Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 21, 1886
Place of BirthTorp, Västernorrland
CountrySweden
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMartha Sundblad, mother, Kenora PO, Ontario
Trade / CallingFarmer
ReligionLutheran
Service Details
Regimental Number2383838
Service Record
Battalion1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Place of EnlistmentPort Arthur, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora PO, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentApril 22, 1918
Age at Enlistment31
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 17, 1927
Age at Death40
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
Plot38E-24-1

Sundblad, Harry

Bror Henning Sundblad was born on 21 November 1886 in Torp, Västernorrland in Sweden. His father Johan Sundblad was from Sunne in Värmland while his mother Märta Julia MГҐrtensdotter was from Bergsjö in Gävleborg. The couple married on 23 October 1879 in the parish of Boda in Torp. Over the years while in Sweden Johan’s occupation was listed as snickare (carpenter) or byggmästare (builder). In August of 1880 Johan and Märta gave birth to a stillborn child. Other children born to the family in Torp were Olaf Verner (1881), Axel Emanuel (1883), Oskar Ragnar (1885), and Bro. By the time of the birth of daughter Syster Alice in 1889, the family had moved to Sundsvall. Sadly Oskar died in September of 1891 and Syster in January of 1892.

Johan was the first to immigrate to Canada, leaving Sundsvall in late April of 1892 and departing from Göteborg on the Romeo on the 6th of May. He arrived in Quebec aboard the Sarnia on May 24th, the passenger list indicating that his final destination was Winnipeg. That fall Märta and the three children left Sundsvall, embarking from Göteborg on the Ariosto on October 14th. Once in Canada the Swedish names were anglicized to John and Martha, and children Oliver, Axel, and Harry. The family first lived in Winnipeg but by the time of the 1901 census they were living in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario where John was working as a carpenter. The family also employed a domestic and took in a number of lodgers. At some point Johan’s mother Maria immigrated to Canada and passed away in 1906 in Kenora. The 1911 census found the family living in Fort William, Ontario where John ran a hotel. Both Oliver and Axel worked as bartenders at the hotel while Harry worked as a clerk. The family also had six employees, a chef, chambermaid, dining room waitress, kitchen girl, clerk, and bookkeeper. At the time of the census there were twenty-two boarders at the hotel and a boy listed as an adopted son, Paul Soderberg. Born in 1897 in Hotagen, Jämtland in Sweden, Paul was the son of Anders Soderberg and Ingeborg Danielsdotter. Along with his father and sister Clara Paul had immigrated to Canada in 1907. It is likely that Paul had joined the family while in Kenora. At some point after the census the family returned to Kenora, eventually farming out in the Black Sturgeon Lake area. Known for its beauty, the Bethesda Lutheran church held picnics on the grounds with participants bused to the Sundblad’s. It appears that the property also had a summer camp for tourists/guests.

Drafted under the Military Service Act of 1917, Harry had his medical examination in Kenora in late November of 1917 and was called up for service in Port Arthur on 22 April 1918. His occupation was given as farmer and his mother Martha at the Kenora post office as next of kin. As a Private assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment, Harry was hospitalized in Port Arthur from late June to mid August (vdg). Following a harvest leave, he was discharged from service on demobilization on 21 January 1919 in Port Arthur.

Harry’s adopted brother Paul Soderberg enlisted with the 202nd Battalion in early March of 1916 in Edmonton. He served overseas with the 10th Battalion, returning to Canada in April of 1919. Later married with a son, Paul died in 1952 in Edmonton.

Harry died on 17 July 1927 in Hotel Dieu in Windsor, Ontario. A while back he had left Kenora for a visit to Detroit but upon arrival in Windsor he had taken ill with typhoid fever. He had appeared to be on the road to recovery but while in the hospital complications later set in. His body was returned to Kenora and he is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.

Harry’s family also maintained a house in Kenora, a 1935 Voters list showing the family living on 3rd Avenue South as well as out on Black Sturgeon. His father John died in 1937, mother Martha in 1944, siblings Axel in 1938 and Oliver in 1962. All are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

By Judy Stockham

 

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