Swedes on both sides – Legionnaires against the Kaiser

Swedes who fought on the German side in the Great War were not many. We know from before, from some books by Swedish historians that it is assessed that around 40-60 Swedes chose to fight for the German side in WW1, and I have not find any facts that says anything else. When I read articles from newspapers from the period back in 1914-1918, it is mentioned that around 40-50 Swedes chose to join the French foreign legion in this period. 16 of those are mentioned to have fallen in the War.

I know from before that those 16 soldiers are mentioned at the board at the Swedish church in Paris, but I know also that some of those have their own headstones in French war cemeteries in France, but I haven’t had the time or opportunity until now to visit them.

When it comes to those Swedes who fought for the German side, I have only had the opportunity to visit one of them, Markus Grundberg at Menen Soldatenfriedhof in Menen, West Flandern in Belgium.

So, my main goal is to visit all the around 470 names that I have in my WW1 project, and during May 29th and June 1st I will fly to Paris and then head up to Pèronne and from there visit some of those I haven’t visited before, but also concentrate on those who fought for Germany and France.

Some of the names are mentioned in the church chapel in the Swedish Military Academy Carlberg, where they were educated to officers. In this case it will be Harry Patrik Hilding Carlsson, who fell March 23, 1918, and are buried at Viry-Noureuil German Military Cemetery. I have already visited Johan Erik Markus Grundberg who is buried at Menen Soldatenfriedhof in Belgium. Sadly Willy Höglund doesn’t have any known burial place, as he was moved from Montcornet Cemetery in France already in 1919, to a new site not known for now.

Below you will find the full list of those I will visit and the dates when I will do it.

29th of May

  • Villers Cotterets National Cemetery – Conrad Sjöberg – French Foreign Legion
  • Necropole Nationale Royallieu – Rudolf Petersen – French Foreign Legion
  • Viry Noureuli German Military Cemetery – Harry Carlsson – German Forces
  • Manicourt German War Cemetery – Olof Hedengren – German Forces
  • Hotel I Pèronne – Best Western Hotell St Claude.

30th of May

  • Peronne Communal Cemetery – Carl Sundqwist – Australian Imperial Forces
  • Herbercourt British Cemetery – John Leonard Petersen – Australian Imperial Forces
  • Dompierre French National Cemetery – Ivar Svensson och Erich Agne Göthlin – French Foreign Legion
  • Marcelcave Cemetery – Ivan Lönnberg – French Foreign Legion
  • Crucifix Corner Cemetery – Edmund Petrus Hilmer Eriksson – French Foreign Legion
  • Adelaide Cemetery Villers Bretonneux – Ernest Ohlson – Australian Imperial Forces
  • Villers Bretonneux Memorial – visit 15 Swedes – Australian Imperial Forces
  • Back to hotel i Pèronne.

31st of May

  • Tincourt New British Cemetery – William Sandberg – Australian Imperial Forces
  • Roisel Communal Cemetery – William Lovegrove – Australian Imperial Forces
  • Unicorn Cemetery – George Bernhard Bergdahl – British Forces
  • Selvigny German Military Cemetery – Hans Ahlmann – German Forces

1st of June I will try to visit the Swedish church in Paris, with the Swedish names on the wall.

If you happens to be in the area those days described above, please don’t hesitate to contact me, it is always nice to meet up on the battlefield!

Below some of the Swedes I will visit, who fought on the German side.

Below some of the Swedes I will visit, who fought in the French Foreign Legion.

This is one more step to my goal, to visit all of the Swedes that I have in my project, it will be an honor to one day have visited them all. May they rest in peace.

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