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More information about this article

Published 25. March 2003

Last update 07. May 2019

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Memorial stone over fallen on Solund churchyard at Hardbakke



On each of the three churchyards in Solund, there is a memorial stone with the names of the 16 from Solund who were victims of the Second World War. Four of them belonged to Solund parish. The monuments are exactly identical and were erected simultaneously.

The memorial stone on Solund churchyard at Hardbakke was erected by the people of the community, in memory of those from Solund who fell during the Second World War.

The memorial stone on Solund churchyard at Hardbakke was erected by the people of the community, in memory of those from Solund who fell during the Second World War.

Owner: Hans H. Steinsund.

Date: 2002.

Photographer: Hans H. Steinsund.

Shape and inscription

The stone, which has a prism form and a rectangular base, tapers off at the top, which is rounded. The sides at the base are 75 by 32 centimetres and the height is 310 centimetres. It is erected on a square, concrete foundation, with one/two steps. Around the foundation, the ground is prepared for flowers.

Inscription and names

At the top of the memorials, the years 1940-1945 are engraved, then the names in alphabetical order, with the year of birth and death (the four from Solund parish are here in bold type), and at the lower end: REIST I TAKKSEMD * AV BYGDEFOLKET (erected in gratitude by the people of the community)

EVENSEN SCHRØDER 1906 - 1944 * GEITERØY ANDREAS 1919 -1943 * GÅSVÆR PEDER 1921 - 1942 * HJØNNEVÅG BIRGER 1920 - 1942 * HOP JON 1922 - 1940 * INDREVÆR OLAV 1920 - 1943 * KVALVIK MAGNUS 1914 -1943 * KVERHELLEN SVERRE 1906 - 1943 * NOTØY HARALD 1922 - 1943 * SANDVIK LEIV 1910 - 1941 * STEINSUND LEIV 1919 - 1942 * STRØMMEN SØREN 1906 - 1943 * TROVÅG SJUR 1906 - 1943 * UTVÆR OLA 1911 - 1944 * YTRØY JAKOB 1912 - 1942 * ØDEJORD PETTER 1918 - 1943

Met death in different ways

Three of them died in one and the same incident: Sverre Kverhellen, Sjur Trovåg, and Magnus Kvalvik. In 1943, they were onboard the "Brattholm" sailing into the Toftefjord in Troms to land a Linge Company unit. They were betrayed, and taken prisoner on 24 March. They were sentenced to death and executed by shooting some days later, at the shooting range near Tromsø. After the war they were buried in Solund.

Somewhere in the sea-lane of Ytre Steinsund, the tortured prisoner Schrøder Evensen jumped out of the wheelhouse and overboard from the Gestapo vessel at speed in the evening darkness, and thus he took his own life. 18-year-old Jon Hop was the first war victim from Solund. He was shot to death when the Solund fishing vessel "Fremad II" came under fire in the Sørfjord. The others were sailors in the North Sea and in other foreign shipping trade.

"Their names shall be engraved in stone!"

The vicar of Solund during the war, Hjalmar Storeide from Hjørundfjord, took the initiative to have a visible memorial erected over the fallen. In collaboration with the bailiff Johannes Mathiesen and a few others from Solund, Storeide had in deep secrecy taken part in the resistance work during the war years. As early as in the autumn of 1945, Storeide wrote a letter of invitation, describing the purpose and asking people to give generously for a memorial. In the letter was written that Their names shall be engraved in Norwegian stone, and stand there as a testimony of what they sacrificed, and what hundreds of others in our community were willing to sacrifice.

Overwhelming response

16 trusted men set out across land and sea, visiting every household in the municipality with collection lists in their bags. The response was overwhelming.

Some communities thought they had been harder hit by the war than others, and for this reason no agreement was reached as to the location of a memorial. But since the collection raised so much, it was possible to have memorial stones erected on each of the three churchyards. This solution was met with satisfaction by all. The company Herm. Eikner A/S Bergen supplied the stones and erected the stone as well.

There were actually twenty war victims in Solund, but the deeply tragic mine incident at Indrevær was regarded as more of an accident. Four young boys lost their lives there on 25 November 1940.

Unveiling ceremony at Straumen

On 20 June 1948, a day with a clear sky and a light northerly wind, all the flags in Solund were hoisted. The beautiful memorial stones were pretty in their places, one in each churchyard.

The unveiling ceremony took place in Husøy church at Straumen. Major Danielsen came from the navy base of Marineholmen in Bergen, which added to the importance of the day. People from the community contributed to the program. The next of kin of the fallen, invited guests, and representatives of the municipality were treated to a meal in the schoolhouse at Straumen.

On every 17 May, there is a dignified remembrance ceremony, and wreaths are laid at all the three memorial stones. They are also central elements on various memorial occasions, and often form the backgrounds in pictures taken at different church functions.

The four from Solund parish - biographies in the series Våre falne (our fallen)

GÅSVÆR, PEDER JOHAN, fisherman, Solund. Born 3 September 1921 in Solund, son of Hans Gåsvær, born 1879, and Marie, née Tangenes, born 1887. One-year secondary school and courses by correspondence. Military service as sailor on the corvette Montbretia, and perished when the boat was sunk on 18 November 1942, after a three-day battle with German U-boats.

HOP, JON OLAI, fisherman and farmer, Solund. Born 15 April 1922 in Solund, son of Jacob Johan Hop, born 1898 in Solund, died 1935, and Astrid Sofie, née Brosvik, born 1895 in Gulen. On 20 April 1940, he was onboard a motor fishing vessel on his way to Vaksdal to pick up a cargo of flour for the "Solund forsyningsnemnd" (office of basic supplies), but was seized in the Osterfjord by Germans who wanted to take over the boat. An exchange of fire with Norwegian guards on shore followed, and Jon Hop was killed by a bullet. Buried in Solund.

STEINSUND, LEIF JOHAN, greaser, Solund. Born 13 December 1919 in Solund, son of Ludvig Johannesson Steinsund, born 1892, and Anne Bergitte Larsdotter née Hop, born 1888, both in Solund. Was before the war a fisherman and farm worker, after the outbreak of war, a mechanic. Went to England in open boat in October 1941. For some time onboard the MS Marie Bakke and later onboard the SS Norse King, as a greaser. Went down with the ship, which was torpedoed on 28 December 1942.

YTRØY, JAKOB, sailor, Solund. Born 10 December 1912 in Solund, son of Henrik Trulsen Ytrøy, born 1881, and wife Mathilde Torgeirsdatter, born 1883, both Solund. Course in woodwork, course for captains of training ship. Was onboard the MS Vibran, and perished when the ship disappeared on her way to Halifax. She left on 18 September 1942, and according to a German report, the ship was torpedoed by a U-boat on 24 September.

See geometric position on detailed map at Fylkesatlas or on a 3D-map at Google Maps by clicking on the 3D-button down to the right at the Google-map.

resources:

Våre falne, Oslo 1948.
Steinsøy, Alf: Krigshendingar i havkanten. Solund sogenemnd 1987.
Firdaposten. 22.02.2003.
Oppmodingsskriv av Hjalmar Storeide.
Howarth, David: Ni liv. (Norsk tittel). 1955. Boka filma 1957, same tittel.

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