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Remembered Today (20/04/21) - Pte Sigvert FISKAAEN


Stephen Nulty
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Discharged in 1919 to Rainhill Asylum with Delusional Insanity and died there. Very sad.

From Norway. He was 36 years old.

 

Margaret

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Pension record cards at WFA/Fold3 under FISKAAEN, G/25213 [several of the cards rather struggled with his forename]

R.I.P.

:-) M

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25 minutes ago, Margaretnolan said:

Discharged in 1919 to Rainhill Asylum with Delusional Insanity and died there. Very sad.

From Norway. He was 36 years old.

 

Margaret

The record from Private G/25213 Sigvert Fiskaaen - St Helens Rolls of Honour details he enlisted in Chicago,

 

One wonders what is the story of his life.

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Merchant seaman perhaps?  I wonder if he appears in the seaman’s register pre-war.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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His service record survives on FMP Link

it is faint but his occupation is listed as Fisherman. It also appears he was a POW, can anyone find his ICRC record?

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27 minutes ago, DavidOwen said:

His service record survives on FMP Link

it is faint but his occupation is listed as Fisherman. It also appears he was a POW, can anyone find his ICRC record?

Fisherman would make sense, as that was probably the most common area of work for Norwegian men due to the extent of that country’s seaboard, and inland fjords.  There was common passage between Norway and the ports of Grimsby and Hull that led to small communities of Norwegian settlers when times were hard (there were some infamous famines there).

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Hi,

 

In addition to the numbers on the card that Charlie posted the link to, he also appears to be on PA26571, and PA28408, albeit his given name is typed as Lagwart. The PoW records indicate that he was taken 'unwounded' on 21.3.1918, but his service file indicates that when he arrived in Switzerland on 31.8.1918 he had a broken shin bone.

 

Regards

Chris

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Many thanks for the additional information.

 

I have added some notes to his page.

 

Private G/25213 Sigvert Fiskaaen - St Helens Rolls of Honour

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  • 9 months later...

This was the son of my great-great-grandmothers sister. His full name was Sigvard Olaf Marius Fiskaaen. He was born sept. 20th, 1883 in Aalesund, Norway. He emigrated to the US in April 1909. He served in the East Kent Regiment (The Buffs). Is there any way to find out what battalion he was with, in order to reconstruct some of his service history?

His cousin Victor Knutsen who emigrated to Canada fought in WWI with the 16. Battalion (Canadian Scottish) C.E.F. between November 1916 and  November 1917. He participated in the battle of Vimy Ridge and Hill 70. On November 2nd he was evacuated to the Canadian General Hospital no. 16 i Orpington, Kent.

I have some information saying that at least some battalions of the East Kent Regiment also were at Vimy and Hill 70. I wonder if they without knowing fought in the same battles.

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On 20/04/2021 at 11:23, Margaretnolan said:

Discharged in 1919 to Rainhill Asylum with Delusional Insanity and died there. Very sad.

From Norway. He was 36 years old.

 

Margaret

What terrible suffering he must have experienced to become insane whilst still serving.  I can’t help speculating whether it was a combination of the events leading up to his capture and his experiences as a POW in a by then much straitened Germany that tipped him over the edge.

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Hi BoSo,

Welcome to the forum.

4 hours ago, BoSo said:

His full name was Sigvard Olaf Marius Fiskaaen....He served in the East Kent Regiment (The Buffs). Is there any way to find out what battalion he was with...

Sigvard has a set of service papers on Findmypast (link) - they should also be available on Ancestry. The papers indicate that he was serving with 'C' Company, 7th Battalion East Kent Regiment when he was taken PoW in March 1918. 

4 hours ago, BoSo said:

His cousin Victor Knutsen who emigrated to Canada fought in WWI with the 16. Battalion (Canadian Scottish) C.E.F. between November 1916 and  November 1917. He participated in the battle of Vimy Ridge and Hill 70. On November 2nd he was evacuated to the Canadian General Hospital no. 16 i Orpington, Kent.

I have some information saying that at least some battalions of the East Kent Regiment also were at Vimy and Hill 70. I wonder if they without knowing fought in the same battles.

I don't think so. The papers for Sigvard indicate that he didn't 'arrive overseas until 13.2.918, - joining the Battalion 'in the field' on 17.2.1918. Prior to being taken PoW, for the period of his overseas service, (as free downloads) the Battalion. Brigade, and Division HQ war diaries are here, here, and here.

