More Manchester New Hampshire World War I Heroes

For three years I have dedicated much of my time to researching New Hampshire heroes of WWI (heroes being a general term to include both women and men).  For Memorial Day 2020 I decided to follow up and try to discover a few more of these amazing heroes from Manchester whose deaths now bring the total of known WWI casualties to 140.  It should seem more important to us now, that the men mentioned below died during the influenza pandemic of 1918.

+_+_+_+_+ T H E  MANCHESTER  H E R O E S +_+_+_+_+

Alice J. Johnson | Major | Survived both WWI and WWII | U.S. Army Nurse Corps | Died 24 July 1971 Tampa FL, gravesite not known | Resided Manchester NH | [1]

Francis P. McKeown | Private | Died 18 Oct 1918 Camp Lee, Petersburg VA of Influenza, broncho-pneumonia| Tufts Nominee for Officer Training | Buried Section F, Lot 73 in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bedford NH | Credited to Manchester NH | [2]

Harry A. Mansfield | Seaman 2/c | Died 13 August 1918 Naval Hospital at Newport, Rhode Island of Lobar Pneumonia and influenza | United States Naval Reserve Service | Buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester NH | [3]

George E. Ladd | Soldier Died of Disease 21 Nov 1918 at Fort Constitution, New Castle NH| Unk Battalion/Regiment | Buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester NH | [4]

George J. LaFleur | Private | Died of Disease 18 Oct 1918 Camp Jackson, Columbia South Carolina of pneumonia/influenza | Battery D, 4th Regiment FARD | Buried Mount Calvary Cemetery, Manchester NH | [5]

Francis J. “Frank” O’Connor | Soldier | Died of Disease, 3 April 1918 St. Marys Hospital, Hoboken NJ | Unknown regiment or battalion | Buried St. Joseph Cemetery, Manchester NH | [6]

Edward J. Maher | Sergt. | Died of Disease on 2 January 1919, Base Hospital, Camp Devens, Harvard MA of pneumonia | Regiment unknown | Buried New St. Joseph Cemetery in Bedford NH | [7]

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Lithograph Poster. “Hold up your end!” War fund week poster showing a Red Cross nurse holding up one end of a stretcher, with the other end extended toward the viewer. 1917, W.B. King, artist. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington D.C.

[1] Major Alice Josephine Johnson was born 24 July 1892 in New York City, the daughter of Aloft G. Johnson & Katherine I. (Melvin) Johnson, and granddaughter of Benjamin & Catherine J. “Hattie” (Kaiser) Melvin.   She took her nurse’s training at Memorial Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, and during much of this time she lived with her aunt, Miss Myrtle G. Melvin in Manchester, New Hampshire. Major Johnson served in both World War I and World War II as a nurse.

She enrolled in the United States Army Nurse Corps and was accepted on 26 August 1918.  She was assigned to Base Hospital #64.  According to the official history of that unit, “Rimaucourt, Department Haute Marne, in the advance section of the American Expeditionary Forces; arrived September 21. This was the third hospital unit to arrive at Rimaucourt, where it occupied a section of type A wooden barracks and functioned as a part of that hospital center. The normal capacity of that hospital was 1,000 beds in barracks, with additional 1,500 beds in marquee tents. This hospital was designated to receive all gas cases and infected surgical cases for the center. The number of patients admitted from October 4, 1918, to January 28, 1919, was 3,395.”

She continued to serve the United States Army Nurse Corps when the war ended, taking several assignments in more than one country.  When WWII broke out, she was a seasoned nurse., having served for more than 2 decades. On 22 June 1942 she was promoted to Lieutenant, on 21 April 1944 to Captain, and in December of 1946 to Major, A.U.S. (?conscripted).  On 25 September 1947 her rank again was Captain.

