Read more about the Swedish born soldier who fought for a canadian unit at the Western Front, with his wife Edith home in England.
Charles Robert Holmberg was born as Karl Robert Holmberg in Torps Perish in the Swedish landscape of Medelpad. He states in his military papers that he is born 1892, but he is actually born in 1893, the 24th of May. That is very common that the soldiers states the wrong age, which sometimes makes it harder to do the research, but here I find him through his wife Edith, and then find the correct church book that states 1893. As you can see in the Church book, his birth is not stated in chronological order, I find him around september in the book, but he is born in May. You always have to check the whole period when you do your research.
He is raised at the farm “Stormörtsjön” and lives there as a child and he also lives at the farm “Hjältan” before he emigrates to Canada in 1910, about 17 years old.
He is enlisted for the Canadian Army as a former farmer in Winnipeg in 1914, to the 32nd Infantry battalion, and is later transferred to the 23rd Reserve Battalion. February the 22nd 1915 he embarked in Halifax and went to England where he arrives March 6th 1915. He becomes a Lance corporal for the 52nd battalion during his time in England, and during this time he is also promoted to Acting sergeant for the same unit.
He is later transferred to 15th reserve battalion who will go overseas, and are then reverted to Lance corporal again. He leaves for France in April 22nd 1917.
At home he leaves Edith, who he marry February 15th 1916, and she becomes Edith Jane May Holmberg. He is only 23 years old when he is leaving for the battlefield. In France he is attached to the 5th Infantry battalion, which is the battalion he is fighting for until the end.
He behave well in the unit and he receive the Good Conduct Badge in December 16th 1917 (My birthday …) and also becomes promoted again to Sergeant in March 25th 1918, after had been Lance Corporal again after he went overseas.
During August 9th 1918 he is fighting with his unit in the area of Warvillers in France, and during an advancement he went a bit to far, and has to withdraw to his own lines, but are in this situation hit in the heart by a machine gun bullet and dies instantly.
He is awarded the Military Medal the same day.
I always think about the families that the soldiers leave behind, and in this case I wonder how Edith takes the word that she reads, about Karl. Karl is also leaving his father Erik Olof Holmberg and his mother Gertrud Holmberg, back at the farm in Sweden. Their son paid the highest price, and I hereby commemorate him with this little story.
Karl is buried in Hillside Cemetery, Le Quesnel in France.
May he rest in peace.