Veterans Memorial Plaques
photo by Marilyn Day
Charles E. Aaron, KIA Vietnam
E. Prescott St/Rte 225 & Town Farm Rd
Spec. 4th Class Charles Edward “Red” Aaron (1948-1970) served with Co. B, 50th Infantry, 1st Field Force when he was killed in action on May 5, 1970 in Vietnam. He was a 1967 graduate of Westford Academy and is buried at St. Catherine’s Cemetery. His family lived on E. Prescott St in Forge Village.
John L. Black, KIA Korea
Depot St & Nutting Rd
Pvt. John Leslie Black (1932-1953) was killed in action on June 4, 1953 during an infantry engagement in Korea. He is buried at Fairview Cemetery. His family lived nearby on Nutting Rd.
Hubert E. Bolyea, KIA WWII
Graniteville Rd & Cold Spring Rd
Pvt. Hubert Everett Bolyea (1926-1945) hailed from Graniteville. The US Army private was killed in Belgium on January 7, 1945 and laid to rest at Fairview Cemetery more than two years later on November 25, 1947.
J. Norbert Brulé, KIA WWI
Beacon St & North St (Greig’s Corner)
Pvt. Joseph Norbert Brulé (1895-1918) served in the 305th Field Artillery, 77th Division when he was killed in action in France. He is buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne, France.
The Westford Wardsman, February 15, 1919
“Graniteville. A letter recently received here from Pvt. Frank H. Sullivan of the 305th F.A., A.E.F., fully verifies the facts concerning Pvt. Norbert Brule’s death that took place in France on November 9, 1918. Pvt. Brule was a Graniteville boy and both he and Pvt. Sullivan had been together from the time they entered the service, leaving Westford on the same date. Pvt. Brule was gassed and later contracted pneumonia, and being in a weakened condition after having returned from a hard drive, had not the strength to combat the disease. Of the three Graniteville boys who have made the supreme sacrifice, this is the only personal story that has been received of their deaths.”
Richard E. Brundrette, KIA Vietnam
West St & N. Main St
CE-1 Richard Ellis Brundrette, Jr. (1948-1972) was a US Navy Seabee who hailed from Graniteville. He was killed in action on December 1, 1972 in Phouc Tuy, Vietnam. His family lived nearby on N. Main St and he is buried at St. Catherine’s Cemetery.
Herbert S. Clark, KIA WWII
W. Prescott St/Rte 225 & Hill St
Fire Controman 3rd Class Herbert Shirley Clark (1918-1945) of the US Navy Reserves was a resident of Chelmsford with ties to Westford. He was killed in action on May 18, 1945 in Okinawa while serving aboard the destroyer USS Longshaw (DD-559) and was buried at sea.
Raymond R. Connell
Abbot St & Pleasant St
Pvt. Raymond R. Connell (1918-1944) hailed from Forge Village. He was killed in action on June 13, 1944 in France and buried in the Normany-American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France. His family, whose surname was originally O’Connell, lived nearby on Pleasant St.
Richard A. Connell, KIA WWII
W. Prescott St/Rte 225 & Coolidge St
Seaman 1st Class Richard Allen “Dickie” Connell (1925-1944) of the US Navy was a popular young man from Forge Village. He was serving as an armed guard on a merchant marine vessel in the Atlantic when he was lost at sea on February 25, 1945. His name is listed on his family’s headstone at St. Catherine’s Cemetery.
Richard Connolly, KIA Vietnam
Moore Rd & Plain Rd
Specialist 5th Class Richard Connolly (1946-1968) was serving with the 44th Medical Brigade, 9th Medical Lab, US Army when he was killed in Gia Dinh, Vietnam on January 31, 1968. A native of Nabnasset, he graduated from Westford Academy in 1965. His family lived nearby at 14 Moore Rd and he is buried at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Chelmsford.
Gaston J. Cote, KIA WWII
W. Prescott St/Rte 225 & Story St
Seaman 1st Class Gason Edward Joseph Cote (1922-1944) of Forge Village was reported missing at Leyte while serving in the US Navy Reserves and declared dead on November 20, 1944. His family lived on Beacon St. in Graniteville.
Real J. Cote, KIA WWII
N. Main St & Broadway St
Fireman Raoul “Real” Joseph Cote (1924-1944) was the young son of Armand J. and Gertrude (Milot) Cote who lived nearby at 50 Broadway St. He was serving with the US Navy Reserves when he went missing in action on October 25, 1944 in the Pacific. His name is among the heroes listed at the Manila-American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines.
Joseph W. Fletcher, KIA WWII
Depot St & Plain Rd
Aviation Radio Technician 1st Class Joseph Willard Fletcher (1921-1945) of the US Navy, a survivor of the attack at Pearl Harbor, died of wounds received in action on June 21, 1945 from a kamikaze attack near Okinawa. His family lived nearby on the Fletcher Farm at 3 Plain Rd. He is buried at Fairview Cemetery.
William R. Gower, KIA WWII
1st St & Broadway St
Staff Sgt. William Roger Gower (1919-1944) was an Aerial Gunner and Assistant Engineer in the US Army Air Forces. He was aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress over Schweinfurt, Germany when he was killed in action during a raid on January 29, 1944 on his 19th mission. He had attended Westford Academy.
