In my research about the Swedish born soldiers who fought and fell at the Western Front I always try to find good sources about the historic situation they might have been in, and one very good source of knowledge about the Great War is the Podcast “Old Frontline”.
The episodes are very good composed by Paul Reed, a military historian, that have a great experience of the battlefields, and he have also, back in the eighties, met several of the old WW1 veterans from that period, and recorded their stories, which, according to me, are great treasures!
On this particular day, 1st of July 2021, the 105th anniversary of the first day of the battle of the Somme, he had made an episode about some of the situations from it, and connects it to the terrain. In this episode there is also recordings from one of the old veterans.
In my own research I am inspired by his work, and I look very much into some of the structures he has in his books about walking the battlefields at the Western Front, and will try, in my little project, make a structure that look likes a bit of his, when I will try to document the faith of the Swedes who fell on the battlefield at the Western Front.
You can follow his work at the web page mentioned above, and also follow him at Twitter through this link.
I wish Paul good luck in the upcoming work, and I appreciate very much the work he does!
Just got a message from the Swedish online magazine “Svensk Historia”, Swedish History, that they have put my web page in their link directory! I really appreciate this action, and send my warmest thanks to those who are responsible.
The page are in Swedish though but you can reach the online magazine through this link.
During this week I reached 300 Swedish born soldiers who fought and fell at the Western Front in The Great War. I never thought from the beginning that I should find so many, and now when I have so far found these 300 I already know there are more of them, that fits into my criterias for my research.
I will continue to look for more soldiers, and put them into my research. They deserves to be acknowledged.
You can reach the list of all these 300 during the main menu or through this link below:
I have also during the evening updated the Google Earth project about those Swedes who fought in Meuse-Argonne offensive together with the American Expeditionary forces. There are currently 74 Swedes plotted out on that map for the moment.
You will reach the project through the main menu or through this link below:
Today the weather was very sunny and warm, and I were in the terrain of some of those I eralier reported about, those soldiers born in the Perish of Hjälmseryd.
Why not then try to find the farms and maybe the houses the lived in? I went away for a short tour and I found some places.
I started to try to find the small place Slättö, that is mentioned on the casualty card of Andrew M Johnson, Anders Magni Magnusson, who was born in Hjälmseryd, and for some time lived in Slättö, according to some of the information I found in the church books. Next time I will also to get a photo of the Mo Västra farm. Slättö was the place where his father lived after Mo Västra, and is mentioned on the casualty card. You see Mo is mentioned in the church book, at the same line as his birth.
Then I went to the place where Gust E Ahl, John Gustav Edvin, lived. The place was Bodatorp, South of Boda in Hjälmseryds Perish. The picture below shows the house as it looks like today, it seems to be a summer house nowadays. The name “Bodatorp” is mentioned in the top of in one of the pictures below.
The last place I found today was Sevedstorp near Släthult in the same Perish, where John E Johnson lived in when he was born. The house looked like to be a house arranged for to live in more days than just in the summer. We could not find any persons nearby, even if we knocked on the door. I will try to visit the another time, when in the region. You can find the name Sevedstorp in the church book picture.
I will probably not be able to find all the places of those 200 Swedish born soldiers I will map in this project, but hopefully this can be a small story in a greater perspective. It was a great feeling to stand there and realize that those people went to USA for some reason but tragically fell in The Great War. This is my way to try to commemorate them. May they rest in peace.
Some evenings I just look through the facts that I have found in the digital archives, and just putting the pieces together. It is always nice to update my Google Earth Project map with more names and locations, together with some basic facts about thye individuals. Along the way I can now see some pictures emerge. Will write more about them further on.
I have also experienced some situations when I have found individuals, and then trying to verify them through Swedish church books. The two latest I have found in special books, where they were mentioned in special child care locations. Not common, and now two in a short period. I have from those cases become more skilled in searching for facts, so that is a good thing.
2020 didn’t stick to the plans at all, when it came to travels to the battlefields of the Great War. Those trips are a vital part in my project to commemorate those Swedish born soldiers who fell at the Western Front.
Let’s hope it will be possible to travel again during summer and autumn in 2021, and I wish you all a Happy New Year!
I have just started a small YouTube channel where I will describe my work in the way of small clips, which will describe the reason of my research in general, but I will also go in a bit deeper into some specific subjects, and when I think some things that I work with can be interesting.
If you want to follow my work, you can click on the link in the menu to the right. Expect normally some kind of weekly update.
When I do my research of the soldiers that you see on my site, you only see a small part of my data that I have collected. In my large database, where I keep all the facts that I find, I collect following data about my around 100 soldiers that I have in the database for the moment:
Unit – Brigade and Battalion
Date of birth
Verified birthplace – Place of birth in Sweden – Churchbook link
Date of decease
Age when they fell
Status of Personal Page on site
Google Earth positions – where they fell – where they are buried (Virtual Tour link)
Unit diary from the day when they fell
Link to cemetery/monument where they are buried or commemorated
Country where they fell
Region where they fell
Participation of any specific battle
My aim is to get as much data as I can about above mentioned subjects, still some data to find, depending on which Army they served for, and the amount of data there is to find from different archives.
Please feel free to look around in the different links in the menu, and please dont hesitate to ask any questions, or post any comments.
The work with the page content is ongoing. Right now I am putting in the facts I have gathered about all the individuals. From the databas the data then goes in to the Google Earth Project, which means you can find the geographical places and some facts and pictures about each soldier.
After that is done, I will continue to put all the facts in to the soldiers alphabetical list, where you can find a link to each soldier, sorted in which army and unit they were connected to, with some more facts and pictures.
When that is done I will translate all the text in the Google Earth Project into English. So Thanks for your patience, it goes slowly forward!