I am still in my fact finding phase regarding Swedish born individuals who fought in the Great War at the Western Front, and also killed and buried there.
Up to this date I am now working with 343 individuals who fall within the criterias mentioned above.
I decided to make some graphic out of the data I have in the database, and have made some diagrams that shows from what county the soldiers were, to, in the longer term, connect this data to data about Swedish emigration, to North America and Canada in particular.
First a graphic diagram that shows which army the Swedish born soldiers fought for. (Updated July 8th, 2021.)
The next diagram shows from which county in Sweden the Swedish born soldiers came from, those who were fighting for Commonwealth, French and German Armies.
Note that the figure 132 are those soldiers that I have confirmed to be born in Sweden, with a picture from the Church book at riksarkivet.se. The others are much likely born i Sweden as well, but I want to be consistent in my research.
Note also that the county of Halland in south west is empty, compared to the graph below. For some strange reason Gotland, the large island to the far East, is empty in all of the graphs, even if I know soldiers from Gotland participated in the War. But I have not anyone from Gotland who fell at the Western Front in my database. Yet.
The data you see in this graphic diagram suits well with facts that says that most of the immigration to Canada from Sweden went on in the 1880s. Mostly from the parts Stockholm and “Norrland”, North land. This to be compared to the data below, who shows the soldiers who fought for the American Expeditionary Forces. Of course this is just one conclusion. There were Swedes who went to US in this time as well, who decided to take a part in the Great War, for the Commonwealth, the Canadian armies, as US not participated yet. I have found a few things in my research that points on that.
The Immigration to US went on from around 1850 to 1910. Almost a million emigrants went to North America in this period. This from an amount of Swedish citizen in Sweden at that time, around 3 500 000 citizens in total.
I have no graph that tells us WHEN the soldiers emigrated, but briefly I can read from the data in my research that many Swedes who fought for the US army in the Great War, went to US around 1907-1914, and from the regions in the south like Västra Götaland, Småland, Kronoberg and Skåne.
As in those days, and still today, most of our population living in the southern part of Sweden, but it is interesting anyway to see that it is in some way connected to the emigration, and I am of course not surprised that it is.
Below you will fin a graphic diagram that shows the total of those 306 confirmed soldiers that I have in my research, of 343 in total.
I havent made any deeper conclusion yet, but the diagrams above shows anyway some interesting facts.
The most common reasons for Swedes to emigrate in these times are connected to climate changes, that caused hard times for the farmers and the Swedish food production, and the in general poor situation in Sweden at that time. Also the offer from US, of free land to the emigrants, meant a lot to this emigration.
I will in also try to draw more facts from my database to be able to do more comparisons in the future, but the main focus will always be the story of the individuals itself, the history of those, connected to the terrain in Sweden, and on the battlefield.