Frederick Sullivan Healy, KIA WWII and
F.S. Healy American Legion Post 159
Broadway St & Cross St
Both the plaque and the American Legion Post 159 were named in honor of Pvt. Frederick Sullivan Healy (1898-1944), a native of Graniteville. Pvt. Healy was a 1916 graduate of Westford Academy who first enlisted to fight in WWI. He was the oldest graduate to serve in WWII when he was killed in action in France on September 27, 1944. His name is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Normandy-American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France. His name is also on his family’s headstone at St. Catherine’s Cemetery.
Kenneth R. Hughes, KIA Vietnam
Nabnasset St & Oak Hill Rd
Captain Kenneth Rockwell Hughes (1946-1969) had ties to Westford but was a 1964 graduate of Chelmsford High School. He was a fixed wing aviator in the 210th Army Aviation Battalion when he was killed in action at Bien Hoa Province, Vietnam, on March 28, 1969. He is buried at Fairview Cemetery, North Chelmsford, not far from his family’s home at 28 Chamberlain Rd.
Anthony Kostechko, KIA WWII
Pleasant St & Bradford St
Fireman 1st Class Anthony “Tony” Kostechko (1918-1943), was serving in the US Navy when he lost his life at sea on October 7, 1943. His family lived at 25 Bradford St in 1941.
Bernard J. Kulisich, KIA WWII
Abbot St & Pine St
Pvt. Bernard J. Kulisich (1924-1944) served in the 422nd Infantry Regiment, 106th Infantry Division and is listed among the missing in action at the American Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Napoleon J. Lanctot, KIA WWI
3rd St & Broadway St
Napoleon Joseph Lanctot (1894-1918) was born in Lowell and died of illness in France on September 11, 1918. His parents received the news of their young son’s death at their home on 3rd St. in Graniteville. He was laid to rest at the St. Mihiel-American Cemetery in Thiaucourt, France.
The Lowell Sun, October 25, 1918
“Died in France. Mr. and Mrs. Napoleon Lanctot of Graniteville received a telegram from the War Department yesterday to the effect that their son Pvt. Napoleon J. Lanctot died in France September 11 after a short illness. Pvt. Lanctot enlisted April 27 this year and after some training at Camp Devens he went to France with the 76th Division on July 7. He was 23 years of age and is survived by his parents, a brother Louis and a sister, Corinne.”
photo: courtesy of Westford History Museum
Adelard J. Langley, KIA WWI
River St & Broadway St
Adelard Joseph “Aldat” Langley (1897-1918), was the first Westford soldier to die in WWI, killed in action on May 5, 1918, while serving in France with the 95th Aero Squadron. His family lived on River St near Fourth St. His body was returned to Westford in 1921 and he was buried after a grand military funeral at St. Catherine’s Cemetery. The Westford History Museum has two photos that show his large funeral procession on June 6, 1921.
The Westford Wardsman, May 18, 1918
“Dies in Service. The death of Pvt. Aldat J. Langley of the 95th Aero Squadron, who died of a fractured skull somewhere in France in May, has caused deep sorrow to his many friends here. Private Langley was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Langley, of this village (Graniteville), and was a bright, active lad only twenty years of age. He first tried to enlist in the navy, but was rejected on account of his height. He was not discouraged, however, and tried another branch of the service, when he was accepted for the aviation corps. He enlisted last summer and saw training in Mineola, Long Island, NY, later in San Antonio, Texas and Canada… He is the first Westford man to die in the service during the present world war. The deepest sympathy is extended to the bereaved family of Private Langley in their affliction.”
The Westford Wardsman, June 11, 1921
“Military Funeral. The funeral of Private Aldat J. Langley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Langley, and a member of the 95th Aero Squadron, who died in France and whose body arrived here Sunday, took place from the rooms of Westford Post A.L. [American Legion] at the center, Monday morning at nine o’clock. The flag-draped casket reposed on an Army caisson from Battery B, Lowell, that was drawn by four horses in charge of World War veterans Charles Robey and Fred Picking. Privates Joseph Perkins and Joseph Costello were guards of honor. The bearers representing the Army were Frank Charlton, Walter Beebe, John Healy and Walter Blanchard, and those bearers representing the Navy were Edward T. Hanley, James McNiff, Edward Healy and Alfred Hughes. Members of the Westford Post A.L., Frank C. Johnson, Commander, accompanied the body to Graniteville, where they were met by the Abbot Worsted Co. band, and continued through the principal streets of the town to St. Catherine’s Church in West Graniteville, where a solemn high funeral mass was celebrated by the pastor, Rev. Charles P. Heaney, with Rev. J. Emile Dupont as deacon and Rev. John J. Linehan as sub-deacon. The full choir was in attendance, under the direction of Miss Mary F. Hanley. The solos were sustained by Miss Rebecca Leduc. Every available place in the church as filled and many were unable to get inside.
