The Seven Men of Marlborough

Published: 10 February 2024

By Michael Santoro
Special to the Doughboy Foundation website


This extremely detailed 1920-dated studio portrait showcases seven American soldiers from Marlborough, Massachusetts. All 7 men were from one small neighborhood, around Lincoln & East Main Street. Despite living so close together, many of them took very different paths in their service. These are the men in order from top row to bottom, left to right, along with their units & addresses.

  • Valmore Duhamel – Company G, 104th Infantry, 26th Division. Overseas October 1917, sent home February 1919 with Trench Foot. 58 Gibbons St. Marlborough, Massachusetts.
  • Henry LaForme – 84th Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Regiment, 4th Brigade (Marines), 2nd Division. Awarded a Silver Star Citation for actions at Soissons. 13 Lincoln Ct. Marlborough, Massachusetts.
  • Leo Maybay – Battery B, 54th Artillery, Coastal Artillery Corps. 523 Lincoln St. Marlborough, Massachusetts.
  • Felix Graveline – Sergeant First Class, Headquarters, 302nd Tank Center, Tank Corps. Overseas December 1917. 461 Lincoln St. Marlborough, Massachusetts.
  • Walter N. Bouley – Ordnance Field Forces, 2nd Cavalry. O.F.F. was a group of 4 men attached to each cavalry regiment. His grave lists him as Troop A, 2nd Cavalry. The 2nd Cavalry is historic as the only US cavalry unit to see combat on horseback during the war, being utilized as messengers under machine gun, sniper, and artillery fire. He’s wearing a 2nd Division patch, as elements of the 2nd Cavalry were attached to the 2nd Division post-armistice. 83 W. Main St. Marlborough, Massachusetts.
  • Arthur E. Boule – Company B, 104th Infantry, 26th Division. Later part of the Headquarters Troop, 26th Division. Overseas October 1917, returned April 1919. 413 Lincoln St. Marlborough, Massachusetts.
  • Joseph Bedard – Company G, 104th Infantry, 26th Division. Listed as slightly wounded in an April 1918 newspaper. 60 Grant St. Marlborough, Massachusetts.

Once I had narrowed down the history and home of all seven men, I put together a small visual to show how closely they had all lived to one another their entire lives.

These men knew each other very well, and certainly bonded further over the loss of their friends who didn’t live to feature in the portrait. Friends such as Wallace Parmenter and Frank Maddox.

Wallace A. Parmenter lived down the road from Walter Bouley at 245 W. Main St. He was killed in action while serving with the 302nd Engineers, 77th Division on August 12th, 1918.

Frank R. Maddox lived half a mile down and around the corner from Bouley at 39 Greenwood Street. He served alongside Arthur E. Boule in Company B, 104th Infantry. He was killed in action on July 11th, 1918.

It was exciting to find out each of these men lived so closely to one another, and although I’ve found that some of the men went to the same church, I’m not certain that’s what connects all seven. This portrait of seven men who grew up alongside one another tells a harrowing story of childhood friends being sent into the worst fray any U.S. soldier had experienced, almost all partaking in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which is to this day the bloodiest offensive in American history.

Thank you for hearing their stories, and thank you to the Doughboy Foundation for allowing me to immortalize these men.

Michael R. Santoro is a history researcher, preservationist, and World War I Antiquarian. He has been collecting World War I militaria for some seven years. He finished both bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University at Buffalo, New York, in Environmental Design & Architecture/Historic Preservation, respectively. He now runs his own historic research business, Santoro Military Researchers, providing quality, quick, and affordable military research.

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