Encyclopedia Titanica

August Wennerström

August Wennerstrom

Mr August Wennerström (August Edvard Andersson), 27, was Born 24 April 1884, the son of Knut Andersson and Elna Månsdotter. He was a journalist, typographer and socialist activist living in Malmö, Sweden.

His socialist activities included the publication, in 1905, of "Gula Faran" (the yellow danger) and thereafter he was known under that nickname. The paper, which described the King Oscar II as "King of thieves" was not appreciated by the authorities. Confiscation and charges followed. Wennerström himself was acquitted but he decided to emigrate in 1912. He bought himself a ticket in Copenhagen, to conceal his identity he took the name of his friend, later Minister of defense, Ivar Vennerström's name but spelt with a W. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton.

On board the Titanic he got in company with other Swedes traveling via Esbjerg, among them Carl Olof Jansson and Gunnar Isidor Tenglin with whom he shared a cabin.

After the collision Wennerström took some Swedish girls to the boats, he then returned to steerage:

One of our friends, a man by the name of Johan Lundahl who had been home to the old country on a visit and was going back to the United States said to us, "Good-bye friends; I'm too old to fight the Atlantic." he went to the smoking room and there on a chair was awaiting his last call. So did an English lady; She sat down by the piano and, with her child on her knee, she played the piano until the Atlantic grave called them both.

As the Titanic went down he met Alma Pålsson and her children. He tried to hold on to two of the children, but lost them when they came into the water. He and Tenglin also found Edvard and Elin Lindell of Helsingborg, Sweden, who were part of the surge of steerage passengers who appeared on the Boat Deck in the ship's final moments. As the ship sank the group struggled up the sloping deck until it was too steep and, clasping hands, they slid back down close to collapsible A. Wennerström recounted that even though he was quite close to the ship, he detected no suction as it descended.

Once the ship went under Wennerström and Lindell climbed into the boat. Wennerström saw Mrs Lindell in the water and grabbed her hand. Weakened by the cold he was unable to assist her further and after a while she drifted away. Fearfully, the young man glanced over at the woman's husband but he was already dead.

All the feeling had left us. If we wanted to know if we still had legs (or any other part) left, we had to feel down in the water with our hand. The only exercise we got was when someone gave up hope and died, whom we immediately threw overboard to give the live ones a little more space and at the same time lighten the weight of the boat.

In New York he was quartered at Salvation Army's cadet school and he created a minor scandal when he accused the Lutheran immigrant home of embezzlement.

He received $25 and a train ticket from the Salvation Army committee and $100 from the Red Cross. At the Salvation Army in Chicago he met Namoi Johnson of Swedish origin and they moved to Culver, Indiana where he became a gardener. They had seven children.

August Wennerström died 22 November 1950 and is buried at the Masonic Cemetery, Culver, Indiana (section 4, Row 20).


aka August Edvard Andersson

References and Sources

U.S. Army Registration Document, 1918

Newspaper Articles

Brooklyn Daily Eagle (19 April 1912) Four Shot Dead In Boat Struggle


Wyn Craig Wade (1986) The Titanic: End of a Dream


Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988) Titanic, Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0
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Comment and discuss

  1. Gerald Wennerstrom

    Gerald Wennerstrom

    I am the grandson of August Wennerstrom, 3rd Class and a screenwriter. I recently found this site and I am very happy to have done so. I am doing research on my grandfather's life especially prior to the Titantic (in Sweden), and after arriving in New York. My research is for a screenplay I am writing about him. I have tapped out my father (August Jr.) and all family members. In fact this site provided info they were not aware of. The main reason I am writing this screenplay is after seeing Cameron's Titanic (in my opinion, a grandious exploitation of a disaster -... Read full post

  2. Peter Engberg-Klarström

    Dear Gerald, August Wennerström (or Andersson, his real name) was a journalist and had written articles about the King of Sweden which weren't all that flattering. He assumed the name of a colleague, Ivar Wennerström, and left for America. He was a sturdy Socialist at the time and wasn't the authorities' favourit, as it were. Best regards, Peter

  3. Paul Lee

    Dear all, I know portions of his account were published in Wyn Craig Wade's book about twenty years ago, but where can I find the full version of August Wennestrom's story of the sinking? Best wishes Paul

  4. Laura Melinda Varjo

    Laura Melinda Varjo

    I'm not sure, but try The Mammoth Book of Titanic by Geoff Tibballs. I just can't understand up to this day as to why August couldn't help Alma Palsson more with the children. I've read that August held two of the children, while Alma held the younger two, Stina and Gosta. August was very close to a lifeboat(forgot which one right now) so he could have placed Torborg and Paul in. Instead, only August survived, while Alma and the four kids were lost, leaving a grieving Nils Palsson in New York after his family. But I do think the book I've mentioned helps, it's VERY good for people who... Read full post

  5. Lester Mitcham

    Hello Laura, The Tibballs book contains a lot of mis-information. I have not been able to locate anything specific about August. If you happen to locate a page reference it would help as a 500+ page book with no index is not easy to search. My understanding is that August was in boat A. If that was the boat he was near then even if he had got any of the children into it they would have been tipped out when the boat was washed off the deck.

