Welcome to the web archive of the SA Historical & Philatelic Association.
We hope you will enjoy reading the articles and information on Salvation Army history and
heritage that will be published here over the coming months.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Arthur Gullidge and the Band of the 2/22 Battalion

Arthur Gullidge was born on 9th April 1909 in Broken  Hill, New South Wales.  He had his first work published at the age of 17 and went on to win several national and international prizes for band composition. He was Deputy Bandmaster of Melbourne City Temple Corps and later, Bandmaster of Collingwood Corps. Amongst his most well known compositions are ‘Jubilate’ and ‘Emblem of the Army’.
Arthur Gullidge
In 1939 Arthur, after struggling with his Christian ethics, enlisted in the Australian Infantry Force. Other Salvationists joined with him and together, they made up the 25 strong band of the 2/22 Battalion. Their role was music making and first aid/stretcher bearers. They were a popular band, especially as Arthur had the knack of turning popular music into band marches.

In 1941 the Band went with the rest of the Battalion to the remote Pacific outpost of Rabaul. Hoowever, after Pearl Harbour, the island could not resist the Japanese and those who survived (including most of the Band) were put on the prisoner of war ship, the Montevideo Maru.  On 1st July this Japanese auxiliary ship was torpedoed and sunk by the submarine USS Sturgeon, bringing about the greatest loss of life in a single instance in Australia’s wartime history. All 1,053 allied prisoners and the majority of crew perished

The Quotations of William Booth

Amongst the many sayings of William Booth, here are a few favourites for members to ponder over:

“The most serious lack in the religious training of children – and that which is the cause of frequent failure – is the reliance on teaching only. Multitudes of children are instructed in religious notions and their memories crammed with the facts… whilst their hearts are left unchanged, uncultivated, and uninspired by the Holy Spirit.”

"Nothing demoralizes Salvation Soldiers more than inactivity. Idleness is stark ruin, and the devil's own opportunity..."
General William Booth
 "We believe in salvation HERE and NOW; we believe in feeling, knowing, and partaking here on earth of the leaves of the tree of life, which are for the healing of the nations... WE WANT IT NOW! Drinking of the river of the water of life which flows from the throne of God, and being healed, and changed, and blessed, and filled with the glory of God, and the peace and purity and power of salvation. WE WANT IT NOW!

"Can we go too fast, my comrades, in SAVING SOULS? I will not attempt to answer that question. No soldier in The Salvation Army would put it. It is an insult to the Bible - to the teachers of Christianity."

"Let us remember Him who died for us continually. Let us remember His love every hour of our lives, and continually feed on Him - not on Sundays only, and then forget him all the week, but let us in faith eat his flesh and drink his blood continually... all to the Glory of God." - 1883

"Beliefs, opinions and feelings will not produce a character strong enough to stand the strain and to be successful in the regeneration of the world; supernatural men and women are wanted for such work."

"If you want a solid, sensible, holy, devoted partner, then the possession and manifestation of the qualities you seek in another will be most likely to secure the gratification of your desire. The Bible speaks of 'the beauty of holiness'; and there is nothing so attractive to a good Salvationist as the truthfulness, meekness, kindness, and devotion which that term describes. Exhibit them."

A Famous Birmingham Salvationist by Fred Crowhurst

James Lansdowne Norton, founder of Norton Manufacturing Company, was born in Birmingham in 1869 at the height of Queen Victoria’s reign.  As a boy he became interested in all things mechanical and built a working scale model steam engine that was the wonder of the neighbourhood.

He produced his first motorcycle, the Energette in 1902 and took part in various competitive events to prove its worth. All the early machines had very primitive braking systems, but in any case they were of little use.  The roads to quote one observer were “smeared with a terrible green paste of pulverised horse dung, rainwater and the assorted filth of an imperfectly scavenged city.” No wonder the locals called it “the ‘oss road.” (oss meaning horse!)  Despite suffering a recurring heart problem, which prematurely aged him, he competed in 3 TT races in the Isle of Man.  At the 1911 TT race, one commentator noted- “Norton is a tough old sport and has the old age pension!”  He was actually 43.  His white beard combined with his fatherly nature earned him the title ‘Pa’ Norton.

James Lansdowne Norton
 He was a soldier at Sparkbrook Corps where he was the corps treasurer and highly respected for his deep Christian faith.  Some of the other men of the corps worked at his premises in Floodgate Street. Mention should be made of the first TT race which was run over 16 miles of various road surfaces.  Each rider had to do ten laps with a ten minute rest after the first five. Norton’s rider was Rem Fowler He had to stop on a dozen occasions to make roadside adjustments or change the spark plugs.  At one stage he had to ride through a wall of flame caused by competitors’ fallen machinery. To add to the enjoyment there was no suspension. In 1908 James Norton’s personal motor cycling experience combined with his integrity and engineering skills enabled him to produce a much more reliable and solid machine known as “The Big Four’ capable of a speed of 60 mph. Its ‘de luxe’ features were retained throughout the 46 years of production when it achieved much greater speeds.

‘Pa’ Norton was promoted to Glory in April 1925 at the age of 56. All the DHQ staff at the time were present at his funeral.  He left a wife and five children.  As a mark of respect in which he was held ‘The Motor Cycle’ magazine promoted a shilling subscription fund which raised £1203.00 for a memorial scholarship in motor cycle engineering at Birmingham University.

Salvation Army Medals

There is an increasing interest in medals awarded by the Salvation Army and a new one came to light recently. Dr Glenn Horridge, widely regarded as the expert on this topic, was asked to comment on the authenticity of what had been described as a Salvation Army medal. Sceptical at first, Glenn was able to advise the international medal house selling the item that indeed, it was a rare Salvation Army medal.

Research shows that the Life Savings Guides and Scouts had a bravery award in the second and third decade of the twentieth century.  There were three levels of this award: a silver medal and certificate, bronze medal and certificate, and a certificate. Lindsay Cox, Australia Southern Territory’s archivist tell us that he has two of the certificates and one silver and one bronze medal in their Collection. Some Year Books carry short sections on who was awarded each medal and by analysing these, it appears that no more than 30 of each medal were awarded and this makes it a rare item. SAHPA would like to hear if anyone has an example of the medal or certificate.
Another rare medal for sale was General Carpenter’s 50 years of service medal. General Carpenter was the first Australian Salvationists to be elected General. The award is especially rare as it was only awarded between 1931 and the early 1950s. Australia Southern Territory purchased it on ebay for around $1,300 Australian dollars.