Her obituary was posted in several newspapers including the Asheville Citizen-Times, North Carolina of 31 July 1971. “Maj. Alice J. Johnson, 79, of Tampa FL, retired Army nurse, died July 24 in Tampa. A native of New York City, she took her nurse’s training at Memorial Hospital in Worcester, Mass. In 1918 she entered the Army Nurse Corps and served until after World War II, bein assigned to many posts in the United States as well as in France, the Philippines and Germany. A former resident of Asheville, Mancheseter NH and Sun City Center FLa, Maj. Johnson had lived in Tampa almost a year. She was an artist and a member of the National League of American Penwomen.”

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[2] Francis Patrick McKeown was born 21 April 1890, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland near Glasgow, son of Henry McKeown and Margaret Isabelle McAvoy.  His petition for naturalizing stated that he emigrated from Glasgow Scotland on 26 May 1911 arriving in Boston on the ship Parisian on 6 June 1911. He married 26 Jan 1914 in Manchester NH to
Ellen M. Healey, daughter of Andrew Healey & Annie O’Boyle.  He was formally naturalized on 29 July 1918.  At that time his occupation was cloth inspector and he was living at 20 Second Street in Manchester NH.   His WWI Registration form states that he worked for the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. He described himself as of medium height, stout build, with brown hair, and brown eyes.  For previous military service he stated that he had been a Bandsman, 9th Highlanders for 2 years in Great Britain.

On 5 Aug 1918 the Boston Globe newspaper published an article about enlisted men of various army unites nominated by Gen William Crozier to report for officer training at Camp, Lee, Petersburg VA. One of them was Private Francis P. MeKeown, Detatchment, Tufts College.*  The U.S. Veteran’s Administration Master Index shows that he was a Private in Co 12, COT [Commissioned Officer Training] School when he died on 18 October 1918, two months after being sent to Camp Lee. His death certificate shows that he had been ill for 5 days at the Base Camp at Camp Lee Virginia when he died of influenza and broncho-pneumonia.  His body was transported from Virginia to Manchester New Hampshire where he was buried with honors at St. Joseph Cemetery on 23 October 1918, in Section F., Lot 73.  His name is inscribed on the WWI Honor Roll in the Hall of Flags, New Hampshire State House.

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[3] Harry Albert Mansfield was born
5 April 1897 in Manchester, New Hampshire, son of John E Mansfield (a cigar maker born in Germany) and Matilda Tode.  He grew up in Manchester attending schools there. In the 1910 U.S. Census he is shown living with family in Manchester NH on Bartlett Street, with sibling William.

Harry Albert Mansfield married 14 July 1918 in Manchester NH to Anna Lena Schwotzer, dau of Max Schwotzer & Lena Strobel. (He was dead a month later).  He was serving in the United States Navy as a seaman 2nd class enlisting at Boston, Mass on May 31, 1918. He apparently contracted influenza, that resulted in pneumonia and caused his death.  He died at the Navy Hospital in Newport, Rhode Island on 13 August 1918 .  He was only 21 years old.  His body was returned to Manchester NH and buried in  Pine Grove Cemetery on 15 Aug 1918 by F.L. Wallace Sons Undertakers. His name is inscribed on the WWI Honor Roll in the Hall of Flags, New Hampshire State House.

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[4] George Edward Ladd
was born 2 Aug 1897 at Schuyler Falls NY, son of Charles H. & Addie M. (June) Ladd. In 1900 he was living in Plattsburg, Clinton Co NY with his parents and siblings, Arthur, Mabel, and Jennette. By 1917 his family had moved to Manchester New Hampshire.

On his WWI Registration form he is shown living at 534 Lincoln St Manchester NH, his next of kin being his mother Addie M. Ladd. At that time he was working for Harry E. Wheeler on Granite St. Manchester NH. He describes himself as being of medium height and build with brown eyes and dark hair.

George Edward Ladd  died 21 Nov 1918 in New Castle NH, Fort Constitution. He is described as being a Soldier, but no regiment or battalion is indicated.  His cause of death was lobar pneumonia, duration 10 days (probably from influenza).  He was buried Manchester NH on 23 Nov 1918.His name is inscribed on the WWI Honor Roll in the Hall of Flags, New Hampshire State House.

