Photograph of Herman F. Little recognition plaque, located in Manchester NH at the corners of South Main and Granite Streets. Copyright of Martin Miccio for the City of Manchester, and used here with permission.
On October 1st of 1940, the Mayor and Board of Alderman of the City of Manchester, passed an ordinance: “That the Square located in West Manchester, where Granite and Main Streets intersects and commonly referred to as Granite Square, be officially designated and known …as “Herman F. Little Square.” A bronze marker was created and placed there, situated at the southwest corner of South Main and Granite Streets. It reads: ” PVT. HERMAN F. LITTLE. Co. B –103RD INF. 26 DIV. KILLED JULY 20, 1918. AT CHATEAU THIERRY.”
Herman Francis Little, was born on 28 Jan 1893 in Manchester, New Hampshire, the son of Charles J. & Anne (Moran) Little. Herman’s father was a driver and later a tanner, residing at 316 Douglas Street in the city. He probably attended the local schools. By 1917 when he registered for the military at the age of 24, he was working in the Amoskeag mills as a wool sorter, already having 1 year of service in New Hampshire’s National Guard. From this same registration document we learn that Herman was of slender, medium build, with brown eyes and black hair.
French soldiers at Chateau Thierry
Herman F. Little was assigned to Company B, 103rd Infantry, 26th Division, and was soon sent to the European front, where he participated in the Battle of Chateau Thierry. Much has been written about this battle, notably that it “was one of the first actions of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) under General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing.” Herman died two days into the battle, which continued on for four days. A month later his widowed mother received notice that he was slightly wounded, and a similar notice was published in the Boston Herald, however in fact Herman was already dead. By September the newspapers were printing the correction that he had died of wounds.
Wednesday August 7, 1918 Boston Herald (Boston MA)
SLIGHTLY WOUNDED: LITTLE, PRIV. HERMAN F., 316 Douglas Street, Manchester NH — B. Company, 103d infantry; wounded July 20. Is the son of Mrs. Anna Little, 316 Granite Street, Manchester. He is 22 years old and saw service on the border. He worked before enlisting as a wool sorter. A brother, Walter, is a seaman in the navy.
Three years would pass before his remains were brought home, and he was buried in the Old St. Joseph Cemetery, Gonzague section, 181-9 to rest with his father, and other members of his family. A monument was built near Chateau Thierry to commemorate those lost during the battle.