After the services in the church the line of march was again formed and the long procession proceeded to St. Catherine’s Cemetery, where the committal service for the dead was held. R.J. McCarthy, chief ranger of Court Graniteville, F. of A. [Foresters of America], headed a large delegation and read the Foresters’ service for the dead. He was followed by Commander Frank C. Johnson of Westford Post, A.L., who paid the final tribute to their dead comrade. A firing squad under Sergt. Harry E. Whiting of Westford Post then fired a volley over the grave. Gordon Seavey of the Abbot Worsted Co. band sounded taps, the echo being given by Basil Larkin…”
Robert G. Langley, KIA Korea
North St & Groton Rd/Rte 40
Cpl Robert Gerard Langley (1931-1951) of Co. C, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regimental Combat Team, US Army who died on April 28, 1951 of wounds received three days earlier near Chongpyong, South Korea. He had previously been wounded near Yulgak in September 1950 and returned to duty a month later. Fittingly, his plaque is located next to the sign “Welcome to Graniteville” his native home. He is buried in St. Catherine’s Cemetery not far from his uncle, Aldat Langley, who was the first man from Westford killed in action in WWI.
Concord Rd/Rte 225 & Palermo St
Pvt. Antonio “Tony” Palermo (1898-1918), Co. K, 104th Infantry, 26th Division, A.E.F., of Forge Village was killed on October 14, 1918 in the Argonne drive near the end of WWI. He is buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne, France.
Arthur T. Perkins, KIA WWII
River St & Fourth St
Sgt. Arthur Thomas Perkins (1924-1944) was a native of Graniteville who served with the 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, US Army. He was killed in France on October 6, 1944 and is buried at Epinal American Cemetery in Epinal, France.
Eugene J. Rioux, KIA WWII
N. Main St & Hillside Ave
Seaman 2nd Class Eugene Joseph “Charlie” Rioux (1924-1943), was a native of Graniteville who was serving with the US Naval Reserves when he was killed in action on September 11, 1943. His ship, the USS Savannah (CL-42) was supporting the invasion of Salerno, Italy when it was hit by a German radio-controlled aerial bomb. Seaman Rioux’ name appears on the Tablets of the Missing at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy. His name is also on his family’s headstone at St. Catherine’s Cemetery.
Charles Smith, KIA WWI
E. Prescott St/Rte 225 & Smith Rd
Charles Smith, Jr. (1878-1918) was born in Keighley, England and came to Forge Village with his family to work in the mills. He first enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in 1918 and was transferred to the 14th Battalion, Canadian Infantry, Quebec Regiment. He died on September 28, 1918 two days after being wounded and is buried at Bucquoy Road Cemtery in Ficheux, France. His plaque was placed near the road on which his family lived, which is also named after him.
The Westford Wardsman, October 12, 1918
“Forge Village. Pvt. Charles Smith of the 14th British Battalion, died on September 28 of wounds sustained in action on September 26. He was forty years old, the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith of this village. He left home on February 21 to enlist. Two brothers and four sisters survive him. His parents were notified by Canadian authorities.”
Dr. Orion V. Wells, WWI
Main St near top of Graniteville Rd
The memorial plaque for Dr. Orion Vassar Wells (1880-1918) is located near where his former home stood at 29 Main St. Dr. Wells was a well-known and loved local doctor who served as a first lieutenant in the medical corps of the 19th Division of the Massachusetts State Guard (M.S.G.). He had applied for a position in the medical corps with the regular Army when he died in the Influenza Epidemic of 1918 at age 37. He was laid to rest at Fairview Cemetery. His children Elizabeth, Huntington and Richard Orion all followed him into military service.
The Westford Wardsman, October 12, 1918
“The wide circle of Dr. O.V. Wells’ patients and friends are trying to adjust themselves to his sudden death this week, going out from among them in the prime of his manhood, and of his usefulness. Dr. Wells was taken sick on Monday of last week with influenza, which developed into pneumonia, and he died late the following Friday evening after a sharp, suffering struggle with the disease, although everything possible was done to save his life. He had worked heroically to help others during the epidemic, going night and day to answer many calls, and his illness was brought on from overwork in the profession that he was so devoted to. He was a good soldier-he died in the service. He stood high in his profession and his loss will be felt not only in Westford, where he practiced extensively, but in the surrounding towns and in Lowell, where he had an office.
He was often sought as a consulting physician in towns throughout Middlesex county. He was one of the examining physicians connected with district [draft] board 15, located in Ayer. He was also a member of Company L, M.S.G., when the company was first organized, and was later made a first lieutenant in the medical corps of the 19th M.S.G. Since his death his appointment as captain has been received… Dr. Wells had applied for enlistment in the medical corps of the regular Army and was making his preparations for duty overseas while awaiting the call…
Private funeral services were held from his late home Tuesday forenoon at 10:30 o’clock. Rev. Louis H. Buckshorn was the officiating clergyman and the bearers of the flag-draped casket were Harwood L. Wright, representing the Masonic fraternity, and three brothers of the deceased. Interment was in the Fairview Cemetery. A platoon of members of Company L, M.S.G. did military honors at the grave. As the company returned from the cemetery the bugle was sounded at intervals, making an impressive tribute in the perfect beauty of the autumn day.”