Also seen recently was Mrs General Carpenter’s Twenty-Five year Long Service Medal along with her three ‘mother’s stars’.

SAHPA is often asked to advise on prices and with the Long-Service Awards, it does depend on rank and whether any form of service record can be found. Some dealers ask ‘silly money’ as in the recent case of an Adjutant’s medal, purchased on eBay by a dealer for a little over £70 mark, and now on sale for £230! Do feel free to ask for value first, before buying or bidding.

Blaydon Corps

Blaydon opened on 19th May 1878 as a Christian Mission Station, only a few months before William Booth renamed the Christian Mission as the Salvation Army.  Thus it was one of the earliest Corps of the Salvation Army with the number 43. T. Borrill with fellow Christian Missioners from Felling and Shields led the initial meetings, saving some of Blaydon’s worst characters. The town was regarded as being very poor with “many out of work and others working half-time”. Six months later T. Borrill was sent to Bedlington and a “Hallelujah Lass” named Sarah Broadbent took command. Converts continued to be made.

Blaydon Corps Hall
 In November 1879 Emmanuel Rolfe was sent to open the work in Winlaton. He was met at Blaydon Railway Station by the Blaydon officer and a Salvation Army soldier. Together they trudged up the hill in the snow to have a quick cup of tea before marching out with another comrade to commence an open-air in the freezing cold. Almost immediately Captain Rolfe took command of both Blaydon and Winlaton although in the rapidly growing Army where on average three new Corps per week were being established, Blaydon enjoyed being known as one of the earliest.

However, some Corps did close in the early 1880s and Blaydon appears to have been one of them. In 1893 though, Blaydon reopened although now as Corps 1435. It was soon making an impression on the Army world. In the “Provincial Race” of War Cry selling in the United Kingdom, it was the top Corps in May 1893 (having reopened three months earlier under Captain Blake and Lieutenant Carter). The following month Major Hodder, the officer commanding the Newcastle Division, visited Blaydon and the Wesleyan Chapel was virtually filled for a “glorious meeting”. (One noteworthy point is that William Booth’s name was still on the local Wesleyan preachers plan). 

In July 1893 War Cry sales were still high and a large number of recruits were sworn in during one week’s campaign. The campaign ended with three days of Salvation activities including a Saturday tea for over 200 and a march headed by Newcastle V band.  The Sunday morning meeting commenced with an open-air and knee-drill on Summerhouse Hill with over seventy people. More open-airs and testimonies from recruits were followed by afternoon and evening meetings at the Mechanics Institute.  In conclusion on Monday afternoon there was a Holiness meeting and in the evening, with Hexham band on the march and in the Chapel, forty soldiers were sworn in. The income was £14. “After expenses are paid, the balance will go towards furnishing the officers’ quarters. God Bless the Blaydon Bricks”.

The interior of the hall
 In February 1894, at the first Corps anniversary, Blaydon C.O.s (Captain Marshall and Lieutenant Digance) celebrated with the help of Bentinck (Newcastle V) Band. References were made to the commissioning of a drum-and-fife Band at Blaydon. Three years later a local man, Henry Rawson, left Blaydon for the Training Garrison and went on to serve the Army well in a variety of appointment. By November 1905, Blaydon had well in excess of 130 soldiers, 28 recruits and a Band of twenty-five, frequently seen resplendent in their ‘lion-tamers’ tunics. Even the three Junior bandsmen wore such tunics specially made for them. In July 1906 General Booth himself visited to give a Monday address at the Co-operative Hall. 800 people heard the General give a stirring address on the need for, and success of, the Salvation Army.

Blaydon Salvation Army Corps continued it service until September 2012 when despite the best efforts of the few remaining soldiers, the Corps was closed. Winlaton had closed some years earlier. Blaydon Corps has been run for well over twenty years by Envoy June Tones.

The Blaydon Corps building today was originally built in 1850 as Winlaton Primitive Methodist Chapel. It was built on the ash-pits of the blacksmith shops and furnaces which, along with houses and cottages, were packed into the area. The Chapel was extended in 1895 and known as Winlaton Front Street Primitive Methodist Chapel (later Chapel was exchanged for Church).

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Salvation Army’s Travel and Migration Service

As early as 1882, The Salvation Army was involved in finding women emigrants for Australia. In 1891, passages for 95 emigrants were arranged, with employment also having been organised in advance for many of them. In 1894, the Army set up an Emigration Board, presided over by the General's son, Bramwell Booth.

Links with the Darkest England Scheme.

William Booth had a vision of rehabilitating what he termed the 'submerged tenth' of the population, outlined in his book 'In Darkest England and the Way Out'. Booth adopted the explorer Henry Stanley's analogy of Darkest Africa in European and American imaginations which he used as a parable to describe his perception of, and prescription for, the miseries which permeated the 'jungles of Darkest England'. That the Army's entire social scheme emanated from 'In Darkest England' is untrue; much of its social work began well before the book was published. Booth felt that a more comprehensive scheme was needed to rescue people in 'darkest England'.

The City Colony:  William Booth wanted to establish, in city centre slums which he called the “Ocean of Misery”, a number of institutions: his “Harbours of Refuge for all those who have been shipwrecked in life”. Booth’s Army would take the destitute, feed and clothe them and provide temporary employment. They would then start on a programme of “regeneration of moral and religious persuasion”. Some would find permanent employment or return to their families from this first stage, but those remaining would graduate on to the second colony.

The Farm Colony: Stage two of the colony process. Hadleigh Land and Farm Colony in Essex equipped the ‘colonists’ with the necessary skills of agricultural employment in England. However, for those who wanted to travel further afield and take the emigration route to the British colonies, they were also taught further skills including, farm management, horticulture and cooking. It was an estate of vast proportions. With an initial 800 acres in 1891, it eventually grew to 3,200 acres, plus a further 200 acres of waste land, incorporating three farms and the ruins of Hadleigh Castle. By the end of 1891, cow-houses, sheepfolds, piggeries and stables were under construction, together with a dairy, a mill, and factories for farm produce, offices and stores. There were five dormitories to house the colonists with a dining room for 300, kitchen, pantries, wash-house and laundry – a far cry from the impoverished conditions that so many had been used to.

