Norman St. Laurent was born in 1918 in Epping, New Hampshire. He was the 3rd of 11 children of Edmond and Exerina St. Laurent. At the age of 21, and unmarried, Norman enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1940. After his first year of service he was sent to Manila, Philippines, in late 1941, one week prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and was stationed at Clark Army Air Force Base on Luzon Island. Having grown up on the family farm, Norman was quite handy with machinery, which served him well as an aircraft mechanic. Norman’s unit was transferred to the Bataan Peninsula after the beginning of World War II. During the three-month Battle of Bataan, Norman was captured by the Japanese and became one of approximately 70,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war forcibly transferred by the Japanese from Mariveles in the southern end of the Bataan Peninsula to Camp O’Donnell in the north. Along this infamous journey, known as the Bataan Death March, prisoners were forced to first march 55 miles from Mariveles to San Fernando, then travel by train to Capas, where they were again made to march the last eight miles to Camp O’Donnell. Twenty to thirty POWs lost their lives each day along the Bataan Death March. Although Norman survived this horrific ordeal, he subsequently died in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp in Mukden, Manchuria, on December 28, 1942. The St. Laurent family learned of this date as a result of two of Norman’s fellow POWs who engraved Norman’s mess kit with his date of death, location, and other important details to acknowledge the loss of their friend. Incredibly, this mess kit made it to America and to Norman’s family. After the end of the war, Norman’s remains were returned home in 1947. He was the first son of Epping, NH, to die in combat in World War II. The town of Epping named St. Laurent Street in honor of this fallen soldier and his family presented a large framed American flag, dedicated to Norman, which is now prominently displayed in the Epping Town Hall meeting room. On August 8, 2009, Norman’s family received a Purple Heart on his behalf, 67 years after his death, at a memorable ceremony held at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen. The Norman St. Laurent Scholarship was established by his sister, Estelle St. Laurent Hobbs (d. 10/12/12) and her husband, Richard “Dick” A. Hobbs (d. 6/17/08).
The purpose of The Norman St. Laurent Scholarship is to provide financial assistance to graduating seniors of Epping High School (located in Epping, NH) who plan to further their education at a college, university, trade or technical school. The selection criteria for this scholarship will be based upon merit only. Merit will be based upon the individual’s scholastic achievement, extra-curricular and community involvement, and most importantly, financial need.
• An eligible student must be a senior at Epping High School located in Epping, NH
• An eligible student must demonstrate financial need, scholastic achievement, and extra-curricular and community involvement
• An eligible student must be a candidate for high school graduation at the end of the current academic year and plan to enroll at an accredited college, university, trade or technical school the following academic year.
Selection Criteria Used by the Selection Committee
• Merit will be based on the following:
o Financial need (priority)
o Scholastic achievement/academics
o Extra-curricular activities, and or sports
o Community involvement
2023 Award Amount
$2,000 (may reapply annually for three additional years totaling $8,000)
The Norman St. Laurent Scholarship awards a new scholarship every four years and is not available for the 2021 academic school year.
Please contact the Community Foundation at 540-213-2150 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and/or clarification.