Press Release

Memorial service in Massachusetts for the first disabled American veteran wounded on 1st day of American Revolution

There will be a memorial service held on September 7, at 11:00 A.M., at the Wiswall Tomb in the South Burying Ground, located on Winchester St. Newton Highlands, MA, for Noah Wiswall and all DAV’s from Newton. September 7 is the birthday of Noah Wiswall. Following, there will be a collation with refreshments at the DAV Meeting Room and War Memorial at Newton City Hall.

Direct descendants and Name sake of Noah Wiswall reside in Newport, Maine. Bert A Wiswall III, and Noah A Wiswall, Jeremiah A Wiswall of BSA Pack 63 Newport Maine.

This memorial service is taking place because of the efforts of Gerry Marrocco, in conjunction with, Disabled American Veterans, W.J. Farrell, Chapter 23, Newton, MA. This event is opened to the public and will be attended by various veterans groups, the Newton Fire Department Color Guard, the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard, the Charlestown Militia/Gardner’s Regiment ( revolutionary re-enactors), will give a musket salute, taps will be played and a fife and drum procession will open and end the service. Descendants of Noah Wiswall will be attending from Maine, Florida and various other states. Newton Mayor Setti Warren will lay a wreath at the Wiswall Tomb with two direct descendants, ages 6 and 5. The south Burying Ground on Winchester St. does not have an street number but is located next to National Lumber, 15 Needham St. Newton Highlands, MA 02461.

Noah Wiswall’s story was discovered by Gerry Marrocco through research because of the legacy his brothers Pat, Roger and he carried on of their late father, Roger A. Marrocco Sr., in decorating Revolutionary War Veterans graves in the City of Newton, MA. Roger A. Marrocco Sr. was a WWII Veteran and started to decorate the graves in 1975, the bicentennial of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Originally, there were 81 veterans at 4 different cemeteries. In 1987, Roger Sr. was diagnosed with lung cancer and died later that year. Too sick to decorate the graves that May, his 3 sons did it for him and have continued to do so every year since.

Because of his interest in decorating the graves, Gerry Marrocco did further research and found out about a Revolutionary War Veteran named Noah Wiswall, now making 82 locations for the Marrocco brothers to decorate.

Noah Wiswall was born on September 7, 1699 and died June 13, 1786. Noah had been a Captain in the French and Indian War. He served as a Selectman in Newton for 3 years starting in 1756. He was instrumental in starting the first Baptist Church in Newton and donated the land to build the meeting house.

On April 19, 1775, the day of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Newton answered the alarm by sending 3 companies to fight. They were the West Company of militia, the East Company of militia and one Minute Man Company. Luckily, Newton did not have any deaths that day. Noah Wiswall was the only casualty and survived, making him Newton’s first DAV. Noah was 75 years old and therefore exempt from being a member of a militia or minute company so he went along as a volunteer with the East Company commanded by his son, Captain Jeremiah Wiswall. According to Francis Smith’s “History of Newton, Massachusetts”, Noah was pointing at 3 Red Coats while telling his fellow militia that if they aimed at the middle soldier they were sure to get one of them (muskets were not very accurate). As he was pointing, a Red Coat fired and Noah got a musket ball through his hand. Meanwhile, the militia members had taken his advice and shot a Red Coat, the other 2 fled. Noah then calmly wrapped up his wounded hand, picked up a musket from the dead Red Coat and later took it home as a trophy. Also, at the young age of 75 Noah Wiswall was the oldest man from Newton to fight that day.

The collation following the service will be held at the DAV Room and War Memorial located at Newton City HAll, 1000 Commonwealth Ave. Newton, MA 02459. The entrance is at the side door of the War Memorial, located at the back of City Hall.

Direct descendants and Name sake of Noah Wiswall reside in Newport, Maine. Bert A Wiswall III, and Noah A Wiswall, Jeremiah A Wiswall of BSA Pack 63 Newport Maine.

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