When the training was finished, the boys and men were free to choose whether they returned to their selected trade within Britain, if they were able, or take the assisted route out to one of the colonies. The numbers on each voyage to the colonies varied from a single berth to an entire chartered ship.

The Overseas Colony: Booth envisaged that the Army would “continue the process of regeneration, and pour them forth on to the virgin soils that await their coming in other lands, keeping hold of them free men and women; and so laying the foundations, perchance, of another Empire to swell to vast proportions in later times”. It was this element of the vision that, to some extent, collapsed. Regardless of this many thousands did emigrate.

From 1901, small batches of men from the Hadleigh Farm Colony had, after training, been despatched to Canada. The founder was firmly of the opinion that if a trained man (in agriculture or trades) was sent to the colonies, his presence would not only benefit the man concerned, but also the farm or institution taking him on. He had three principles to address:

1] The preparation of the colony for the people 
2] Preparation of the people for the colony
3] The transportation of the people to the colony.

The Salvation Army planned colonies in South Africa, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Australia and Canada. Tracts of land were identified for the settlements, and staff were made ready, but not employed, to receive the colonists. However this was where they met insurmountable difficulties, largely associated with money. The scheme relied on charitable donations from the British public, which were few and far between. In addition there were political problems with the Australian and South African governments’ displeasure with large numbers of colonists being “offloaded” into their economy.

Migration Department.

In 1903 the Migration Department was inaugurated (became Reliance World Travel Ltd, 1981; closed 31st. May 2001). A much larger programme of emigration was initiated, with almost 200 embarking in a single week in April 1904. An Emigration Advice Bureau was then set up, its rapid growth soon resulting in its moving into its own building at 27 Queen Victoria Street. In April 1905 three hundred migrants left for Canada. Will Crooks, then M.P. for Woolwich, addressed the emigrants: "You must all be grateful for the way in which plans have been carried out for you to leave the old world, which perhaps has been none too kind to you, and for sending you to the new world. Commissioner Lamb has taken considerable trouble to make every arrangement for your comfort."

Also in 1905, the Army chartered its own ship, the S.S. Vancouver, which sailed on 26th April to Canada with a 1,000 emigrants aboard. Many more such sailings followed on vessels that include S.S. Kensington, S.S. Southwark, and S.S. Ionian. The Bureau's continuing growth led, in 1907, to its move to even larger premises at 122 Queen Victoria Street where it was renamed the Emigration Department. In one year alone, 1908, 25,000 migrants left the UK to start a new life in Canada. It is estimated that between 1900 & 1914 200,000 were helped to start a new life in the new world (Coutts, F: (1974:114) 'No Discharge in this War', London, Hodder & Stoughton).

The Army addressed the issue of how much money was needed by migrants to allow them to live in reasonable comfort during their journey. Those who were assisted by the Army under the ‘Empire Settlement Act’ were often issued with a free railway ticket to the port of departure, and if they desired, would have been guaranteed work in the country they were emigrating to. In the main this would have been domestic work for the women and girls, and farm or industrial work for the men and boys.

Those who did go abroad spoke highly of the Army and the scheme. Letters often found their way back to The Salvation Army too. One young lad of 16 wrote:

“I’ve got a porthole, so I’m in luck, we’ve been out five days now and there’s a bit of a role on, several of our chaps are sick, but yours truly is A1, though not so daring at meal times. We saw an iceberg. We shall see land tomorrow. There are about 150 in our party and this afternoon our Conductor gave us all a new Bible each. An Army present from the General (God bless him). The other passengers looked on while we got them”.

The onward travel arrangements were always made while the colonists were sailing to their destination, so on arrival, at the respective ports, their new employers, invariably members of The Salvation Army, would be waiting. Letters published by the Salvation Army were naturally complimentary, but they revealed some realities of some of the conditions. A letter sent home to a Father read:

”It’s rough and hard, and, occasionally, a bit dangerous, but it offers a chance to a man to get his foot on a bit of land of his own, to own his house, and be his own master. A man who owns a farm is his own master in every way, and his comfort and happiness depend to a great extent on himself”.

After WW1.

At the end of the First World War, to help the plight of widows and their children, the Army arranged for a total of 1,769 women and 1,019 children to emigrate to new lives in Canada, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. In the late 1920s, the Army arranged the passage of several consignments of emigrants to Australia on the Vedic. By 1938, the overall total of men, women and children settled overseas by the Emigration Department was almost 250,000.

Whatever happened to "The Angel of Broadway"? by Carol M. Hultin

Rheba Crawford's 1st cousin, twice removed.

Rhebe Crawford was born Irene Rebecca Crawford on February 14th, 1898 in Milwaukee,WI. She was the daughter of Salvation Army Officers and as such, it was not surprising that she dedicated her life to God at an early age. Rhebe went to primary school in Sacramento, CA. and graduated from the North Ave. Presbytarian School in Atlanta, GA.  She attended Columbia University and also studied post graduate work under Prof. Wolff, a graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford, England.

During WWI Rhebe became a cub reporter in Atlanta, GA.  However, she felt God’s call and entered The Salvation Army Training College in New York City, NY. Her first appointment was to St. Petersburg, FL. Rhebe’s next appointment was to National Headquarters in New York City, as a writer and the Editor of "The Young Soldier", a children’s publication of The Salvation Army.

Rhebe was then sent in charge of The Salvation Army work in the Theatrical District in New York City. It was said "Producer George M. Cohan, who had heard her preach, asked The Salvation Army to station her nightly at 46th and Broadway".  Though still in her early 20's she became known as the young Salvation Army Captain whose street corner sermons had taken the Broadway cynics by storm.