If needed there is help on how to read map references here.

Regards
Chris

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According to information in the Norwegian archives, his father's name was Søren not Loren (link).

In September 1921, Sigvard's name appeared in Norwegian newspapers in conjunction with the settlement of his will. Anybody to whom he owed debts was asked to present themselves to the undersigned within 6 months or lose their claim. His heirs -- sisters Anna Stokflet (Stockfleth according to the archives) of Hamburg, and Gyda Doran and Alfa Nagel of Berkeley, California -- were requested to do the same.

51398210_ScreenShot2022-01-26at20_06_33.png.7f0213cca5d8f3b26a9328fc0367673a.png

Source: https://urn.nb.no/URN:NBN:no-nb_digavis_soendmoersposten_null_null_19210917_39_217_1

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13 hours ago, clk said:

I don't think so. The papers for Sigvard indicate that he didn't 'arrive overseas until 13.2.918, - joining the Battalion 'in the field' on 17.2.1918. Prior to being taken PoW, for the period of his overseas service, (as free downloads) the Battalion. Brigade, and Division HQ war diaries are here, here, and here.

If needed there is help on how to read map references here.

Regards
Chris

Thank you very much for the information. It appears he did not get many days in the field then, as he joined on the 17th of February and was taken POW on the 21th of March 1918. It most have been in the early stages of the German spring offensive leading on to the battle of Villers-Bretonneux.

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54 minutes ago, BoSo said:

Thank you very much for the information. It appears he did not get many days in the field then, as he joined on the 17th of February and was taken POW on the 21th of March 1918. It most have been in the early stages of the German spring offensive leading on to the battle of Villers-Bretonneux.

 

He was with 7th Battalion Buffs, 55th Brigade of 18th Eastern Division that had not long been with 5th Army.  The following is an extract from an article of the Western Front Association by David Tattersfield.

“The German attack on 21 March was made on a front of 50 miles (compared to the 16 mile front attacked by the BEF on 1 July 1916) and against a large part of the Third Army (under General Sir Julian Byng). The Third Army held the line from the region of Arras to the Flesquières Salient.”

“To the south, the Germans would attack virtually the whole of the Fifth Army (General Sir Hubert Gough). The Fifth Army was hampered by having been instructed to take over from the French a stretch of line at the extreme right of the British line, which now extended five miles south of the River Oise. The defences taken over from the French on this newly acquired front line were in a poor state of repair and much work would have been needed - which was not possible in the time available prior to the attack - to bring it up to an acceptable standard.”

“The Fifth Army was reinforced by the 18th (Eastern), 20th and 66th (East Lancashire) Divisions in February, but despite this, Gough had  fewer troops per mile of front than in the Second Army around Ypres.”

“Around 93% of the divisional fatalities in Third and Fifth Armies on 21 March were from infantry or MGC units. Most of the remainder (4.5%) being RFA fatalities.”

“The Fifth Army had nine divisions whose front line positions were fully attacked. In addition the 9th Division (adjoining the southern portion of the Flesquières salient) and the 58th Division (whose front extended a short distance south of the attack) were also attacked, but only on part of their respective frontages. The Fifth Army incurred some 4,339 fatalities on the day (66% of the total).”

The following abridged extract is from letters written by Sergeant Edward Henry Tritton of the 7th Buffs (wartime memories project).

“The most interesting section of the diaries relates to the big Spring Offensive in March 1918. From my researches I believe his battalion was positioned close to Venteuil in France which saw some of the heaviest fighting. The account recorded in the entries for March 1918 (particularly letter entry 1st April 1918) detail his wounding albeit in rather scant detail. Like many involved in this war he was severely traumatised by these events and never spoke about them. However, a year or so before he died my mother had a conversation with him regarding events which added a little more to the story and its outcome. It seems with the German advance after very heavy bombardment for 5 or 6 hours overnight, at dawn in thick fog the Germans advanced and overran their positions but continued advancing leaving the Buffs to hold out in various redoubts for the rest of that day. 25, including Teddy, were captured and imprisoned in bunkers along the German positions. They overheard that the Germans planned to throw grenades into the bunkers to avoid the problem of prisoners. When an opportunity presented they managed to overcome the guards, cutting their throats, and escaped. They fell back to the 7th Queen's Regiment that was behind them and fought with them for a day and a half. However, Teddy took a wound to the head and was rendered semi-conscious. The story is a bit hazy here. It seems they remained in a trench waiting for relief but with the German advance they found him lying apparently in a graveyard covered in blood. He feigned death and his wounds were such that he was left for dead. He was found by local French and was helped to a dressing station and the diaries pick up his subsequent travails through various hospitals, including the Royal Herbert in Woolwich.”

