetery Manchester NH on 14 June 1919.  His service is recognized at the Naval Monument at Gibraltar, and his name is listed on the New Hampshire WWI Honor Roll, Doric Hall, NH State House, Concord.

Charles E. “Charlie” St. Pierre
Credited to Manchester NH
Charles E. St. Pierre was born 3 November 1899 St. Johns, P. Q., Canada, son of Philippe & Claudia (Pelletier) St. Pierre. His father was a Railroad foreman, and in the 1910 U.S. Census he was living with his family in Concord NH including siblings Alcide, Mary, Azilda, Alice, Treffle, Lena, Amanda, Eva and Ernest.I could not locate a WWI Registration form for him, but he was probably too young to be required to fill one out (when he died he was 18y 9m 26 days old). His disinterment certificate shows that he died in Brooklyn, N.Y. on 26 Sep 1918 from complications of influenza.  His body was returned to Manchester NH where his family had been living for 9 years.  Nothing is noted on his certificate that he was a soldier, however his name is included on the New Hampshire WWI Honor Roll in the NH State House, Concord. He was buried on 1 October 1918 in Calvary Cemetery, Manchester, New Hampshire.

Hale Schoolhouse at the Foot of Mt. Misery, Barrington NH from the Annual Report of the Town 1971

George H. Wood(s)
Credited to Barrington NH
George H. Wood was born in 1893 or 1894 in Barrington NH, son of Joseph & Mary (Jeffers/Jeffries/St. Joseph) Wood. In the 1910 U.S. Census the family is living in Barrington NH, George having siblings Wilfred Louis, Joseph (died age 11), Charles, Arthur, John and Gertrude “Gertie.”   A death certificate is available for him that shows he died 26 September 1918 at Camp Devens, MA of pneumonia.  His occupation there was woodcutter, but obviously he was a soldier in training, probably a Private.  He is buried in his family’s plot in Pine Grove Cemetery, Barrington, Strafford Co. NH.  His name appears as ‘George H. Woods’ on the New Hampshire WWI Roll of Honor in the New Hampshire State House.

Ernest W. Young
Credited to Salem, New Hampshire
Ernest Wilber Young was born 20 January 1891 in Deerfield NH, son of Ira Sanborn & Abbie D. (Patch) Young, and grandson of James W. & Mary (Lang) Young.  He grew up in Deerfield NH. In the 1900 census he is shown living in Deerfield with his parents, grandparents, and siblings Clara M. and Ralph V.  By 1917 the family had moved to Salem, Rockingham Co. NH. Ernest W. Young completed his WWI Registration form on  5 June 1917 in North Salem NH where he was

Entrance to Fort McPherson during WWI. This entrance was located on Lee Street, near where the Garrison Chapel Office is today. (Photo Credit National Archives, U.S. Army)

employed as a farmer for Ira M. Young, North Salem NH. He was single and described himself as being of medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair. A September 1917 New Hampshire newspaper reports that Ernest W. Young’s draft number had been selected in the lottery and he was making ready to go to a training camp.  We know that camp was eventually Fort McPherson, in Atlanta Georgia as that is where he died on 13 December 1917 of disease–broncho pneumonia following measles, in the Base Hospital.  His death certificate lists his occupation as fireman, while his disinterment form shows he was a soldier in the United States Infantry.  Though his death certificate states he was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Salem, he was actually placed in the cemetery’s tomb.  There is an application for disinterment that shows he was moved from Salem to Morrison Cemetery in Deerfield New Hampshire.  The Salem NH American Legion Post was named in his honor.  His name is engraved on the NH WWI Honor Roll in Doric Hall, NH State House, Concord.


[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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7 Responses to New Hampshire WWI Military: They Died of Disease

  1. Pingback: New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Manchester | Cow Hampshire

  2. Issiah says:

    Information on Charles T. Freihofer, he’s buried in the Alstead Center in Alstead NH saw his gravestone two days ago was such a treat to notice, love our history and love the people who have their lives. If you email myself I’ll give you a photo of his Gravestone- Thank you!

  3. Nick says:

    I think the James H. Downs above is the same James Downs whose lung tissue was used to sequence the Spanish flu. Has this information been passed on to his family? Although he is described as “thirty” elsewhere.

  4. Joann L Helmich says:

    Thank you so much for the information on my Great Uncle Roy Storms Ellison. Today is memorial day and your article made me even more proud to have him as a relative. To add to the story, his brother Walter O. Ellison was also in the army at the time and in England. Walter was supposedly granted leave to come home and bury him. According to my research, Roy was also formerly a private in NH National Guard Cavalry.

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