Whether it was her winsome appearance or the message she spoke, Rheba soon began to attract large crowds and the news reporters dubbed her "The Angel of Broadway". Because of her beauty she received many movie and stage offers which she turned down for preaching. Zigfield was quoted as saying "I haven’t seen a better looker in any chorus this season". The famous news reporter Walter Winchell once said "she was an inspiring speaker and had the best looking legs this side of the Mississippi". Winchell's good friend, reporter and writer, Damon Rungon wrote a story about her, leading to the creation of one of Broadway’s most successful productions "Guy's and Doll's".

It was said "she was an actress in her own right, charismatic, memorizer of oratory with a flair for the dramatic". Nearly every restaurant in the area displayed her photo on the wall along with many famous actors. She became very good friends with the Barriymors, the Shuberts and George M. Cohan. Her Sunday evening Open-Airs held on the steps of The Gaiety Theatre, were said to attract over 1,000 listeners every week.

On October 28th 1922 she was arrested for "obstructing traffic", which inspired a riot when the police took her into custody. Rhebe was told she must discontinue her meeting. She replied "I have been holding meetings on this spot for the last two years and I refuse to stop". The officer who took her into custody was followed all the way to the station by a belligerent crowd.  The charges against Captain Crawford were afterward changed to "disorderly conduct". Bystanders admitted they could see no reasonable grounds for the charges. The charges were dropped and she was released. She won a decisive moral if not legal victory.

Rheba suffered a nervous breakdown afterward and went on furlough. She went to stay with her father, Colonel Andrew Crawford, who was the Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army in San Francisco, CA.  In January of 1923, she tendered her resignation from The Salvation Army. It was rumoured that Evangeline Booth was irritated by Rheba's popularity and that she was effectively forced to resign.  Rheba said "she did not blame The Army.  It is The Salvation Army standing policy to avoid dispute and to frown on personal publicity".

Rheba then decided to become an Evangelist and started conducting a series of evangelistic meetings at The First Congregational Church of San Francisco.  It was said she was becoming "a feminine Billy Sunday". She then went back to Jacksonville, FL.

By the spring of 1924 she was one of the most famous women in America.  Her only peer on "The Glory Road" was Aimee Semple McPherson of The Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, CA.
Rheba launched a 10 day crusade at Confederate Park Tabernacle which had been built for Billy Sunday.  It was said by many different reporters:  "She is young, full of life, vigorous in body, mind and heart".  She has a striking personality and a brilliant mind. She is a wonderful orator with fire and conviction".  "She is a human dynamo of Christian observance".  "She is just a person with a wonderful personality and is giving to the world that personality in a wonderful way".
Rheba Crawford, the Angel of Broadway

In Jacksonville it was said: "Rheba Crawford was here, there and everywhere".  She was at the Kiwanis Club with Lt. Commander Ellis Zacharias, the Navy Intelligence Officer who would go on to become the man to induce the Japanese surrender in WWII.  She headlined the April Follies midnight show at The Palace Theatre with Mayor John T. Alsop.

It was in Jacksonville, April 1924 she met and married J. Harold Sommers.  Her husband was a veteran, crippled in The First World War. He had however gone on to become a very prosperous businessman in St Petersburg, FL. In September of 1928 she separated from her husband, who then sued for divorce on the grounds of desertion. She said "she found she was unsuited to home existence and wanted to resume preaching". During the separation she went back to San Francisco to preach.

In Feb. of 1930 she surprised everyone with the announcement she was going to wed Raymond Splivalo, a wealthy San Francisco Broker, Clubman and Polo Player. His grandfather had established one of the earliest shipping lines from San Francisco to the Orient.

She had been divorced by her first husband on the grounds she paid more attention to her religious work than to her home. Splivalo had just been divorced by his first wife on the grounds he was too absorbed in Polo and other sports. Her father, Colonel Andrew Crawford, did not attend the marriage ceremony because he was in the hospital.  He was one of the 130 people poisoned by "bad chicken" while attending a banquet at The Young Peoples’ Conference of The Golden Gate Division of The Salvation Army. Rheba said of Ray, "He was one of the most gracious, charming men I have ever known and his love was one of the real, great gifts God has given me".

As Mrs. Splivalo she was actively engaged in welfare work.  It was said "She was tremendously well fitted for welfare work. She has kindness and understanding".  She once said "I always want to fight for the people who can't fight for themselves and speak for those who are inarticulate".

In January of 1931 Rheba Splivalo was appointed by Gov. Jones Rolph Jr. as Director of the California State Dept. of Welfare. Impatient with red tape and bureaucratic delays, Rheba harried The Legislature making friends and enemies. Rheba jumpstarted California's Relief Program and her accomplishments caught Sister Aimee Semple McPhearson's attention.

Rheba Crawford had followed Sister Aimee's career with admiration verging on wonder since 1917. During that year the young Salvation Army worker was driving through Florida when she saw Aimee driving stakes for her revival tent. Rheba was impressed with Amiee's determination so she stopped and emptied the money from her purse into Aimee's hands, said “God Bless You” and drove away.

Welfare work in Los Angeles and Sister Aimee's similar Salvation Army backgrounds brought the two women together.  Aimee needed help with her preaching schedule and the two women formed a working relationship. However, it was said the two Evangelists did not get along.
In 1933 Rheba was forced to resign her State Director post because the newspapers reported that a contract existed between her and Sister Aimee, saying Rhebe would receive $600 a month as Associate Preacher at Angelus Temple.  While Amiee was on the road in the States, Rheba would occupy the pulpit and manage the radio station.  When Aimee came home Rheba would disengage herself from Temple affairs.  While Aimee was abroad her daughter Roberta would manage the affairs of the Temple.

Roberta Semple and her grandmother Mimmie Kennedy watched Rheba with growing concern.  Rheba did a good job filling the Temple and getting money, but she gave fiery sermons from the Temple platform, including making attacks on the government for condoning gambling, prostitution and drug trafficking.  After numerous flare ups with Rheba, Aimee asked the board to fire Rheba. Aimee was reported to have said "Evangline Booth had dismissed Rheba from her Salvation Army position because she would not tolerate grandstanding from her subordinates and I am beginning to feel the same way".

Rheba was ousted from The Angelus Temple.  Aimee's daughter Roberta was also having trouble with her mother and decided to sue her. Rheba also launched a $1,000,000 slander suit, charging that Aimee had called her among other things a "Jezebel".

