|Date of Birth||June 15, 1889|
|Place of Birth||Ladfjord|
|Next of Kin||Bjorn Hannesson, father, Coldsprings (Coldwell), Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Labourer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Address at Enlistment||Langham, Saskatchewan|
|Date of Enlistment||November 11, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||28|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||July 3, 1956|
|Age at Death||67|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
According to his attestation papers Sigmundur Bjornson was born on 5 June 1889 in Ladfjord, Iceland. (His marriage record listed Hnitborg, Gokururhlid, Iceland as his place of birth while a Keewatin history book gave his date of birth as 1 June 1888.) His parents Bjorn Hannesson and Steinunn Eyriksdottir married in Kirkjubaer I Hroarstunga, Nordur-Mulasysla on 31 July 1871. Nordur-Mulasysla is a county in the Austurland (Eastern) region of Iceland. Sigmundur’s older siblings were Hallur (b 1875), Jon (b 1878), Eirikur (b 1881), Magnus (b 1883), and Gudni (b 1885), all baptized in the same place as their parents marriage. It appears that Sigmundur also had a sister Margaret and it is likely that there were other siblings as well.
According to the 1921 Canada census and the Keewatin history book, Sigmundur immigrated to Canada in 1905 although his obituary gave the year as 1908. Census records indicate that his father had settled in the RM of Coldwell, near Lundar, in the Interlake region of Manitoba, probably arriving in 1904. Some of his older siblings had arrived to the area before the turn of the century. It appears that his mother had died in Iceland.
Sigmundur signed his recruitment papers on 11 November 1917 in Regina and completed his medical examination on 11 March 1918 in Saskatoon. He had been working as a labourer in Langham, Saskatchewan and gave his father as next of kin, with his father’s residence mistakenly recorded as Cold Springs instead of Coldwell. His military will of March 1918 named his brother John of Silver Bay, Manitoba as beneficiary. With the 4th Draft of the 1st Depot Battalion Saskatchewan Regiment, Sigmundur embarked from Halifax on 9 April 1918 aboard the Metagama.
Once in England Sigmundur was transferred to the 15th Reserve Battalion and admitted to the Military Isolation Hospital at Aldershot on May 4th, diagnosis rubella. He was discharged on the 17th. On August 21st he was struck off strength to the 46th Battalion, and taken on strength in the field on September 3rd.
On 27 September 1918, at Canal du Nord, Sigmunder sustained shrapnel wounds to his hand and thigh and a gunshot wound to his right side. He was admitted to the No 32 Stationary Hospital at Wimereux on October 1st, undergoing surgery on his leg. Invalided to England a week later, he was to spend time undergoing treatment at the County of Middlesex War Hospital, Hapsbury St Albans and the Canadian General Duchess of Connaught Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Taplow, Buckinghamshire. His leg wound was excised and drained, followed by a skin graft to cover the wound. Deemed medically unfit for further service, Sigmunder was invalided back to Canada, arriving in Quebec on 2 June 1919 aboard the Megantic. Upon arrival in Canada he was admitted to the Saskatchewan Military Convalescent Hospital in Moose Jaw and was discharged from service as medically unfit due to wounds on 30 June 1919.
Sigmundur returned to the Lundar area, found working as a labourer on the 1921 Canada census for the community of Coldwell. On 15 July 1923 in Keewatin, Ontario, Sigmundur married Petrina Gudmundson, a widow, who had also been living in the Lundar/Coldwell area. Petrina was the daughter of Olafur Jonsson and Gudrun Jonsdottir, the family earlier immigrating to Coldwell from Iceland. Petrina had a number of sons from her first marriage as found in the 1916 and 1921 Canada censuses: Gudmundur, Benjamin, Oskar Lewis, Jon, Pall, and Mattias.
Sigmundur and Petrina were found on the 1945 Voters List for Keewatin with Sigmundur employed as a carpenter, and again on the 1949 list with Sigmunder listed as a labourer. Following a lengthy illness, Sigmundur died at the Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg on 3 July 1956. According to his obituary at the time of his death he was survived by his widow, and four sons, Louis of Fort Frances, Benjamin and Svavaare of Norman, and Matthew of Keewatin. He was also survived by sister Margaret of Lundar. Sigmundur is interred in a Keewatin Legion plot in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Petrina died in 1973 at age 92 and is also interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery.
by Judy Stockham