This is the story of my cousin 3x removed who was a member of the White Guard in Finland. And what happened after his death to his family.
First, I should explain what the White Guard is.
According to Wikipedia:
The White Guard (Finnish: Suojeluskunta, plural: Suojeluskunnat, Finland-Swedish: Skyddskår, literary translated as Protection/Defense Corps) was a voluntary militia that emerged victorious over the socialist Red Guard as part of the Whites in the Finnish Civil War of 1918. The Finnish term Suojeluskunta has received many different approximations in English, including the literal translation Protection Corps, Security Guard, Civic Guards, National Guard, White Militia, Defence Corps, Protection Guard, and Protection Militia. They were generally known as the White Guard in the West due to their opposition to the communist Red Guards.
This is a story I received from a distant cousin, Mona Britwin.
He had already lost his older brother in a drowning accident, while he was fishing with his father, and his half-sisters had married into other families. Jossas Anders did inherit the whole Snabb home and accompanying lands. That was a lot of land in Björköby at that time.
Jossas Anders — passport photo:
Family Home, built by his Father in 1909, photo from about 1915.
The family was patriotic which means Jossas Anders was in the “White guard” and in the Finnish civil war fighting for the “whites” against the “reds”.
I don’t have the date that he joined, but by the age of 26, he had died in the battle in Vaskivesi, Finland in October 1918. Leaving behind a wife and 2 children. Sadly, the following year (1919) both his children died of scarlet fever, leaving their Mother and Grandmother alone in the family home.
But with a big home and lands came many responsibilities. Jossas Cajs (his Mother) took over all duties inside the house and Lina (his wife) took over all the men’s work, such as plowing the fields and growing potatoes.
The size of the fishing grounds you owned were proportional to how much land you owned. The landowner was supposed to go fishing with other landowners and then split the fish equally. Jossas Lina was now forced to go with the men on long fishing trips a long way out from our home island, quite a hard life.
There is a photo where she is with five other fishermen in August 1924.
Despite losing a husband/son to the War, Lina and Cajs continued to be patriotic and sided with the “white” side, even giving the white guard a part of their land to practice shooting.
In Björköby, there is a Folklore Museum and there are a couple of photos as well as uniforms that were apparently worn by Anders. According to the story, you can see the bullet hole where he was shot and killed. The others in the photos are his wife and children.
Lastly, is the Monument for the Soldiers and also the family headstone. Both are located in the cemetery in Replot.