 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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1 hour ago, FROGSMILE said:

He was with 7th Battalion Buffs, 55th Brigade of 18th Eastern Division that had not long been with 5th Army.  The following is an extract from an article of the Western Front Association by David Tattersfield.

“The German attack on 21 March was made on a front of 50 miles (compared to the 16 mile front attacked by the BEF on 1 July 1916) and against a large part of the Third Army (under General Sir Julian Byng). The Third Army held the line from the region of Arras to the Flesquières Salient.”

“To the south, the Germans would attack virtually the whole of the Fifth Army (General Sir Hubert Gough). The Fifth Army was hampered by having been instructed to take over from the French a stretch of line at the extreme right of the British line, which now extended five miles south of the River Oise. The defences taken over from the French on this newly acquired front line were in a poor state of repair and much work would have been needed - which was not possible in the time available prior to the attack - to bring it up to an acceptable standard.”

“The Fifth Army was reinforced by the 18th (Eastern), 20th and 66th (East Lancashire) Divisions in February, but despite this, Gough had  fewer troops per mile of front than in the Second Army around Ypres.”

“Around 93% of the divisional fatalities in Third and Fifth Armies on 21 March were from infantry or MGC units. Most of the remainder (4.5%) being RFA fatalities.”

“The Fifth Army had nine divisions whose front line positions were fully attacked. In addition the 9th Division (adjoining the southern portion of the Flesquières salient) and the 58th Division (whose front extended a short distance south of the attack) were also attacked, but only on part of their respective frontages. The Fifth Army incurred some 4,339 fatalities on the day (66% of the total).”

The following abridged extract is from letters written by Sergeant Edward Henry Tritton of the 7th Buffs (wartime memories project).

“The most interesting section of the diaries relates to the big Spring Offensive in March 1918. From my researches I believe his battalion was positioned close to Venteuil in France which saw some of the heaviest fighting. The account recorded in the entries for March 1918 (particularly letter entry 1st April 1918) detail his wounding albeit in rather scant detail. Like many involved in this war he was severely traumatised by these events and never spoke about them. However, a year or so before he died my mother had a conversation with him regarding events which added a little more to the story and its outcome. It seems with the German advance after very heavy bombardment for 5 or 6 hours overnight, at dawn in thick fog the Germans advanced and overran their positions but continued advancing leaving the Buffs to hold out in various redoubts for the rest of that day. 25, including Teddy, were captured and imprisoned in bunkers along the German positions. They overheard that the Germans planned to throw grenades into the bunkers to avoid the problem of prisoners. When an opportunity presented they managed to overcome the guards, cutting their throats, and escaped. They fell back to the 7th Queen's Regiment that was behind them and fought with them for a day and a half. However, Teddy took a wound to the head and was rendered semi-conscious. The story is a bit hazy here. It seems they remained in a trench waiting for relief but with the German advance they found him lying apparently in a graveyard covered in blood. He feigned death and his wounds were such that he was left for dead. He was found by local French and was helped to a dressing station and the diaries pick up his subsequent travails through various hospitals, including the Royal Herbert in Woolwich.”

 

Thanks for sharing this info! It gives me a much broader picture of what life was like for these brave soldiers and the kind of sufferings they went through. How totally devastating that must have been. It appears Pte. Sigvard  Fiskaaen spent 5 months as a POW before his internment at Chateau d'Oex. And then ending up at Rainhill Asylum in 1919 with Delusional Insanity, where he finally died in 1921. R.I.P.

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4 minutes ago, BoSo said:

Thanks for sharing this info! It gives me a much broader picture of what life was like for these brave soldiers and the kind of sufferings they went through. How totally devastating that must have been. It appears Pte. Sigvard  Fiskaaen spent 5 months as a POW before his internment at Chateau d'Oex. And then ending up at Rainhill Asylum in 1919 with Delusional Insanity, where he finally died in 1921. R.I.P.

 

 

 

Yes I’m really puzzled about his ending. It must have been that something incredibly traumatic occurred to drive him insane over such a short space of time.  Records of the insane asylums (usually registers) often survive with local authority archives so it might be worth making an inquiry.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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