Plan August Fund Drive For Beach Marine Memorial

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The Beachcomber

Wednesday, July 27, 1955


Breathe soft, Ye winds
Artist's drawing of the statue

An intensive campaign to obtain funds for the construction of a Marine Memorial, which is to be situated at Hampton Beach, will get underway this coming week when a series of fund-raising activities will be conducted by town and beach residents under the direction of General Chairman John Dineen.

Planned to augment the donations from homes and business enterprises is a beach-wide tag day to be launched August 3 when beach vacationists can make their contribution to the drive. Volunteer workers who would like to assist the tag day committee can contact co-chairmen Mrs. Margaret Wingate and Alvin Combs for further information. Prizes to boys and girls who serve as collectors will be awarded.

Present at an organizational meeting of the committees in the greater Hampton area held July 19 was Mr. William Downs who was initially responsible for the first direct action taken towards the founding of a memorial in honor of the men and women from New Hampshire who lost their lives at sea in defense of their country.

Tracing the history of the commission, Mr. Downs stated that upon the death of his son in the Pacific during World War II, he learned no memorial for the sea dead had ever been erected anywhere in the United States. First plans called for a national monument, but after several setbacks in Congress he determined to confine his efforts to New Hampshire.

The enthusiastic support of the then-governor Sherman Adams, Mr. Downs said, resulted in the raising of $7000 from public contributions and the creation of the New hampshire Marine Memorial commission. Because an estimated total of $50,000 was necessary for its completion, these funds were banked and again the project suffered a temporary defeat.

Last year saw the reorganization of the commission by ex-Governor Hugh Gregg, and new plans were laid to wage a state-wide campaign in an all-out effort so that dedication exercises could be held by May 30, 1956 reported Mr. Downs.

The design of the monument by New Hampshire artist Mrs. Alice Cosgrove shows an eight foot high figure of a woman gazing off to sea and resting on a semi-circular seat twenty feet long and four feet high, upon which will be carved the names of New Hampshire men and women lost at sea.

Noting that the final steps towards its construction are underway and that the statue will be placed immediately adjacent to the sea wall on the beach front opposite the Ashworth hotel, Mr. Peter Agrafiotis, executive secretary of the commission, observed that nation-wide respect for the memorial will benefit Hampton residents and expressed the hope that they will assume an active role in working toward the success of the drive.

Seconding Mr. Agrafiotis's statements, the General Chairman urged all committee members to give generously of time and energy so that a one week money-raising campaign would be sufficient to secure the necessary sums.

Mr. Dineen explained that although the total outlay of the monument amounts to $50,000, the state has agreed to provide the foundation at an approximate cost of $20,000 and has also earmarked $10,000 for the project with the provision that the remaining $15,000 is raised from public donations.

A $100 contribution for the memorial has been already allocated from the special projects fund in the town budget by the Board of Selectmen in Hampton it was learned today.

Assisting Mr. Dineen as chairman for the greater Hampton area will be Mrs. Lawrence Hackett of Hampton. Named as sub- chairmen were Norman Grandmaison for Hampton Beach, James Eastman for North Hampton, Joseph Pierce for the town of Hampton, and Edward Pevear for Hampton Fal1s.

Heading the various committees which will work in support of the drive at the beach are: special gifts, John Dineen and Norman Grandmaison; tag day, Alvin Combs and Bill Dunfey; coin collection, Donald Ring and Bill Lee; stores and business, Donald Ring; and house to house, Norman Royal, Joan Junkins, Mrs. Brindamour, and Seth Junkins. Organizing workers in the town of Hampton to solicit money for the project include: special gifts, Mrs. Hazel Coffin, Joseph Pierce, and Roland W. Paige; clubs and organizations, Roland Paige and Mrs. Gertrude Knoblock; tag day, Mrs. Wingate and Mrs. Hazel Bayers; coin collections, Donald Ring and Bill Lee; stores and business, Carl Bragg and Ray Sturgis; house to house, Mrs. Clara Gale and Lawrence Hackett; and special projects, Mrs. Helen Hayden, Mrs. Edith Cunningham and Bill Lee.

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