“Private Manuel Martin Killed in Action” – April 23, 1918

Each day this November, thanks to Eileen Loucraft, a native of Chelmsford, who while researching her family history, became interested in remembering those from Greater Lowell who fought and died in the First World War, we will present a contemporary news story of one such soldier. Today, we learn about Manuel Martin:

Another Lowell man has given up the greatest treasure he possessed for the well-being of his country. Private Manuel Martin of Co. G, 104th U.S. Infantry, son of Mrs. Mario Martin, 1 Charles Street court, has been killed in action in France. His name is included in last evening’s casualty list. . .

Private Martin was 20 years of age. He was well known among the Portuguese-American residents here and had been employed as a carpenter before joining Co. G in February, 1917. His father died in the Azores when Manuel was but a child. Besides his mother he leaves three sisters, Julia, Baptista and Alda. He attended the Coburn grammar school. Like the other members of Co. G, he did guard duty in New Hampshire last spring and successively went to Ayer and Westfield. He embarked on this final journey in September.

The final letter which was received by his mother was written by Private Martin on Jan. 3. Mrs. Martin received it toward the end of the month. In substance, it was like the hundreds of other letters which Lowell boys have sent to their loved ones, but its reproduction at this time seems to lend it greatly enhanced significance:

“Somewhere in France, Jan 3, 1918.
Dear Ma: – I just received your package and was surely glad to get it. I am feeling very good at present and am situated as well as could be expected. What has bothered me, ma, is that I have not received any letter from home recently, although I have sent my address.

Also, ma, would you be kind enough to tell everyone that knows me to write to me, for at the end of a day’s work a letter cheers one greatly. Also, ma, be sure to write every three or four days, for news from home is salve to a burning heart.

I wish to beg sister’s pardon for slighting her by not writing a letter last month, but I will try to be better. It was pure laziness on my part, but I am fast learning to overcome that. You know what is natural is hard to overcome in a short while.

Please send some cigarets and candy. Give my best regards to all. With love, I remain,

Sincerely, your son, Manuel.”

9 Responses to “Private Manuel Martin Killed in Action” – April 23, 1918

  1. Daniel Baptista Guerra says:

    im from brazil speak litle inglish manuel is brother of grand father Beijamim Baptista son of Jacinta cabral now living your family in lowel ,florida , brazil and portugal thanks

  2. Joao Pinho Baptista says:

    I am the last surviving nephew of Manuel Martin. I have his body-flag, his gold star, and a certificate of honor bearing his name and signed by President Woodrow Wilson. I have a daughter, Amanda, and a son, Brian, both of whom were born in Lowell, Massachusetts.
    Manuel Martin’s half-brother Benjamin Baptista (my father) died of a heart attack in 1974 in Brazil after retiring from the American company G. W. Murphy Industries, Inc. His other brother, Frank Baptista, an Air Force veteran of 22 yrs. service, died in an auto accident in 1981 after retiring from a lucrative career as a building-contractor in Valley Springs, California.
    Thank you for making this beautiful story available on the Internet. It means a lot to my family.
    I would also like to mention that Manuel Martin’s mother (my garndmother) died in Brazil after returning to that country and starting a dairy and vegetable farm in Piripiri.

  3. Eileen L says:

    Thank you Baptista/Martin families for your family’s service. I can tell you that Lowell MA dedicated a square to you uncle at the corner of Central & Charles street. I will try to get there in the next week to take a photo of the square.
    I can tell you that your uncle’s body was returned to Lowell for burial. He is buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Lowell, MA.
    Thank you so much!!

  4. DickH says:

    Thank you for the information. There is a sign honoring your uncle on Central Street here in Lowell. I’ll take a picture of it this week (as soon as it stops raining) and will post in on this website.

  5. Joao Pinho Baptista says:

    This is intended as a supplement to my post from December 12, 2010.
    I intend to go to Lowell early this Summer to see my daughter Amanda, son Bryan, and their children. I also intend to take photos at the cemetery where my Uncle Manuel as well as Aunt Sizaltina (his sister) are buried.
    My grandmother (Manuel’s mother) returned to Brazil with my father and uncle in 1933 for fear of losing her other two sons in another war. She would not touch the compensation money sent her by the Army because she said it ‘smelled like blood,’ and allowed my grandfather to use it only for th farm animals. My Aunt Sizaltina (mentioned above) conveniently missed the departing ship and remained in Lowell with her older sister Julia.
    I would like to donate to the city of Lowell Manuel Martin’s original Certificate of Honor from Woodrow Wilson. Please advise me as to the best way to do so.
    Thank you again for the honor you do my family with this page. God bless.

  6. Eileen L says:

    Hello Joao,
    I took a photo of your Uncle Manuel’s gravestone before we got all this snow. I sent it to Dick so hopefully he will post it here.
    Thank you so much!

  7. Kelley says:

    I am a great great granddaughter of Jacinta (Cabral) and Lawrence Baptista and am working on a family tree, anyone have any info on these two would be greatly appreciated. I have been to Manuels Grave in St Patricks many times to pay respects when I visit my Great Grandmother Cecile. Thank you for posting this!

  8. Debora Geovana Batista says:

    I am Debora Batista Grand-daughter of Benjamin Batista and DorALICE PINHO BATISTA and daughter of Maria conceicao pinho batista There are 7 aunts and one uncle …. Joao pinho batista is my uncle and he lives in florida tampa same as me and my mother please contact me in my email adress or phone number batistadebra@yahoo.com or 813-770-8342 thank you and daniel guerra batista is my cousing this family is very big and have huge history