William J. Woitowicz, KIA Afghanistan
W. Prescott St/Rte 225, Westford/Groton line
Sgt. William “Bill” Joseph Woitowicz (1988-2011) was a US Marine Corps special forces officer who was killed in action on June 7, 2011 while in combat in Badghis Province, Afghanistan. He was born in Concord MA and grew up in Groton, but had strong family ties to Forge Village. He was the grandson and great-nephew of WWII veterans Florian Woitowicz and Aleck Woitowicz, who are buried at St. Catherine’s Cemetery.
Sgt. Woitowicz joined the Marines after graduating from Groton-Dunstable High School in 2007, where he was a popular athlete. He was assigned to the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, US Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command at Camp Lejeune, NC where he served with distinction. He was promoted posthumously to sergeant. Among his many awards is the Purple Heart and the Silver Star “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action.” In 2012 the Town of Groton renamed Stonebridge Park in his honor, and both high schools in Groton and Westford offer scholarships in his name. He is buried at Pine Grove Cemetery, where his gravesite is one of the most visited in Westford.
Corner of Groton Rd/Rte 40 & Tyngsboro Rd
James V. Basinas (1911-2011), Nicholas V. Basinas (1921-2018) and Andrew W. Basinas (1922-2019) were brothers who served in WWII and who each lived to be nearly 100 years old. They were born in Lowell to Greek immigrant parents and moved to Westford in their teens. After the war the contributed much and were actively involved in the Town. The memorial to honor their service to country and Westford was unveiled in a ceremony they attended on Veterans Day, 2001.
Civil War Memorial Plaque
Westford Town Hall, 55 Main St
The large memorial plaque at the top of the landing of the front stairs inside Town Hall commemorates the service and sacrifice of 33 Civil War veterans from Westford, with details on how and where they were killed in action or died from illness and injury.
Civil War Soldiers Monument
Boston Rd & Hildreth St, across from Westford Common
The Civil War Soldiers Monument was donated to the Town by Col. Edwin D. Metcalf in memory of his father, Lt. William Metcalf (1819-1900) and his Civil War comrades. Lt. Metcalf was one of the first, and only officer, from Westford to enlist in the Civil War to fight for the Union. The monument was made by the Harrison Granite Co. of New York City. The soldier is made of standard bronze and its base of granite from Barre, VT. The monument was installed in 1909 on the triangular patch of ground where it stands today and was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1910.
|Joseph Richard Connell Memorial|
The eagle atop a granite post honors Chief Joseph Richard Connell (December 14, 1928-May 1, 2020) who was the Chief of Police for more than 30 years. A lifelong resident of Westford who resided on the drive named after him, he was the son of John Lawrence Connell and Catherine Alice (Gower) Connell. Chief Connell was a US Marine Corps combat veteran of the Korean War. He was also well-known as an athlete: he was offered a spot with the Baltimore Orioles farm team, won a football scholarship with the Univ. of Georgia, and won the All-Navy Heavyweight Boxing Championship in 1949. Most of all, he was the beloved Chief of the WPD who loved and served his town as well as he loved and served his country.
|William F. "Billy" Duggan Memorial Bench|
Behind center fire station bay, 55 Main St
A small bench tucked into a quiet alcove behind the center Fire Station bay and Town Hall pays tribute to the life and service of William F. "Billy" Duggan (July 1, 1953-May 15, 2009), who devoted his life to the town and the Westford Police Department. He was the son of James H. Duggan and Florence (Labbe) Duggan and a 1971 graduate of Westford Academy, where he excelled as an athlete. He served in the USAF and in the WPD for 35 years as a dispatcher and police officer. He was an all-around great guy and sorely missed.
The bench's inscription reads: "This bench is dedicated to the memory of Officer William F. "Billy" Duggan, who gave 30 years of his life protecting the citizens of Westford. He will forever be remembered for his kindness, his sense of humor, and his dedication to family and friends. He left us too soon but will live in our hearts forever."
Forge Village Memorial Park
W. Prescott St/Rte 225 & Pleasant St
Two memorials honor the veterans hailing from Forge Village. The shorter, granite memorial is inscribed: In memory of our loved ones from Forge Village who served our Armed Forces: World War II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam” and lists 19 names of veterans from the village.
The taller, bronze plaque is inscribed with 313 names of Forge Village veterans who served in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The memorial park was dedicated on Memorial Day, 2001.
The park on Forge Pond in Forge Village was dedicated to Westford’s veterans in 2006. Every year on Memorial Day an honor guard stops here to place a wreath in Forge Pond to honor their memory.
Tab Gallardo Memorial Ball Field
American Legion Field, River St
Graniteville’s Tab Gallardo Memorial Ball Field, or Field G4, was dedicated in June 2001 in memory of Eulogio Urguhart “Tab” Gallardo (1947-2000), a US Navy veteran who served in Vietnam. Tab was actively involved as a local youth baseball coach for 15 years; he received the 1991 Westford Youth Baseball Award and the 1992 Westford Youth Baseball Minor League Coaches Award. He passed away on December 23, 2000.
