By Tom Eastman
CONWAY — Local veterans memorials located in Mount Washington Valley include the following:
American Legion Post 46 on Tasker Hill Road in Conway is dedicated in memory of the late Ralph W. Shirley, a young Conway man who was killed in Europe during World War I.
Post Commander Audley Williams, noted, "Pvt. Ralph W. Shirley was born in Conway and attended Fryeburg Academy, where he met Frank W. Shaw of North Fryeburg. The two became friends; they served together and were killed in action the same day in France on July 13, 1918, while serving as part of the 101st Engineer Corps of the U.S. Army during World War I. Ralph Shirley was the first Conway resident to die in World War I, hence Post 46 was named after him. Both men are buried in Fryeburg in separate cemeteries." Williams adds that he has learned that Shirley was later promoted to sergeant, perhaps posthumously, but he is still researching that information.
Shirley's name appears at the top of the list of 12 names on the East Conway Veterans Memorial near Sherman Farm. That memorial is "Dedicated to the Boys of East Conway N.H. who served their country in the World War."
Other local memorials include:
• Twin Mountain: Carroll Memorial Bandstand at Twin Mountain Information Booth.
• Bartlett: "In memory of all Veterans of all Wars," Hodgkins Park on Bear Notch Road.
• Jackson: "Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from Earth," on Route 16B.
• Kearsarge, Kearsarge Road.
• North Conway: As authors Janet M. Hounsell and Ruth B. D. Horne note in their book, "Conway, New Hampshire 1765-1997," there are several in the Conways. In North Conway's Schouler Park, they note there is a boulder nicely located in a flowerbed. Attached to the boulder is a plaque on which is inscribed the names of 46 local men "who served in the World War from 1917-1919."
• There is also a special hospital roll of honor at Memorial Hospital, dating back to 1943, in honor of nine hospital personnel, both men and women, who served their country.
• Veterans Park, at the juncture of Routes 16 and 302 by Burger King: a stone memorial built by the state.
• Redstone: Sundial monument to veterans, Redstone Park, juncture of Route 302 and the entrance to Redstone Village: The monument reads: "1917-1919 Veterans of the World War." Around the sundial are the following names: William J. Mullevy, John E. Chapman, Chares S. McLellan, John A. Lindberdlo, George J. Rancourt, Albert J. Rancourt, John W. Quickley, Eben H. Bottiggi and Raymond Young. It also contains 18 World War II servicemen.
• Center and South Conway: Dedicated to "Those who served in WW I 1914-1919." Carries names of 23 who served. Located at the juncture of Mill Street and Route 302.
• Chatham: "In honor of the Chatham Veterans," on Town Hall Road at Route 113B and Toad Hill Road.
• Fryeburg: "Presented to the Town of Fryeburg in the year 1920 as a living memorial to all soldiers who have served their country in peril." French and Indian, 13; Revolutionary War, 26, War of 1812, 134; Civil War, 224; World War I, 144; WW II, 225, Korea, 67, Vietnam, 130; Lebanon/Grenada, 1; Desert Storm, 99; Gulf War, 1 Bradley Memorial Park, intersection of Routes 113 and 302.
• Conway Public Library: Located on the north side of the library is the "Conway Honor Roll" intended as "A Tribute to Those Who Served in the World War. 1917-1919."
• Conway: Permanent Honor Roll in front of Kennett Middle School, Main Street; erected in 1997 through the efforts of Roberta Webster and local citizens, replacing a wooden honor roll that was built in 1943 near the site of the Conway Information Booth. Dedicated to "those men and women of this community who served our country in times of peace and war and especially for those who gave their lives in that service."
• Albany: Town Hall, Route 16: The flagpole is dedicated to all who served their country as a gift from the Grey Eagles – 8th Air Force Veterans.
• Tamworth/Chocorua: "To you from falling hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high," listing six Revolutionary, 73 Civil War, 2 Spanish and 25 World War I veterans (at Tamworth Town Center on Route 113).
• Madison: "He that does not remember his ancestors does not deserve to be remembered by his descendants." 22 World War II (Route 113 at the Madison Baptist Church).
• Effingham: A roll call of 24 World War II, six Korea, 11 Vietnam veterans (at the intersection of Route 113 South from Route 25 and Plantation Road).
• Freedom: (In front of the bandstand on Main Street).
A map showing most of those memorials was compiled and published in the Conway Daily Sun in November 1999 by Janice Crawford, executive director of the MWV Chamber of Commerce.
For further information, call the library at (603) 447-5552 or visit www.conwaypubliclibrary.org.