×

Hancock Historical Society remembers The Great War’s 100-year anniversary

  • The uniform blouse of Charles E. Adams with Victory medal and New Hampshire Service medal, just one of the many artifacts on display in the Great War exhibit. Courtesy photo—

  • (From left) Charles Adams, a World War I veteran from Hancock, and an unknown soldier are pictured in their uniforms. The photograph is part of an exhibit commemorating The Great War’s 100-year anniversary that’s on display at the Hancock Historical Society. (Ben Conant/ Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)  Ben Conant—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Anna Mary Wallace, whose father Charles Adams served in World War I, found many of his war items while she was cleaning out her childhood home in Hancock. She donated many of the pieces to the Hancock Historical Society. (Ben Conant/ Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)  Ben Conant—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • The monument on the common recognizing Hancock veterans of all wars was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1926.  The World War I side of the monument names 28 men who entered service in the Great War while living in Hancock.  Courtesy photo—

  • Private Ralph J. Loveren, the first Hancock resident to enlist at just nineteen years of age, was also the first (and only) local man to die in action during the Great War.  Courtesy photo—

  • (From left) Charles Adams, a World War I veteran from Hancock, and an unknown soldier are pictured in their uniforms. The old photograph is part of an exhibit commemorating the Great War’s 100-year anniversary that’s on display at the Hancock Historical Society. (Ben Conant/ Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)  Ben Conant—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • The doughboy helmet of Charles Adams, who served in World War I, is on display at the Hancock Historical Society. (Ben Conant/ Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)  Ben Conant—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • The uniform of Charles Adams, who served in World War I, is on display at the Hancock Historical Society. (Ben Conant/ Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)  Ben Conant—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 11:2PM

Anna Mary Wallace was cleaning out her childhood home on Middle Road in Hancock when she uncovered items from a time in her father’s life she didn’t know much about. 

Wallace found a doughboy helmet, a rifle, Army boots, a mess kit, sewing equipment, and little bottles of medicine in various places around the property. All the items were from World War I. And they all belonged to her father, Charles E. Adams.

“I was just astonished,” Wallace said about discovering the items. “I never talked to him about it. I don’t know how he felt about it (the war).”

With the help of the Hancock Historical Society, Wallace was able to uncover more about her father’s past.

Documents at the society say Adams passed the examination for the draft on August of 1917 and entered the service at the age of 30. He eventually joined the 307th Engineer Battalion, which was attached to the 82nd Infantry Division. Adams was promoted to Corporal in March of 1918 and Sergeant in May of that same year. By the end of June, his unit was in France and Adams saw action that summer in the Toul Sector and Marbache Sector. The documents say Adams was at St Mihiel from Sept. 12 to 16, and Meuse Argone by Sept. 28 where he stayed until the armistice.

In a postcard, Adams told his mother he didn’t expect to be home until June of 1919, although his infantry division was demobilized in May 1919. The Peterborough Transcript reported Adams was reunited with his family on May 22.

Once Wallace discovered her father’s wartime items around the property, she donated them to the historical society. The items are just some of those that are now on display in an exhibit remembering the 100th anniversary of the United State’s entry into The Great War. The society’s exhibit is open to the public on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 17. It will also be open on Aug. 19 (Hancock’s Old Home Day) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Roberta Nylander, a member of the historical society, said the exhibit in Hancock brings to life the stories of some of the 28 World War I veterans whose names are engraved on a monument at the town common. The exhibit also details the activities that unfolded on the home front during the war years.

She said the exhibit displays photographs, papers, and war memorabilia that were collected from family members of some of the town’s veterans. The display includes items and stories from eight of the town’s veterans, two of whom died in the war.

Nylander said the exhibit also covers activity on the home front including posters from Liberty Bond and Red Cross drives conducted in Hancock, the story of Charlie Fogg and the Pig Raising Club, and tent pegs made by employees at the Sheldon Mill on Old Dublin Road, which had a contract with the government to supply pegs for tents used by the U.S. Army.

“It was fascinating putting this exhibit together,” Nylander said of the process.

Nylander said the society plans to continue its research on the remaining 20 veterans named on the monument. Members of the society also plan to research topics on the war and how it connects to Hancock including Hoover Suppers, drives and projects on the home front, the Spruce Squad, sheep on the White House lawn, and Spanish Influenza to name a few. She said the society plans to display the remainder of its findings in an exhibit this spring.

Wallace said her father moved back to Hancock after the war and once he arrived in the small New England town, he barely left the place.

“I’m certain that for 45 years he never slept off the place,” Wallace said about her father. “And I don’t know if that was a consequence of the war, that he had arrived home safely and so he never left or what. I don’t know.”

Wallace said she regrets not talking to her father about his time in the service. She said there was plenty of time too, noting that her father lived until he was just shy of 84 years old.

“These are all the regrets you have,” she said.

Wallace said she thinks about what the experience must have and about what it must have been like coping with those memories.

“He didn’t talk about it when I was a kid and when you’re a kid you don’t know to ask,” Wallace said.

Abby Kessler can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 234 or akessler@ledgertranscript.com.