26 November 2011

War memorials at Digitaltmuseum.no

Kulturnett.no (Culturenet.no) published earlier this week (21 November 2011) an interesting article about Norwegian war memorials which have been registered at Digitaltmuseum.no.

Forsvarsmuseet (The Armed Forces Museum) in Norway has kept a record of the war memorials in Norway since 1979. The survey was, however, rather insufficient and difficult of access. The Armed Forces carried out a national registration of all the war memorials with the help of the Home Guard districts. This registration work makes the basis for today's accessibility.

The survey of the war memorials can be viewed here.

According to the article historical objects, cultural monuments/relics or cultivated areas with defence-related relevance are not included in the Armed Forces' presentation of war memorials.

A war memorial is defined as a memorial of persons or events related to war occurrences and defence-related activity throughout history. A war memorial can be everything from a small plaque on a wall to a large monument in the middle of a city. There are war memorials of persons and events in every corner of Norway, symbolizing courage, resistance and the basic values of the Armed Forces. The vast majority of war memorials have been erected by initiatives of the local community. But the Armed Forces itself has also erected war memorials - both inside and outside military areas.

As of now about 2700 war memorials are included in the register.

I have over the years photographed many war memorials, often in connection with visits to cemeteries. The photos will be included in blog articles in due time. The photo at the top shows a war memorial outside Spangereid Cemetery in Lindesnes at the very south of Norway. Another photo of the memorial can be found at Digitaltmuseum.no. Named on the memorial are Sverre Gundersen (1916-1941), Norman E. Samuelsen (1919-1942) and Toralf Robertsen (1921-1943). The latter was a first cousin of my father-in-law and I wrote a few words about him in the Robertsen booklet published in August 2009 in connection with the Robertsen family reunion at Spangereid. Toralf, who had been a sailor since he was 15, was on board the ship D/S Christian Michelsen which was torpedoed on 26 September 1943.

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