2nd Canadian Infantry Battalion attack at St. Julien – Swedes fell at Juliet Farm 1915.

The 2nd Canadian Infantry Battalion is organized at Valcartier Camp in accordance with Camp Order 241 of September 2nd, 1914. They embarked from Quebec City October 3, 1914 aboard on SS CASSANDRA and disembarked in England October 25, 1914. Onboard there were 44 officers and 1083 other ranks. They arrived in France February 11, 1915, belonging to the 1st Division, 1st canadian Infantry Brigade, and was reinforced during their time at the Western Front by 6th Canadian reserve Battalion.

The Diary of the 2nd Canadian Infantry battalion in late April 1915 informs us about the preparation of an attack, that seems to be from South East Kitcheners Wood, West of the village of St. Julien or Sint-Juliaan as the named are spelled today. The unit must, according to Col. LECKIE, disturb the enemy who has opened up a Trench that goes North-West of the unit. The attack was not successful due to the enemy machine guns that were operating in the flanks.

Here somewhere, between the April 22nd and 24th, 1915, one of the Swedes are missing from the fightings, and never found again. The other one is still fighting around what appears to be Juliet Farm, but he as well meets the end of his life sometime during April 26th, 1915.

The Swedish born soldiers that I am writing about in the text above is Edward Persson and Peter Nord. Here are their stories.

Edward (Per Erik) Persson is born November 5th, 1888, in Valbo Parish in Gästrikland, Sweden, by his parents Marta Eriksson and Per-Olof Persson. By the time of Edwards birth they live at the farm Alborga, south of Valbo. He leaves Sweden and arrives to Boston August 6th 1907 at an age of 18, with the Ship SS INVERNIA.

He applies for a Homestead in Alberta, Canada in 1908. During the time in Canada it is not known if he is joining the Canadian Army by his own will or if he is ordered to participate. During April in 1915 Edward is involved in the battles for St. Julien North East of Ypres in Belgium, at first missing in action, but later presumed to have died between April 22nd and April 24th 1915.

Edward has no known grave and is Commemorated at Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres.

Peter Nord, or Petrus Martinsson as he is called as a child, is born in Aspås Parish in Jämtland, Sweden, November 25, 1882, by his parents Brita Ersdotter and Martin Pettersson. He grew up at the farm Näset east of the town Krokom in Sweden, today called Aspånäset. He went to North America in 1900, at an age of 18, and later crossed the border to Canada in 1912, where he applied for a Homestead.

Peter was a farmer in about 15 years in North America and Canada before he voluntarily applied for to do his duty in the Canadian Army. He probably went over to France in accordance with the info regarding the 2nd battalion, together with Edward, who belonged to the same unit.

Peter was killed in action April 26, 1915, during the attack at St. Julien, probably in the area of Juliet Farm, in the same area as Edward. Peter has no known grave and is also Commemorated at Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres.

There is no known information at this moment if the both Swedes knew about eachother, but probably they did. Both of the Swedes were just in France for just over two months. Today the terrain looks like the photos below, the picture of Juliet Farm. Photos are taken both from East and South of the farm. Maybe they were here in this terrain, preparing for the attack at the village? We will never know.

Maybe one day they will find both Edward and Peter, but until that time, may they rest in peace.

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