N. Main St (opposite 5 N. Main)
The granite cylinder inscribed with 260 names honors the veterans of Graniteville who served in WWII. The land and memorial were gifted to Westford in 1946 by Richard Hall, George E. Reeves, George D. Gower, and A. Michael Woznac. The Town gratefully accepted this gift at the 1947 Annual Town Meeting.
Captain Steven Hamilton Field
Bordered by Plain Rd, Oak Hill Rd, Hawthorne Ave, Laurel Ave
Capt. Steven Hamilton (1955-1984), USAF, was killed when his F-4 Phantom jet fighter crashed during a training exercise over the Gulf of Mexico. Capt. Hamilton lived in Westford for 20 years, was active in Boy Scout Troop 159 and Little League baseball, and graduated from Westford Academy in 1973. After serving in the Army Special Forces Unit as a Green Beret, he entered UMass-Lowell, joined the ROTC program, and became an USAF fighter pilot. The 3.75-acre field, acquired in 1921 and formerly called Old Nabnasset Field, is located next to the school and was dedicated August 10, 1985.
Korea and Vietnam Memorial
Westford Common, corner of Main St & Boston Rd
The Korea and Vietnam Memorial honors John L. Black and Robert G. Langley (killed in Korea) and Charles E. Aaron, Richard E. Brundrette, Jr., Richard Connolly and Kenneth R. Hughes (killed in Vietnam) and all who served with them in these conflicts. The memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1983.
Abbot School, 23 Depot Rd
Memorial Field was dedicated to 22 Westford veterans who were either killed in action during WWII and the Korean War or who were veterans of those wars who died of other causes. The boulder with brass plaque, which had once been in front of the Abbot School, is next to a flagpole located in the top corner of a large recreational field next to the school. The inscription reads: “Memorial Field. This field is given by the Abbot Worsted Company In Memory of those who gave their lives in World War II and Korea.”
|Memorial Plaque for Victor F. "Cheerio" Neal|
Westford Academy gymnasium, Patten Rd
Victor Frederick Neal (1936-2012), known to all as "Cheerio," was an USAF veteran who served in Korea. He was beloved as the bus driver and unofficial photographer of Westford Academy athletics, particularly the women's field hockey team. After he died on his birthday at age 76, the field hockey team dedicated the rest of their season to him wearing shirts embroidered with his nickname. He was "their biggest fan" who memorized their names and numbers and was "more of a dad than a bus driver." His headstone at St Catherine's Cemetery bears the same epitaph as the one found on his memorial plaque: "In Life, Give More Than You Receive."
Bill O’Donnell Memorial Water Fountain
Westford Common, next to bandstand
The water fountain in memory of Captain William T. “Bill” O’Donnell, US Army (Ret.) (1943-1997) was commissioned by his family in 2002 and was originally placed in the quadrangle in front of the police station. Capt. O’Donnell was a Vietnam veteran and recipient of the Bronze Star who passed away from cancer caused by exposure to agent orange.
The fountain was made of Chelmsford Gray granite by the Fletcher Granite Co. In 2010, with the help of many volunteers, the fountain was moved to a more visible and useful location next to the bandstand on Westford Common and rededicated on August 3, 2010.
The inscription reads: “To the Town of Westford In Memory of Bill O’Donnell of Parker Village 2002.”
Col. John Robinson Monument
Westford Common, Facing Boston Rd
Colonel John Robinson (1735-1805) was Westford’s highest-ranking officer of the Revolutionary War who led Minutemen at the North Bridge in Concord on April 19, 1775 and then fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill as second-in-command to Col. William Prescott. He served under Gen. Washington during the Siege of Boston.
He also served as a Town Selectman 1771-1773. Robinson Elementary School on Robinson Road were also both named in his honor. He is buried at Westlawn Cemetery near his former home. A historic marker lies at the base of his gravesite, the tallest monument in the cemetery.
A small memorial to Col. Robinson on Westford Common features a bronze plaque inscribed: “A Tribute To Colonel John Robinson 1735-1805. Westford Citizen and Patriot. In 1775 he distinguished himself by commanding the corps of soldiers who first opposed the menacing attempts of the British Troops at Concord Bridge April 19, 1775. Erected by Westford Colonial Minutemen 1968.”
Col. John Robinson Home Historic Marker
Outside 17 Robinson Rd.
Col. Robinson's family lived in a house once located on the road now named after him which was destroyed by fire on July 11, 1937. A stone monument was placed in front of the present home by the Col. John Robinson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The quartz boulder, said to be taken from the horse block used at his daughter’s home, is inscribed: “Here lived Col. John Robinson, A Brave and Distinguished Officer In the Battles of Concord and Bunker Hill. Born 1735 Died 1805.”
The Westford Wardsman, May 28, 1910
“Edmund J. and William Hunt of Forge Village have purchased the Stephen Hutchins farm on Robinson Road. This is an old historic farm made famous as the home of Col. Robinson, who led the fight, April 19, 1775. A suitable recognition of this fact has been placed on the lawn at the Hutchins’ farm by those loyal busy bodies in the preservation of place of historic interest, the D.A.R. George Brown, the owner of short duration, has moved to Littleton.”
Col. John Robinson Memorial Highway
Rte 225 between Beaver Rd and Robinson Rd.