Rheba's marriage to Splivalo ended in 1937 with his death following a trip to Honolulu.  The trial for slander was one of the most famous trials in Los Angeles and lasted for several years. Finally the lawyers and the Judge reached an agreement, that because of the fame of the two Evangelist and the nature if their work, both parties would be better off to agree to dismiss. Rheba gave up the pulpit at the Angelus Temple and went on a speaking tour.

Ill fortune then began to pursue Rheba and on July 30, 1941 she appeared at the Los Angeles County Bureau of Assistance and declared herself a pauper.  The bureau agreed to grant her $19 a month. If this was unsatisfactory she could enter Rancho Los Amigos the county poor farm. Rheba accepted neither alternatives later explaining that she found "unexpected means of support". For the next few years she spent most of her time in various hospitals undergoing a series of operations.

Then in 1944 she said "I got back on my feet again, a  little like my former self before those terrible years of tragedy and illness".  She did war work and preached in San Diego for a time. Then returning to Los Angeles she was made Coordinator for the Los Angeles County Dept. of Senior Citizen Affairs.

 In 1944, she was summoned by her attorney to his Los Angeles office. He was stumped, a client of his was being held in an El Centro, CA. jail on a false accusation and no one seemed willing to help the unfortunate man.  Could she help the accused man the lawyer inquired?  The twice married Evangelist, social worker and one time "Angel of Broadway" said she would try. She then went to El Centro and their encountered Arthur Lawrence Lambertz, wealthy Imperial Valley Rancher and Agricultural Contractor.  He came to her aide.  Together they got the accused man out of jail.

Although it could hardly be called glamorous, that first meeting between them led to a romance, then to their marriage in Santa Barbara, CA.  It was Rheba's 3rd marriage. Rheba recalled at the time of their first meeting "He was hot, tired, dusty and mad.  He was changing a tire in the sweltering heat and flatly told her he had no use for reformers.  He said they were terrible people, but she changed his mind". Following her marriage to Lambertz she said "she just wanted to be his wife".

At the age of 69, on January 8th, 1966 she died in Los Angeles, CA. of complications following a meningitis attack.  Her husband Arthur Lawrence Lambertz died 2 months after Rheba's death, in his sleep.  He had suffered from heart problems.  The announcement of the death of the "Angel of Broadway" appeared in almost every newspaper in the United States and abroad.


Crawford Family History
San Francisco County Biographies
The New York Times 1922
Oakland Tribune 1923-1927
The Sheboygan Press 1930
The San Mateo Times and Daily News 1931-1966
"Human dynamo" lifted evangelism to new heights. The Florida Times-Union April 12, 2000. Author: Bill Foley
Red Hot & Righteous - Diane H. Winston
Aimee Semple McPhearson - Matthew Avery Sutton
San Antonio Light April 18, 1948
Star News Pasadena, CA.  1966
The reading of many articles from newspapers all across the United States.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

The Ballington Booth Episode, The New York Times Report


Commander Ballington Booth Will Take No Orders from England

Statement cheered to the echo. Report that Commander and Mrs. Booth-Tucker Had Been Appointed for America Not Believed.

Commander Ballington Booth of the Salvation Army last night announced to the members of his staff that he had decided not to relinquish command of the army in the United States, and that under no circumstances would he take orders from England.

This was taken to mean that he will reorganize the army in this country on an independent basis, and it was received with cheers and other demonstrations of approval.

The Commander emerged from his retirement last evening and appeared at the Army Headquarters in West Fourteenth Street, where he held a council of war with his staff supporters. Col. Alexander M. Nicol, the personal representative of Gen. Booth in the present difficulty, and Col. Eadie, who has assumed to exercise the authority of Acting Commander, were called to the council room and given to understand the Commander's position. They went into his presence pale and trembling, and they emerged from the room looking very much troubled.

During the session a message was received purporting to come from London to the effect that Commander and Mrs. F. De La Tour Booth-Tucker had been appointed to succeed Mr. and Mrs. Ballington Booth in the United States. This was promptly bulletined by Col. Nicol, but its truth was denied by Commander Booth and his friends, who declared that the dispatch was bogus and was issued by Eva Booth, who is in this city, to create a false impression. Commander Booth's statement that he would not recognize the message as official was received with applause. It was argued that the message could not be authentic, because Gen. Booth is not in London, and would not make an appointment of such importance except in the regular way, from the London headquarters.

Commander Booth's arrival at headquarters was entirely unexpected, and took the opposition by surprise. The regular Sunday evening gospel service was in progress, and the large hall was well crowded. Early in the evening a spirit of insubordination was manifested by several members of the corps, who refused to don their uniforms and join the corps inside. They retained their citizen's dress, and stood on the sidewalk in front of the building. One of these was Major Glenn, who is Commander Booth's most intimate lieutenant.

Major Glenn stood near the curb, watching the horse cars. A few moments past 9 o'clock a tall, slender man, with a prominent nose and long hair, and enveloped in a long army overcoat, sprang from a blue-line car going westward. He was instantly recognized as Commander Booth, and in a moment a cheering crowd surrounded him. With him was his lawyer, Mr. Alexander. Followed by Major Glenn, they hurried into the building and rushed into the elevator, which carried them up to the fourth floor, where the Commander's private office is situated. As quickly as possible they entered the office, and the door was locked and barred against intruders.

Commander Booth looked excited as he hurried inside. He held an open manuscript which he seemed anxious to read to his friends. Messengers were dispatched to various officers scattered through the building, and in a short time about thirty were closeted with the Commander. Among them were Brigadiers Evans and Fielding of Chicago, Major Stillwell of Michigan, Major Glenn, Staff Captain Crafts, Major Marshall, and Ensign Taylor. When all were seated, Commander Booth rose and addressed them.

He had spoken but a moment when he was interrupted with a burst of applause, and sittillar demonstrations were repeated during his speech. Members of the staff then expressed their views, and messengers were sent for Cols. Nicol and Eadie. They responded, but did not seem to relish the idea of meeting Commander Booth just then, and they did not remain in the room long. It was shortly after they retired from the Commander's presence that the message announcing the appointment of Ballington Booth's successor was received. It was handed to Col. Eadie, who immediately regained his spirits, rushed to the council chamber, and delivered it. It was received in silence, and he left the room smiling. Then Commander Booth told his hearers that he did not believe the message was authentic, and he would not consider it of any account until it was verified.

