Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 9, 1867
CountrySweden
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinFredrika Bjork (wife), Teulon, Manitoba
Trade / CallingFarmer and carpenter
ReligionLutheran
Service Details
Regimental Number913064
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion197th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentP.O. Teulon, Manitoba
Age at Enlistment48
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 11, 1940
Age at Death72
Buried AtNorris Lake Cemetery, RM of Rockwood, Manitoba

Bjork, Elof

Elof Bjork was 48 years old, married and a father of three when he enlisted in March 1916. He served in Canada for nine months and was discharged for medical reasons.

Elof and his wife Katarina Fredrika Karlsson (Carlson) immigrated to Canada from Sweden in the summer of 1902. Their destination was the town of Rat Portage (now called Kenora), in northwestern Ontario. According to his emigration record Elof was born in Brakne-Hoby, Blekinge, Sweden but he later he gave his birthplace as Smaland, a county on the south border of Blekinge.

Elof was a skilled cabinet maker and he and his wife spent about a year in Rat Portage. Their first child, Carl (Charlie) Alfred, was born there in December 1902 and the family moved to Winnipeg in 1903. After about two years in the city they decided to take up farming northwest of Teulon, where Elof had filed a homestead claim. A daughter Mary was born in 1904 or 1905 but sadly she died at age 16. Another daughter, Selma Margaret, was born in 1914. In addition to farming Elof continued to work as a carpenter in Winnipeg. In 1908 his wife’s parents, Carl and Gertrude Carlson, arrived from Sweden to join the family.

The war started in August 1914 and Elof enlisted in Winnipeg on 3 March 1916. He gave his occupation as carpenter/farmer and his birth year as 1871 but he actually born in 1867. He said he had served with the Swedish infantry for two years. Elof signed up with the 197th (Vikings of Canada) Battalion in Winnipeg and served with them for nine months. He was discharged in Winnipeg on 2 December 1916 due to rheumatism and being overage.

Elof and his wife continued to farm near Teulon for about twenty more years. Elof passed away on 11 July 1940, at age 72. His wife died in Teulon Hospital on 2 July 1961, at age 80. They are both buried in Norris Lake Cemetery near Teulon. Charlie died in Teulon in 2003, at age 100, and Selma in Selkirk in 2017, at age 102. They are also buried in Norris Lake Cemetery.

By Becky Johnson


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