Mr 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 bacame a gardener. They had seven children.

August Wennerström died 22 November 1950 and is buried in Culver, Indiana.

Notes

aka August Edvard Andersson

Add information

 

Articles and Stories

Titanica! (2017) 
PEOPLE THAT BOARDED TITANIC UNDER ASSUMED NAMES
Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1912) 
 

Add Media

Comment and discuss

  1. Gerald Wennerstrom said:

    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 said:

    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. Nancy Rockwood said:

    I saw a Wennerstrom on these pages who had left a message about his grandfather. Does anyone know what his first name was? I believe this gentleman who left the message was a writer.

  4. Lester Mitcham said:

    Part of that post: Gerald Wennerstrom Posted on Sunday, 11 June, 2000 - 4:16 am: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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

  5. Nancy Rockwood said:

    I've asked this before, but still not sure of the answer I received. Has a person named Wennerstrom every come into this club. If so, could anyone tell me his first name. I would appreciate any help. Thanks

  6. Bob Godfrey said:

    There was a Gerald:

  7. Britt-Marie Haglund said:

    Hi! Dear Gerald. My mane is Britt-Mari and is great grand dougher of August Endvard Wennerstrom in Sweden. I hoe that you can find this message even if it's 8 year ago that you searched answer of your requests. August had a son in Sweden named Knut August, and also a sister Bertha Andersson who's taked carried of Knut when he left Sweden. Knut August has 3 children Sven, Leif and Ing-Britt. Sven was my father. Knut's mother was Selma Haglund and Knut got her lastname because of not marriage with August. Leif lives in Ystad, Ing-Britt in Lund and Sven lived in Malmo (died 1992). I... Read full post

  8. avatar

    Jason D. Tiller said:

    Hello Britt-Mari, Please note that Gerald is no longer a member of the message board. Therefore he may not see your message.

  9. Arne Mjåland said:

    Hello Britt-Marie The obituary of August Wennerstrom was published in Culver Citizen, Indiana Nov. 29 1950. Ufortunetey, his son in Sweden Knut August was not mentioned in the obituary. Those mentioned were: His wife Naomi. one daughter Mrs Leonora Gibbons, Culver. six sons. Sgt. Edward Leo, Air Corps, Shephard Field. Texas, Clarence W. Mishawaka, August Edward, jr. Plymouth, Knight Leo, Billy Ramond, and Culver Leonard all at home. and five grandchildren. It may be of interest to read what kind of work August did in America: "Until 1941 he was superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at... Read full post

Leave a comment

Credits

Claes-Göran Wetterholm, Sweden
Arthur Merchant, USA
Leif Snellman, Finland

References and Sources

Wyn Craig Wade (1979, 1986) The Titanic: End of a Dream. London, Penguin
Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996, 1999) Titanic. Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0
U.S. Army Registration Document, 1918
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2019) August Wennerström Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1298, updated 26th April 2019 16:22:41 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/august-wennerstrom.html