This aroused enthusiasm, and he was cheered again and again.

But Col. Nicol was not going to lose any time in acquainting the army with the. news, and he posted this notice on the bulletin board near the main entrance:

"Commander and Mrs. Booth-Tucker have been appointed successors to Commander and Mrs. Ballington Booth, and may be expected to arrive in this country with all dispatch. A. M. NICOL."

Commander Booth remained with his officers until 11 o'clock. The elevator was ordered to the floor, and when it was in readiness the room door was opened and Commander Booth and his friends made a rush for it. They were hurried to the ground floor, where another rush was made for the street. A carriage was waiting for the Commander and he sprang into it. A great crowd had gathered to see him leave the building, and it followed him, shouting and cheering, as he was driven away. At Sixth Avenue the carriage was driven to the sidewalk. Commander Booth leaped from it and ran up the steps to the elevated railroad station. A policeman, seeing the crowd pursuing him and shouting, thought he was someone trying to escape capture, and followed him up the steps. Commander Booth jumped on a train that was pulling out just as the policeman got to the ticket box, and so failed to catch the Commander
The Gospel meeting was cut short because of the arrival of Commander Booth at headquarters and the fear that if the audience learned that he was in the building a demonstration would be made. Col. Nicol was to have led the exercises, but while passing through the corridors he was hissed by a number of outsiders, and he had reason to believe that he would be received on the platform with manifestations of hostility. So his chair on the platform remained vacant.

Several messages were sent to officers of the army on the platform during the meeting, and the audience could see that something unusual was going on, but it was not told that Commander Booth was in the headquarters. Shortly after his arrival the meeting was brought to a close and the lights were turned out.

The staff officers of the army will hold a meeting this morning. Important developments are expected to-day.

Two more proclamations were issued yesterday from Salvation Army Headquarters by Col. Alexander M. Nicol regarding the present troubles in the army's management, and both, by reason of that which they left unsaid, served to intensify the excitement among the officers and soldiers. No word had been received from Commander Ballington Booth or Mrs. Booth, and everybody who was expected to know of their intentions professed complete ignorance on that point. Religious services were held during the day in the lower hall in headquarters, and the subject most generally discussed by the crowds of soldiers and others was the crisis in the affairs of the army. The action that has led to the present unfortunate situation was spoken of in undertones, for instructions have been issued to prevent mention of the trouble in the hearing of strangers.

The first proclamation was typewritten on official headquarters notepaper, and was as follows:

Col. Nicol, the General's representative, desires to make the following appeal to all soldiers and friends of the army in America:

The army's principles are once more being put to a severe test. It is our duty to stand by them, for they have been demonstrated in all lands, as well as in the history of American struggles and triumphs, and have been inspired by the Holy Ghost.

Do not be in a hurry to condemn any one. Hasty judgments in these matters often cause lasting sorrows.

Our business is to save souls. Stick to this. The army must never, at any price, falter in its forward march to rescue the world from an eternal hell.

Pray for the officers, soldiers, friends, and enemies of the flag. Pray for the future of America. Pray for our beloved General in- this terrible and overwhelming sorrow, But, above all, pray that you may have more of the spirit of Jesus Christ, the world's greatest sufferer, and don't lead, a selfish life.

The second document, which follows, was of the nature of a general denial of statements made by friends of the Booths concerning the causes and alleged dismissal of the Booths:

It is untrue, as reported in the press, that Commandant Herbert Booth peremptorily demanded his brother to hand over the keys and property of the army.

It is equally untrue that he ever dismissed Commander Ballington Booth. Neither Commandant Herbert Booth nor any other officer possesses such power. That power is only vested in the General.

There is no foundation in the report that Commandant Herbert Booth, Commissioner Eva Booth, and Col. Nicol were deputed by the International Headquarters in London to court- martial the American leaders. Such was in no way the nature of their visits, and, indeed. such a proceeding would be contrary to the army's methods of discipline and government. It is absolutely false that Commandant Herbert Booth has assumed the command of the forces in the United States. At no time has there ever existed a shadow of foundation for this statement.

It is an unwarranted aspersion, both on the character and commission of Commandant Herbert Booth, to say that he has been actuated by jealousy toward his brother, or that he has ever sought, or seeks now, the American command.

His visits to New-York were of a pacific character—those of a mediator—and in accordance with instructions from the International Headquarters.

It is not true that Commandant Herbert Booth is in New York. Having fulfilled his commission he returned to Toronto, and is at present conducting his farewell.

It is absolutely untrue that any officer on the National Headquarters' Staff has ever tried to oust Commander and Mrs. Ballington Booth from their positions. The statement is a pure fabrication. ALEXANDER M. NICOL, the General's Representative, and Colonel, Salvation Army.

Col. Nicol remained in seclusion all day, but Col. Eadie, who is the acting commander of the army, made a statement to a reporter for THE NEW YORK TIMES.

“The stories concerning my conduct in this country which were published this morning," said Col. Eadie, "are falsehoods instigated by the devil. One paper in particular printed an outrageous string of calumnies that would justify me in suing it for libel, but I have decided to leave the matter with God. He will demand an accounting from their author at the proper time. Meanwhile, I think the man's conscience will trouble him a little.

“It is not true," Col. Eadie explained, “that I am desirous of Anglicizing the Salvation Army. Such a statement is absurd. ‘It is one of the cardinal principles of the army that it should be adapted to the people among whom it works, In America I am an American. I have been here two years, and have taken out my first papers. If I stay here five years I shall become an American citizen. In Japan I conform to the customs of the Japanese; in Wales, to the Welsh; in France, to the French, and in Rome, to the Romans."

“Do you object to the ownership of property by soldiers of the army?"

“Yes. The principles of the army are opposed to any soldier in its ranks owning property. There are several reasons. One is that no one is sent to any place for a longer term than five years, and, if they buy houses, they find it inconvenient to move when ordered elsewhere. There is no objection to any soldier holding property he owned before he joined the army, but he should not purchase land after lie enters our ranks.

