Three Swedes in Battle of Pozieres

Three Swedes from three different places in Sweden end up at the same place on the Western Front in July-August 1916. All three fall in the battles.

John Anderson from Stockholm was born in 1872 probably as the person Johan Axel Erik Wilhelm Andersson by the factory worker Anna Andersson. For some unknown reason, John ends up by his foster parents in Australia and then signs for the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF) in August 1915.

Ernest (Ernst) Fogelström was born in Gothenburg in 1887 in Karl Johan’s parish and grew up with his father Oscar Fogelström on Karl Johansgatan 43 in Gothenburg. He applied for Australian citizenship in 1913 and then signed for AIF in April 1915.

Egbert Swansson (Swensson) was born on Öland in 1877 in Vickleby parish and grew up with Nils Gustaf and Sofia Swensson. As a sailor he went to Australia and signed up for AIF in August 1915.

These three individuals fight in the Battle of Pozieres, Somme, France, which takes place July 23 to September 3, 1916, where Fogelström falls in the battles on July 26th, Anderson falls on August 15th and Swansson falls the day after August 16th, 1916.

These three fight for three different units, the 3rd, 13th and 20th Infantry Battalions. These three are not found after the battles or are buried in places that are then destroyed during upcoming battles and therefore have no grave of their own.

These three Swedes are now named on the walls of the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in France. Maybe they knew about each other, we will never know. May they rest in peace.

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