  6. Laura Melinda Varjo

    Laura Melinda Varjo

    Oh woops, I didn't mean The Mammoth Book of Titanic, I meant A Night to Remember by Walter Lord! BIG difference. I don't think I can find the exact pages because I have to go somewhere soon, but I know for sure I read about August and everything. It seems August managed to crawl back in Collapsible A alright.Oh well, guess it really was every man for himself, I mean he was concerned for his safety first. It's understandable. But still, if the boat was flipped over, then Torborg and Paul would not have floated a long way off, could of have placed back in. But, what could we do now ? Well,... Read full post

  7. Lester Mitcham

    Hello Laura, I do not see August in the index. Have you perhaps confused him with Olaus Abelseth? and read about August somewhere else? August tried to but was unable to pull Mrs Lindell into boat A: - From the Biography of Edvard Lindell: "Once the ship went under Wennerström and Lindell climbed into the boat. Wennerström saw Mrs Lindell in the water and grabbed her hand. Weakened by the cold he was unable to assist her further and after a while she drifted away. ....."

  8. Laura Melinda Varjo

    Laura Melinda Varjo

    Hi Lester, No, I'm not dumb, I didn't confuse anybody with anyone, I'm pretty sure it was August.Lester, I don't know what you're talking about. A Night to Remember doesn't have an index, just a passenger list. If you're talking about A Mammoth Book of Titanic, I know it doesn't have an index, that's why I said I read about August in the other book, by Walter Lord. I might sound mean right now, but I'm not. Just making my point. Yeah, it's really sad about Mrs. Lindell, she was pregnant too. That's two lives lost right there. Aw-aw. Paul must be like Never mind, Jeez. Or, probably... Read full post

  9. Lester Mitcham

    Hello Laura, While the older editions of ANTR may not have an index the Illustrated edition does and I do not see August listed, neither is he in the index for Walter's other book: TNLO. Mrs Lindell was pregnant! Where does that information come from?

  10. Laura Melinda Varjo

    Laura Melinda Varjo

    Hello Lester, Ok, fine, I'm 100% sure ! Better ? Who cares, it's not important. Well, you can't blame me for not having the book YOU have ! Yes, indeed, she was! Don't ask me what semester she was in, I have no clue. I don't know the website the info's coming from, but if I type something into Google, I know, just not off the top of my head. It's a good, ok I'm gonna say VERY helpful, non-bias website, so you won't say, it's just "good"? So yeah, and I know that Mary Cordell(not sure of her last name) was also pregnant, who was also lost. That's four lives. But, often society ignores... Read full post

  11. Lester Mitcham

    Hello Laura, I don't blame you for not having the book, but to tell me there is no index .... So a French web-site. The lady you are thinking of was Mary Corey.

  12. Lester Mitcham

    Hello Paul, You might try Laura's google search suggestion. I found this:

  13. Laura Melinda Varjo

    Laura Melinda Varjo

    What up Lester, I know, don't take it literally! Well, there's no index in mine, and how am I supposed to know there's more than one type of book ? I just have my book. I wasn't trying to be smart. Let's get it over with. Oh yeah, Corey, now I know, where did I get Cordell from ? Wow!

  14. Laura Melinda Varjo

    Laura Melinda Varjo

    Yeah, mine is perso.wanadoo.fr/titanic/ images1/allison_fam.jpg, it has to be somewhere on that site. or, if you can't get there, go to google, type in Loraine Allison, or Loraine et Trevor Allison, oh, make sure you're in the Images section in Google, so yeah, you'll see the website. It has a dark blue background, some green decorations on it, and again, it's French.

  15. Lester Mitcham

    Hello Laura, Thank you for that. A very interesting and informative web-site.

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr August Wennerström
Age: 27 years 11 months and 21 days (Male)
Nationality: Swedish
Last Residence: in Ystad, Sweden
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 350043, £7 15s 11d
Rescued (boat A)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Wednesday 22nd November 1950 aged 66 years
Buried: Masonic Cemetery, Culver, Indiana, United States

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