“Has objection been made to Commander Booth's owning his home in Montclair?”

“Commander Booth does not own that house. He bought it with Salvation Army funds and it belongs to the Salvation Army. He holds it as he holds all other Salvation Army property—as trustee. All Salvation Army Commanders, or Commissioners, hold the Army property in their respective territories in the same way."

“Has a demand been made upon Commander and Mrs. Booth to turn over the Salvation Army property to Herbert Booth or to you, or Col. Nicol? "

“You can't make such a demand upon persons whom you can't find. We don't know where they are."

“If they were to return to headquarters would they be regarded as still leaders of the army?”

“By their own acts they have removed themselves from the army. Their resignations, however, have not been acted upon. Gen. Booth is now on his way from Bombay to London, and when he arrives in England he will consider the matter. Commander Booth stands in a different relation to the General than other Commanders. He is General Booth's son, and in his letter of resignation he treats of family matters that make the situation extremely delicate. I think Gen. Booth will call a council of Commanders of equal rank with Ballington Booth, to whom he will submit the whole question of Ballington's refusal to obey orders, and his resignation, and they will recommend such a course as they may deem best for the discipline of the army. It will not be a court-martial, but a court of inquiry, and General Booth will be left free to adopt or reject the advice given him."

" Under Gen. Booth's original order, Commander Booth has until April 9th to serve here, has he not?" - yes."

"Yet he is regarded as being no longer connected with the army?”

“I can't say that."

" Suppose Commander and Mrs. Booth should return to-day to headquarters and assume full charge of the organization, pending action on their resignation, would you recognize their authority, or would you dispute it?"

“I’d rather not say," answered Col. Eadie. "I'm not clear on that point myself."

Col. Bache declared that he was not opposed to the use of bicycles by soldiers in the Salvation Army.

“Bicycles are used in England, and I have encouraged their use, especially in villages, in this country," he said. “I never have ordered any one to dispense with them."

Col. Eadie said he believed the rank and file of the army would be loyal to General Booth, irrespective of their attachment for Commander and Mrs. Ballington Booth.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Left Hand Thumb by Sven Wickberg

The secret life of General Erik Wickberg in World War 2 as told by his son, Sven Wickberg.

Among my father's papers I found one with the title "COMMISSION", signed 6th June 1944 by Commissioner Karl Larsson, Territorial Commander (TC) of Sweden. This was at a critical time in World War 2. The document is in Swedish. The English translation reads (first part only):

On the basis of letters and telegrams by which the General of The Salvation Army, Geo.L.Carpenter, has authorized me, Commissioner Karl Larsson, on his behalf to uphold communications with those Salvation Army leaders who, due to the conditions of war, are not able to maintain any communication with the General and The Salvation Army's International Headquarters, and at the same time as far as it is practically feasible, make those decisions, which under normal circumstances would be decided by himself.
I, in my turn, commission - in consequence of my approaching trip to the United States - Brigadier Erik Wickberg that he during my absence deal with all relevant matters.
Karl Larsson Commissioner
Commissioner Karl Larsson's signature witnessed by:  Ivar Sörman

When I saw this paper I realized that this probably is the only existing written evidence of my father's most secret mission during WW2. He was then a Salvation Army officer, stationed in Stockholm (Sweden). Officially he was private secretary to Commissioner Karl Larsson. In reality he was "secret agent" to General George Carpenter in London

In August 1939 the highest leaders of the Salvation Army (SA) gathered in London (UK) to elect a new general to replace the retiring General, Evangeline Booth. Karl Larsson -- who should have retired as early as in 1938 at the age of 70 -- had for some reason been granted "a year of grace" (my father's expression) and was present at the High Council that elected George Carpenter to be the fifth General of the SA.  We do not know why Karl Larsson had not retired after his "year of grace". Perhaps there was no suitable replacement at the time, or perhaps Evangeline Booth wanted her successor to decide on this. What we do know, however, is that during the time of the High Council Karl Larsson was asked to prepare to act as an intermediary if the SA in Germany (after an outbreak of war) should be cut off from direct contact with International Headquarters (IHQ) in London.

At this time the international storm clouds were gathering over Europe. The Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had produced one crisis after the other in recent years. Although all of them seemed to have been settled by diplomatic means, this time it didn't look like diplomacy would work. Hitler had broken the München agreement. After having annexed Böhmen and Mähren from Czechoslovakia he had declared that he had "no further territorial claims in Europe". But shortly afterwards he occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia. Now there was a threat of armed conflict over the so-called Polish Corridor. If war broke out not only Germany but all surrounding countries would be in the danger zone. The work of the SA would be made difficult. But there was hope that through mediation by neutral Sweden it would be possible to keep in touch.

Of course Karl Larsson declared his readiness to help. But he demanded the aid of someone who was well acquainted with the European field, who had good English and German to be able to do the correspondence and who also, hopefully, could pass as a Swede.

The choice of candidates to fit this description could easily be counted on the thumb of the left hand: there was only one, my father, Erik Wickberg.

Erik's readiness for this assignment had very old roots. Forty years earlier my grandmother, Betty Lundblad - then a 19 year old SA Cadet - accepted an order to go to Berlin. She had been taught German and French in school. In Germany the SA work had just begun and they urgently needed officers who knew the language.
This was in 1897. After five strenuous years she needed a rest and was called back to Sweden. In March 1903 she married my grandfather, David Wickberg, a SA officer she had met some years earlier. Their children Erik and Tott were born in 1904 and 1906.

In 1912 David Wickberg was ordered to take his family with him to Berlin to become Principal of the SA Training College. This order might seem peculiar since David did not know a word of German. Perhaps it was counted on that Betty would help him until he got going. And so she did.  This move was the reason why my father Erik as an eight year old attended school in Berlin and learnt to speak German like a "Berliner". This was to be very useful to him later.

At the outbreak of WW1 (1914) the German HQ was somewhat disorganized. The TC Commissioner MacAlonan and his Chief Secretary Colonel Haines were English and had to make a hasty departure from Germany when the war started. David Wickberg was ordered to accompany them to Sweden. In addition the German Training College had been dissolved because all Cadets had been mobilized and the building was requisitioned for military purposes. Betty was already in Sweden, with the children, at her mother's house in Leksand for summer vacation. David joined them.

