Christian Marinius Apenes by Camille Arbogast.
Christian Marinius Apenes was born in Horten, Vestfold, Norway, on March 2, 1893, to Kristen Kristensen and Mathilde (Olsen) Apenes. Mathilde was born in Sweden and moved to Norway in 1874. She and Kristen married in Horten in 1882. They had two other children: Emil born in 1886 and Dagmar in 1896.
Christian immigrated to the United States in 1911, sailing from Christiania, Norway, on February 28 on the Ocean, arriving in Boston on March 14. He joined his brother Emil who was already living in the city, having immigrated in 1903. A few months after Christian arrived, Emil married Louise Schmidt, a weaver of German ancestry from Cincinnati, Ohio. Emil and Louise had three children: Elsie born in 1909, Emil in 1913, and Christian in 1919. Christian often resided with Emil and his family.
In June 1917, Christian lived on Wood Street in Middleborough, Massachusetts, where he was a freight handler with the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad. On March 28, 1918, he was drafted and inducted into the Army in Plymouth, Massachusetts. At that time, he gave his address as 21 Maryland Street in Dorchester, Emil’s address. Christian was sent to Camp Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts, and assigned to Company 8, 2nd Battalion, 151st Depot Brigade for training. On April 18, he was transferred to Headquarters Company, 306th Field Artillery, 152 Field Artillery Brigade, 77th Division, based at Camp Upton on Long Island, New York. A week later, he sailed for France with the 306th Field Artillery, departing from Hoboken, New Jersey, on the SS Leviathan.
In France, the 306th Field Artillery continued artillery training at Camp de Souge in Bonneau, near Bordeaux. While there, on June 10, Christian was transferred to Battery A. When their training was complete in mid-July, the 306th Field Artillery was assigned to Baccarat in the Lorraine defensive sector. In mid-August they moved to the Vesle sector, where, during the Oise-Aisne offensive, Battery A was heavily shelled and gassed, suffering casualties. Battery A’s artillery fire assisted in the capture of Bazoches, earning them the title of “The Wreckers of Bazoches.” On September 16, the regiment began a nine-day march in the rain from the Vesle to the Argonne Forest. At the launch of the Argonne offensive on September 26, Battery A fired their guns for almost 13 hours: three hours of heavy “zone fire” before the infantry attack, then a “creeping barrage … in front of the infantry” as the attack began, followed by more zone fire, overall firing 959 rounds. In the following days, they continued to support the offensive with regular harassing fire, counter-battery fire, and barrages, including firing “to assist in extricating ‘The Lost Battalion.’” On October 18, the 306th Field Artillery was sent to a nearby rest camp, La Harazee, where they remained for a week, then returned to the front. Battery A fired their last shots on November 1. They were in Marcq when the Armistice was declared on November 11, 1918. Battery A spent the end of 1918 and early 1919 in Dancevoir, then February and March in Noyen and Camp La Suze. In April, Christian departed for the United States on the USS Manchuria, sailing from Brest, France, on April 11 and arriving in Hoboken, New Jersey, on April 23. He was demobilized at Camp Devens and discharged on May 9, 1919. According to his obituary, for his military service Christian was “twice decorated by the French government and also received the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart.”
While Christian was in the Army, Emil and his family had moved to 27 Bay Street. After the war, Christian lived with them there. He was employed as a boiler maker in a boiler works.
In March 1920, Christian became an American citizen. That summer, he traveled to see his family in Norway. His father, Kristen, died in 1922. Shortly after Kristen’s death, Mathilde immigrated to the United States. In 1923, Christian moved with Emil’s family to 16 Ward Street in South Boston. Around that time, Christian began working as an elevator constructor, which was also Emil’s profession.
By 1930, Christian was living with Emil’s family in a home Emil owned at 30 Richardson Street in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Around 1936, Emil and his family relocated to 8 Mount Vernon Street in Dorchester. Again, Christian lived with them, though he appears to have moved out by 1940. By 1942, Christian lived at 69 Saratoga Street in East Boston, while Emil and his family remained in Dorchester, residing at 832 Dorchester Avenue. Christian was employed by the Rubin, Burke Company of 216 Tremont Street, Boston. In 1943 he appeared in the Boston directory as a “finisher.”
On November 25, 1948, which was Thanksgiving day, Christian died suddenly of a heart attack in Boston. He was buried in the Birch Grove section of Mount Hope Cemetery, where he was laid to rest beside his mother.
Researched and written by Camille Arbogast.
Norway Baptisms, 1634-1927, database; FamilySearch.org
Family Tree; FamilySearch.org
Norges folketelling, 1900, Kristian Apnes in entry for Kristen Kristensen Apnes; FamilySearch.org
Petition, Naturalization Records. National Archives at Boston, Waltham, MA; Ancestry.org
United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration; Ancestry.com
Military, Compiled Service Records. World War I. Carded Records. Records of the Military Division of the Adjutant General’s Office, Massachusetts National Guard.
Lists of Outgoing & Incoming Passengers, 1917-1938. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985, Record Group 92. The National Archives at College Park, Maryland.
Field Francis L and Guy H. Richards. The Battery Book: A History of Battery A, 306th F.A. The De Vinne Press, 1921; Archive.org
“Brother of Mrs. Carl Olumstad Dies Suddenly,” The Herald (Crystal Lake, IL), 9 December 1948: 10; Newspapers.com
1920, 1930 US Federal Census; Ancestry.com
Selected Passports. National Archives, Washington, D.C.; Ancestry.com
United States, Selective Service System. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Records of the Selective Service System, Record Group Number 147. National Archives and Records Administration; Ancestry.com
Burial Card for Christian Apenes, Mt. Hope Cemetery, Boston, MA. Sextant Office, 355 Walk Hill Street, Boston, MA. Contributed by EstaAWeaver, 15 January 2020; FamilySearch.org