The highway was renamed in Col. Robinson's honor in 2019 at same time that the historic marker was laid at his gravesite in Westlawn Cemetery, at the junction of this stretch of Rte 225 and Country Rd.
Veterans Memorial Complex
Farmers Way, Off Groton Rd/Rte 40
The Veterans Memorial Complex contains three parcels on either side of Farmer Way dedicated in 2003 to the veterans of Westford, and includes the Stony Brook Middle School.
Two of the parcels were part of the Farmer Parcel acquired by the Town in 1993, while a third was acquired through the Bordeleau land acquisition in 2000. Municipal land totaling 12.11 acres lies east of Farmers Way; 45.25 acres was transferred to the custody of the Water Department in 2000 north of the old Lowell & Fitchburg Street railway bed. Land allocated to the School Dept in 2000 and 2001 was used to build the Stony Brook Middle School. There is also housing for veterans across from the school on this property.
Veterans Memorial Stage (Gymnasium)
Roudenbush Community Center, Main St
The Memorial Stage (now the gymnasium) was added to the rear to the original Westford Academy in 1928 was dedicated in memory of the Town’s WWI veterans. The inscription on a wall-mounted plaque reads: "Memorial Stage: Erected and Dedicated to the Men and Woman who Served in The World War, 1914-1918." The building now serves as the Roudenbush Community Center, whereas the current Westford Academy is located on Patten Rd.
Westford Common, junction of Lincoln Rd & Main St
Westford’s iconic War Memorial, “representative of all wars entered into by the United States,” was placed near the cannon at the northeast point of the Common in November 1924. The bronze and granite memorial topped by an eagle with wings outstretched was designed by Henry L. Norton of Winthrop in collaboration with Thos. Byrd Epps, a Boston architect. Builders T.F. McGann & Son of Boston used granite provided by L.P. Palmer & Sons of Graniteville.
The base is of local granite while the upper stones forming the octagonal pier was cut from granite in Westerly, RI for its uniform color and texture. Bronze plaques on the sides honor Westford veterans who served in the Pioneer and Colonial Period (1675-1763); the Revolutionary War (1775-1883); the War of 1812 (1812-1815); the Civil War (1861-1865); the Spanish-American War (1898-1902); and World War I (1917-1918).
World War II Memorial
Westford Common, corner of Boston Rd & Lincoln St
The WWII Memorial features a bronze plaque mounted on a boulder that came from Allister MacDougall’s land on Boston Rd. The inscription reads: “In honor of those who served their country in World War II, 1941-1945.” The memorial was sponsored by the Edward M. Abbot Hose Company at Westford Center and was originally placed on the lawn between the J.V. Fletcher Library and First Parish Church, dedicated on Veterans Day 1943. It was rededicated in 1947 as the Town celebrated the return of its men and women who served and moved to its present location in 1996.
Other Notable Westford Memorials
at Westford History Museum, Boston Rd
This is the second bell that hung in the steeple of what is now the Roudenbush Community Center back when the building housed Westford Academy. The original bell, cast by legendary silversmith and patriot Paul Revere, is now in the Bell Lobby of the present Westford Academy on Patten Rd. This bell was cast by the Meneely Bell Co. of Troy, NY and gifted to WA by John William Abbot. It was moved to its current location next to the Westford History Museum when the steeple was toppled in a storm on Palm Sunday, 1977.
The flagpoles on Westford Common present the American and POW-MIA flags at full-staff and half-staff on sad occasions. The original flagstaff was first erected in 1861 just after the start of the Civil War and funded by residents. The 80-foot white pine pole (a 50-foot lower section joined to a 30-foot upper section at a cradle) was furnished by Abijah Fletcher (1807-1862), brother of J.V. Fletcher (1812-1899) of Cold Spring Farm.
In 1923 a bronze plaque bearing the following inscription was attached to the base of the flagpole:
“On April 22, 1861, at a meeting of the citizens of Westford, Sherman D. Fletcher [1810-1886], Marcellus H. Fletcher [1828-1902] and George T. Day [1833-1918] were chosen to a committee to procure a flagstaff for this common. Abijah Fletcher gave a pine tree grown on his farm from which Cyrus Hamilton [1815-1889] made this flagstaff and it was erected May 18, 1861. The land for this common was bought by the town from Joseph Underwood [1681-1761], March 14, 1746, for five pounds English money. This tablet was placed by the Westford Improvement Association, 1923.”
The plaque was moved from its base by the Great Hurricane of 1938 and restored. When this flagpole finally came down in 1974, it was cut into pieces. A section of that pole, with associated brass plaque, is on display at the Westford History Museum.
A new 60-foot fiberglass flag pole was erected to celebrate the American Revolution Bicentennial and dedicated on July 3, 1975.
at Westford History Museum, Boston Road
The "colonial garden" located to the left of the History Museum between the Abbot Bell and the Battle Drum was dedicated on July 24, 1988 "in memory of Mr. and Mrs. George St. Onge by their family."
