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Historical Society's 37th ANNUAL HARVEST FAIR September 24, 2017

Hollistonians Answered the call Over There

by Bobby Blair
April 6, 2017

Nation marks the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of WWI

One hundred forty-one Hollistonians answered the call when congress declared war on Germany on April 6th 1917.  The population in Holliston at the time was 2,700. It was only in recent years that local history uncovered the forgotten truth about Ernest Kehoe (below). Kehoe and his sister were taken in by their relatives, the Drennan family at 32 Arch Street, after the passing of their parents. Holliston educated, and a shoe mill worker, Kehoe saw service in Panama, Mexican border and Europe before he was killed in action as a member of the 101 Machine Gun Co. Kehoe is buried in Belleau France. A memorial square was dedicated to Kehoe at Arch and Water Streets in the early 2000's by the local American Legion Post #47

Charles F. Duford was the first Holliston man killed in action in WWI.

Sgt. Duford was killed on October 14th 1918 and is buried in Romagne France. The local American Legion Post #47 is named in Duford's honor.

William Sheehan is one of, if not the only Hollistonian to have served in both WWI & WWII. Sheehan was awarded a Bronze Star for service in WWII.

Charlie Williams, who lived on Norfolk Street, may be best remembered as the owner of Williams Market at the corner of Central and Washington Streets. Williams employed fellow WWI veteran Walter Higgins to deliver groceries about town. Williams would later head up an effort as a member of the local Lions Club to print a newsletter to hometown men and women serving in WWII.

Lt. Walter Moynihan would serve as the 1st Commander of the newly created American Legion Post in town in 1920

Leo Clancy is remembered as Holliston's last country doctor who made house calls. Clancy practiced his profession from his home at 918 Washington Street

Jerome Moore of School Street would see service in France with a transportation battalion and came home to carry on the families monument business in the back yard at 45 School Street.

Holliston WWI veterans were feted to a welcome home celebration on September 20th 1919. The parade above passes in front of the present day Studio D in the center of town. The celebration included  a baseball game at Flagg's Field, the parade, which included Civil War Veterans along with Spanish American War Veterans and the Sons of Veterans Camp 63.  A band concert followed along with dry hose coupling in the village square. A banquet was held in town hall at 5:30 pm followed by fireworks on Flagg's Field and a dance in town hall at 8 pm.

In 1976 on the anniversary of America's Bi-Centennial the local Legion Post hosted a dinner for the town's surviving WWI veterans on Armistice Day November 11th. Above left to right: Joseph Gallerani, Stephen Honey, Alfred Lyons, Charlie Williams, John Kimball, Andrew Anderson, James McCarthy, Harold Lang, Howard Sparrell, Charles Carline, Charles (Peachy) Duncan, Walter Higgins, Harold Chambers, Albert Herrick, Waldo Appleby, Charles Kingsbury & George Sherman. Fred W. Miller was present but not in the photo.

George Sherman of Braggville would be Holliston's last surviving WWI veteran. Four Holliston men would make the supreme sacrifice during the war. Cpl. James A.Cutler, Sgt. Charles F. Duford, Cpl. Harold Galliston and Ernest Kehoe.


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Comments (13)

Thank you so much for honoring these great men who served our Country. I never knew my Grandfather William Sheehan, so this was especially meaningful to me and my family. Eileen King

- Eileen King | 4/15/17 8:51 AM

Bobby, William Sheehan was my grandfather. Peggy Sheehan King is my Mother and was a good friend of you Mother. My Mother was told about this article from a cousin in the Holliston area - you brought back many memories for her. Thank you.

- Susan King Riechel | 4/8/17 1:04 AM

Thank you so much for this great article- the pictures really brought these terrific Holliston citizens to life.I have always wondered about Ernest Kehoe and his Sq.

- Pat Fuller | 4/7/17 1:34 PM

Great article, Bobby. Thank you for honoring these men and their sacrifices.

- Joseph Clancy (Sr.) | 4/6/17 9:09 PM

Thanks Bobby and Dr Leo clancy is my great grandfather

- Joseph Clancy | 4/6/17 7:20 PM

Great article. As a very young man I used to make the six or seven hour trip each spring up to Pierce Pond with Charlie Williams. Through clouds of cigar smoke, he often told stories of his service in WWI. Charlie saw action in the Meuse - Argonne campaign, among other places, and his descriptions of the battles, but also just the everyday things that happened during his service in France, from the time he left on the troop ship from New York, to coming home, are still vivid to me. Thanks for the article and the reminder of a great friend to me and my family.

- Michael Tule | 4/6/17 4:12 PM

Thank you for the article. I've never seen a photo of my Uncle Walter Moynihan but I did read some of the letters he sent home from the war.

- Sally Williams Kacprowicz | 4/6/17 10:08 AM

Nice article. Thank you Bobby Blair for sharing.

- Neola J. Thorsen | 4/6/17 9:56 AM

Great history lesson, thanks Bobby

- Walter McGrath | 4/6/17 9:01 AM

Great article and remembrance. I note that Leo Clancy was also a former Holliston high school basketball player who was part of two State Championship teams in 1910-11 and 1911-12. He played with the great Allan Pond, Holliston's first 1,000 point scorer in basketball, winner of four straight State Championships, and another veteran of World War I.

- KEN DUNN | 4/6/17 8:58 AM

Very nice memorials. Enjoyed greatly learning about members of Holliston community serving our country.

- Laureen Douglas | 4/6/17 8:12 AM

Great article. Hope you get a copy to thr Historical Society.

- George Gabriel III | 4/6/17 7:54 AM

Well done Bobby...

- Ben Clarkson | 4/6/17 7:32 AM



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