Lieutenant Gustaf William Akerlind



Gustaf Akerlind was born on 1 September 1893 at Aughnacloy, Co. Tyrone, son of engineer Gustaf Frederick Akerlind, from Sweden, and Emily (nee Gatward) from England.

When the war began he was working as an apprentice fitter at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Although he had only a year left of his five-year apprenticeship, he enlisted, joining the North Irish Horse on 1 September 1914 (No.1079). He went to France with D Squadron on 1 May 1915. In March 1917 he transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Heavy Branch), the predecessor to the Tank Corps (No.76333), and in October 1917 transferred to the Tank Corp Officer Cadet School.

He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on 26 June 1918 and 18 months later was promoted to Lieutenant. He served with the Tank Corps on the Russian front in the war against the Bolsheviks, joining the North Russian Detachment on 27 July 1919. Akerlind was mentioned in despatches for "valuable services rendered in connection with military operations in Finland and the Baltic States." On 4 January 1920 he relinquished his commission.


The image above is from the Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph of 5 December 1914.