Fallen Firefighters Monument
51 Main St
The granite Firefighters Memorial is located in the small plaza between Town Hall and the former Center Fire Station No. 1. Designed by Westford firefighter and artist David Christiana in 2001, the monument honors two Westford firefighters who died in the line of duty, Lt. Daniel W. Harrington (1880-1909) and Firefighter Richard T. St.Onge (1941-1970). Both men were aged 29 when they were killed.
Inscribed with “the firefighter’s poem,” the memorial was dedicated on May 9, 2002. Mounted on a matching black granite post is a fire engine bell with the inscription: “This bell honors all members of the Westford Fire Department who dedicate themselves to ensure the safety of the citizens of this community.” Many bricks making up the plaza’s walkways are dedicated to the memory of Westford firefighters.
Ronan McElligott Playground
Edwards Beach, Williams Ave
The Ronan McElligott Playground is a fully handicapped-accessible play area dedicated in memory of the 5-month old son of Steve and Stephanie McElligott, who died on August 31, 2007 from a rare neuromuscular disorder called Leigh’s disease. The barrier-free play area was designed by Boundless Playgrounds of Bloomfield, CT and was dedicated on November 14, 2009. It is the only such playground within 45 miles in the Greater Lowell area and welcomes all children and the young at heart.
|Morro Castle Cannon|
According to the inscription, Westford's iconic cannon in front of the War Memorial at the tip of Westford Common was a "trophy from Morro Castle at the entrance of Santiago Harbor, Cuba, taken July 17, 1898." It is surrounded by three piles of cannonballs.
Rajiv Paluri Rose Rock Relief Sculpture
Whitney Playground, Main St & Depot Rd
A large boulder called Rose Rock features roses and a sun rays dedicated to the memory of 13-year old Rajiv Paluri, a student at the Blanchard Middle School who died in a skiing accident at the Nashoba Ski Area in Westford. Rajiv’s actual sneakers are part of the memorial, created by Westford firefighter and artist David Christiana and dedicated in 2016.
Edgar Allen Poe Historic Marker
11 Graniteville Rd
A granite marker with a black bird, a nod to his revered poem “The Raven,” commemorates the visits of renowned American author Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) to Westford at the end of his life. It was installed by local author Brad Parker of Chelmsford who wrote “The Saga of Eddie & Annie: Lowell’s Greatest Romance” (1984). Parker’s book tells the tale of how Poe visited the home of Amos Heywood (1791-1875) at this very site several times in 1848 and 1849. Poe gave readings of his work at “Heywood’s Reading Circle” and fell in love with Nancy (Heywood) Richmond, Heywood’s oldest but already married daughter. She inspired his poem “For Annie” and many of Poe’s love letters.
The marker stands in the drive of the present home, which originally incorporated the shed and barn of the Heywood property that had been built in the 1700s by Thomas Blodgett. That home was torn down in 1900.
|Paul Revere Bell|
Westford Academy Bell Lobby, Patten Rd
This bell was originally cast by the legendary patriot and silversmith Paul Revere in 1793. His son John attended Westford Academy in 1799. The bell was melted and recast by the Revere Foundry in 1809, and again melted and recast by the Henry N. Hooper Foundry (the successor of the Revere Foundry) in 1855.
Revolutionary War Memorial Battle Drum
Westford History Museum, Boston Rd
A bronze sculpture of a Revolutionary War drum and flag commemorates Westford’s 280 veterans who fought for American independence, including Col. John Robinson, Westford’s highest-ranking officer. Sculpted by Westford firefighter and artist David Christiana and unveiled on June 7, 2021, the drum rests on a flag atop a flat-surfaced boulder to the left of the Westford Museum. Its inscription reads in part:
“This Memorial Battle Drum is dedicated to those Minutemen and Militia of Middlesex County who opposed the British Regulars on the historic site at the North Bridge in Concord Massachusetts April 19, 1775.”
|September 11 Memorial Bench|
This bench was placed in memory of Westford residents Susan MacKay and James Hayden, and all who perished with them on September 11, 2001 in the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. It is located behind the War Memorial across from the J.V. Fletcher Library.
September 11 Memorial
Town Hall Plaza, 55 Main St
The memorial dedicated to the memory of nearly 3,000 lives lost on September 11, 2001 in terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania was created by Westford firefighter and artist David Christiana. The 7-foot tall memorial has a granite pentagon-shaped base to reflect the attack on the Pentagon; green sea glass reflecting the fields of Pennsylvania, and pieces of steel beam from the fallen World Trade Center. Stainless steel is wrapped to resemble an eternal flame, a bronze relief sculpture of the Twin Towers and 92 Massachusetts residents who were killed are also represented.
|Richard T. St. Onge Memorial|
at Whitney Playground, Main St & Depot Rd
Westford Firefighter Richard Tilton St. Onge (1941-1970) was killed in the line of duty at age 29, dying from smoke inhalation after fighting a serious fire at Sunny Meadow Farm on Robin Hill Rd in Chelmsford. He was the son of George E. and Jeanne (Fortier) St. Onge, and he is buried at St. Catherine's Cemetery. This memorial was placed in his memory next to the Whitney Playground by the memorial fund set up in his name. The Fallen Firefighters memorial in the plaza next to Town Hall is also partly dedicated to him and to Lt. Daniel W. Harrington. The inscription reads: "To the children of Westford with love from Richard. May you enjoy playing on these grounds as much as he did."