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[5] George Joseph Lafleur
was born 10 August 1891 in Sainte-Croix, Quebec, Canada, son of Omer & Henriette “Harriet” (Guimond) Lafleur.  He grew up in Canada but by 1910 he and his family were living in Manchester including siblings, Donat, Hedwidge, Marion, Yvonne, Harold, Ora, Adjutor and Germaine.

He completed his WWI Registration form when he was residing at 39 Kidder Street in Manchester NH.  He was still an alien, was single, and working as a mill operative for Amoskeag Mills in Manchester. He described himself as short and slender with brown hair and brown eyes.

He apparently either enlisted or was conscripted, and sent to Camp Jackson in South Carolina. Death records of the Camp state he was a Private, assigned to Battery D, 4th Regiment FARD.  He contracted influenza on October 12, and died 18 October 1918.  This document also shows his mother’s name as Harriet, and his occupation a professional boxer.  Lt. M.A. Ehrlich signed the death cert

His body was returned to Manchester New Hampshire per NH records, where he was buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery. His name is inscribed on the WWI Honor Roll in the Hall of Flags, New Hampshire State House.

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Francis J. “Frank” O’Connor
was born 19 June 1891 in Manchester NH, son of Charles A. & Catherine (Kelliher) O’Connor.  He attended the local schools.  In the 1910 U.S. Census he is living in Manchester NH on 28 Union Street with his then-widowed mother and siblings (who included Lawrence, Charles, Arthur, Lillian, Walter, Ethel, Erslea (Ursula) and Bernice.

On his WWI Registration form of 1917 he was a stock clerk for Fred J. Dry(?) Inc. Springfield MA. He was single and indicated that he was a Private for 3 years in the NH National Guard. Frank described himself as being of medium build and height, with blue eyes and dark hair.

Frank J. O’Connor’s death certificate states that he was a soldier (no regiment stated) and that he died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Hoboken New Jersey.  Hoboken, at that time, as a embarking and disembarking point for American soldiers to be sent to Europe. It is unknown if he was stationed there, but much more probable that he was with a battalion being sent overseas, but that he sickened and died before he could make it to the ship.  His cause of death was rheumatism contributing, then dying of acute pleurisy at the age of 26 years.

His body was returned to Manchester New Hampshire, where he was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery. on 7 April 1918 in Section McGill, Lot 2437. His name is inscribed on the WWI Honor Roll in the Hall of Flags, New Hampshire State House.

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Edward Joseph Maher
was born 31 May 1889 in Boston Massachusetts, son of Edward & Mary (Griffin) Maher (per his baptismal certificate).  In the 1910 U.S. Census he was living in Manchester NH with his uncle, Timothy M. & Annie J.  (Griffin) Sheehan, then working in the shipping room of a cotton mill. In 1917 he completed his WWI Registration form, and he was living at 264 Manchester Street in Manchester NH, working as a bookkeeper for Armour & Co. Manchester NH.  He was single, and described himself as tall and slender with blue eyes and black hair.

The next document I discovered about him was that he died at the Base Hospital, Camp Devens MA on 2 January 1919.  His death certificate does not identify his regiment, listing him with a rank of Sergeant, and occupation, Soldier, U.S. Government.  His cause of death was broncho-pneumonia.  Though his death date was late in the influenza season (most of the death occurring the previous September-November), it is entire possible that he was a flu victim.  He was only 28 years old.  His body was returned to Manchester where he was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery, Section F, Lot 97.   His name is inscribed on the WWI Roll of Honor, Hall of Flags, New Hampshire State House.

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2 Responses to More Manchester New Hampshire World War I Heroes

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

  2. Jona Mulvey says:

    Thank you for all of your research, Janice, & the time you take creating meaningful tributes to these true heroes.

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