Experience makes progress

In my research I want to find as much correct information as I can, and connect all the bits and pieces to a picture, that is as much confirmed as is gets.

I have during this year learned a lot about in what places I have to look to find the information, and the more difficult it gets, the more eager I become to really find the last missing piece that makes the picture of the soldier as correct it can be.

One of these things I really want to verify is the soldiers Place of Birth, POB. One source for that is the Swedish “Riksarkivet” which I hold quite high when it comes to reliability. When I have those facts through the correct page from the Church book, I find the case done.

This evening I decided to try again with a soldier that I couldn´t verify before due to the lack of ideas about where to search, and how to search. This soldier was Carl Hjalmar Arring, born in Stockholm according to his registration papers for the Australian Imperial Forces, AIF. He stated a quite strange reference when it came to Next of Kin, NOK, where he stated a friend named Persse, or similar. Not much to go on.

Carl Hjalmar Arring was fighting for the 10th Australian Infantry battalion at the Western Front and fell in the battle of Passchendaele 7th of October 1917. He is commemorated at The Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium, earlier buried at the site where he was fallen, but then never found.

I went to Ancestry and tried to find a person named Arring, with the adress that he had stated in the papers, but I didnt find anything. I tried to search for Arring in the Swedish archives, and even on the web, but no luck.

I decided again to try to go through all “Carl Hjalmar” in Riksarkivet, and then put in the year that he was born, and the search in Stockholm. Luckily it was not many persons named Carl Hjalmar born in 1879. The place of birth and the Date of Birth, I found in the Australian National Archives, NAA, in the naturalisation papers. I assumed that it was the right person, as I also compared with the age he had stated on the on the registration papers. That fact is often wrong, so I have to look for more sources, and the naturalisation papers is then a good source. When it comes to Swedes who went to Australia, I find naturalisation papers in about 50 percent of the cases, and in this case I found it.

Looking through all the Carl Hjalmar in a certain time period, a period when they have counted all the persons in a specific region, I have about 27 to look through. When I look at the 15th or something I see “Arninge” in the file, that states the home village for that Carl Hjalmar.

I then decide to check the church book for Täby parish, and I now have the date and year. Looking in Riksarkivet, page in the church book for the 28th of January, and there he is … Carl Hjalmar Eriksson, born in Stockholm, that specific date.

I dont say it cant be another person called Carl Hjalmar, born at the same date in Stockholm, but this is quite close. Probably he thought it was nice to change from a quite common Swedish name Eriksson, to a name that reminded him of his village “Arninge”, that became “Arring”. In quite many cases before, I have experienced that they change their names, Johan to John, Gustav to Gust etc, when it comes to first names, but not so often the family name.

This new experience I take with me in my future work, in verifying the soldiers, especially when it comes to verify the POB.

Right now I have 127 Swedish soldiers in total in my research, and 104 of those are fully verified. The work goes on.

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