Near 8 Hunt Rd
Leslie (Swanson) Standish had this memorial placed in memory of her parents Swan Gustaf “Gus” Swanson (1885-1969) and Lena Gertrude (Clement) Swanson (1887-1978) who lived on Chamberlain Rd for more than 70 years. Gus emigrated from Sweden in 1887 as a young man and was a stone cutter. He and Lena married in Westford in 1908. Gus and his father Noah Swanson (1845-1921) worked at the H.E. Fletcher granite quarries and later ran the Swanson Farm together. Gus and Lena also have a headstone at Fairview Cemetery. The memorial reads “In memory of Gus and Lena Swanson, who owned and loved this land.”
Westford Common War Memorial & Civil War Memorial
A copper box serving as a time capsule was embedded in the base of the Civil War Memorial (across street from Common, at Boston Rd & Hildreth St) and dedicated on Memorial Day 1910. As described in the Lowell Sun on April 14, 1910:
“Westford. There are many articles of historic interest in the copper box at the base of the soldiers’ monument, which was put in place last week. The following is a list of the principal records which does not include several pieces of old coin:
History of Westford, gift of Mrs. Amanda Fisher; two brief biographies of donor, Col. Edwin Metcalf; three records of centennial celebration of First Parish Church, Unitarian; brief history of Union Congregational Church with copy of by-laws; letter from William Bunce addressed to his brother Augustus Bunce from Camp Lyons, Birds Point, MO; records of Westford Grange No. 208; records of Tadmuck Club catalog and by-laws; souvenir of Westford, issued in connection with the dedication of the J.V. Fletcher Library; Westford town report of the year ending March 1910; catalog 1903-04 of Westford Academy; programs of Memorial exercises 1906-1909, gift of Sherman H. Fletcher; Brief history of Westford Veteran association members enlisting from Westford Co. C 16th Regt., Mass. Vol. for three years.”
A second time capsule was buried on the Common just west of the War Memorial on November 18, 1979 as part of the 250th anniversary celebration of the founding of Westford. It is scheduled to be opened in 2079.
Westford Academy Field Flagpole
30 Patten Rd
The flagpole at the Westford Academy football field was erected in 1978 in memory of four WA varsity football players who were killed in a car accident on April 9, 1978: juniors Rick Bourdeau (1961-1978), James D. “Jamie” Lehan, Jr. (1961-1978), Mark Miller (1960-1978) and senior Paul Shields (1960-1978). A plaque dedicated to "our teammates" is also found inside the school on the wall of the gymnasium.
|Westford Academy Memorial Plaque|
Across from Civil War Soldiers Monument, Boston Road
This plaque and benches were placed to memorialize the "original step" placed for Westford Academy in 1942.
The Westford Knight
On roadside, 17 Depot St
The legend of The Westford Knight begins with a carving in exposed bedrock near the front of the home at 17 Depot St. It has been described as the effigy of a 14th century knight holding a broken sword, and was said to be carved in memory of a knight who served in Prince Henry Sinclair’s exploration party of 1399. A granite marker at this site to that effect was dedicated on December 11, 1976 and is inscribed:
“Prince Henry, First Sinclair of Orkney, born in Scotland, made a voyage of discovery to North America in 1398. After wintering in Nova Scotia he sailed to Massachusetts and on an inland expedition in 1399 to Prospect Hill to view the surrounding countryside, one of the party died. The punch-hole armorial effigy which adorns this ledge is a memorial to this knight.”
Hodgman (p.237) described it in 1883 as a Native American carving:
“A broad ledge, which crops out near the house of William Kittredge [1850-1892] has upon its surface grooves made by glaciers in some far-off geological age. Rude outlines of the human face have been traced upon it, and the figure is said to be the work of Indians.”
The earliest reference to this carving seems to be Elias Nason’s “A Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts” (1874, p.542):
“The mineral called ‘andalusite’ is found here; and an immense ledge which crops out near the Centre has upon its surface ridges furrowed in former times by glacial forces. There is upon its face a rude figure, supposed to have been cut by some Indian artist.”
In 2015 a 500-pound sculpture depicting the Knight was laid at the site as part of enhancements to the visiting experience. Sculpted by Westford firefighter and artist David Christiana, the bronze sculpture depicts the Knight at rest, sword and shield by his side. All funds for the sculpture were privately donated by residents in the US and UK. Local author David Brody has written about the Knight and its history in his book Cabal of the Westford Knight (2009).
Main St & Depot Rd
The Whitney Playground lies between the Frost School and the Roudenbush Community Center near the road’s corner. In 1910 Martha Elizabeth (Leland) Whitney (1845-1917) donated $10,000 for the construction and maintenance of the playground as a memorial to her late husband Hiram Whitney (1834-1908). The playground was dedicated on May 19, 1911.
Some source material for information on the memorials was extracted from The Westford Gazetteer by Robert W. Oliphant (2010). Many thanks to Bob for his many years of dedicated research. Other photos and descriptions updated by Heather Monahan, Senior Administrative Assistant, Westford Cemetery & Veterans Services.