Shortly after, David was appointed Educational Officer at the Training College in Stockholm. Later he had a long row of appointments at HQ in Stockholm. At this time it was unusual for SA officers to live at the same place for several years. This however did happen to the Wickberg family, and was why Erik could complete his junior high school education (Sw: "realskolexamen") and also graduate from a business school, where he learned shorthand and typewriting, before his father David's next appointment outside Stockholm.

In 1922 David was sent to Berne (Switzerland) as Principal of the Training College. The boys where only 18 and 16 and there was no choice other than to bring them along. The hard Bernese regulations for foreigners forced the SA in Bern to offer them some job at HQ. So Erik became secretary to the Field Secretary and learned a lot about SA administration before he himself entered the International Training College (ITC)  in London as a SA Cadet in the fall of 1924.  Already while he was in his training session, the Training College Principal in Berlin, Brigadier Max Gruner, applied to IHQ for help from an officer who knew German well, but also knew about the the training at ITC. The idea was to build up the Training College in Berlin with the London equivalent as a model.  There were not many candidates to fit that description. Actually they could be counted on the thumb of the left hand: Erik Wickberg. And thus, after a short term of field practice, Erik Wickberg to his amazement (at the age of 21) found himself as probationary Captain and Education Secretary at the Training College in Berlin (1925).

Ironically, this appointment meant that Erik was supposed to teach the Cadets parts of what he had just been taught in London, and to translate into German and correct the probationary officers' correspondence course that he himself was doing and sending back to London for marking.

Hardly had he accommodated himself to this situation when the next unexpected change occurred. In its wisdom the leadership at IHQ had appointed the Danish Colonel Julius Nielsen as new Chief Secretary (CS) in Berlin. The Colonel had served as Divisional Commander in Sweden and spoke a mixture of Swedish and Danish -- but he could not speak a word of German, and also his English was not very good. And this time there was no German speaking wife to help him out.

It was realized only shortly before the welcome meeting for Colonel Nielsen that an interpreter was badly needed, and quickly! Where to find someone to translate from Swedish-Danish into German? Well, the left thumb was there! Erik received the emergency order to attend the meeting and act as interpreter.

Although Danish and Swedish are very related languages, there are big differences, and it was no easy task for a young man with no former experience of this kind. But it seemed to work well enough, and immediately Erik was - despite furious protests from the Principal - taken from Training College and installed in the new CS's office as private secretary and interpretor. The poor Colonel couldn't even answer the telephone himself!

This appointment proved to be good training for young Erik. In a draft for his memoirs he has written about Julius Nielsen:

He showed an unlimited confidence in me and thereby laid an extremely good foundation for my future development. He was the only chief I can remember to go on his knees and pray with me before our cooperation started.

Erik was to stay on as private secretary for seven and a half years. Nielsen was succeeded in 1930 by Colonel Henry Bower and later Colonel Franz Stankuweit. Much travelling with these leaders gave him a very good knowledge of the territory. He was also in Berlin when Hitler came into power in January 1933 and witnessed for himself how the Germans, sometimes with brutal means, were forced to submit to the Nazi's new order for Germany.

In an unpublished manuscript ("Between the lines"), Dad relates the story of three leading officers at HQ who stepped into the office of the CS, Colonel Stankuweit, clothed in brown shirts and armlet, complete with the Nazi swastika.

With a 'Heil Hitler' (the greeting phrase ordered by the Nazis) they stepped into the CS's office and required that the SA should 'adjust' itself to the new regime. The English Commissioner Howard and the German CS Stankuweit met to take a stand... Stankuweit asked me (his secretary) what they ought to do. I did not hesitate: 'Dismiss these officers. If you do not, you will totally lose hold of the situation...'

They were dismissed, although one of them later apologized and was taken back.

It was with such experience and knowledge that Erik later (in 1934) was sent from Berlin to IHQ in London to be secretary to Commissioner Cunningham, who was the International Secretary for Europe. In autumn of the same year Evangeline Booth was elected to be the successor of General Higgins. She did not want four international secretaries, but was content with one: Commissioner Arthur Blowers. He had (according to Dad's manuscript) been many years in India, but he had no knowledge of Europe. Erik was appointed Assistant Under Secretary for Europe with the special task of travelling with Commissioner Blowers to the Continent, to keep him informed of "foreign letters" and if necessary to write letters in German or Swedish.

Dad writes:

"I travelled with Blowers to Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Denmark and Sweden. This was very useful to me."

Erik's ability with languages was also used by the Chief of the Staff Commissioner John McMillan from Canada. Erik was to accompany him and his wife to Berlin in 1937. [While in Berlin] I got a telegram from London that our youngest son Nils had been born.  Mrs MacMillan asked her husband if he had known that my wife was expecting the baby while we were away. Yes, he answered, but I needed this man. It is not always an advantage to be "the left thumb"!

Now we are back in 1939, when Karl Larsson asked for this help. On one of the last days of August Erik's chief, Commissioner Blowers, said to him: "Take your family to Stockholm for a fortnight and have an extra holiday while the storm blows over." This didn't sound so urgent, but Erik was less optimistic. He cleared his desk and ordered tickets. There was a long queue for the boat from London to Gothenborg in Sweden, but he managed to find accommodation with the Norwegian ship Vega that was leaving Newcastle in the North of England the next evening for Bergen in Norway. From there we went by train to Stockholm.

We had no telephone in those days, so Mother Margarete was taken completely unawares (and very shocked) when Dad came home late and told her we would be leaving in the morning. We were just to pack the most necessary items and leave -- husband, wife and three children ages 9, 6 and 2. And so we did. It turned out later that Vega was the last ship to leave England before the war. The German attack on Poland was announced on the radio the day after our arrival at Stockholm on September 1, 1939.

Thus it was that there was no "extra holiday". Dad reported to Karl Larsson, and soon it was not Berlin but London that turned out to be isolated. The victorious German armies quickly invaded and conquered Middle Europe, became allied with Italy and prepared for a strike on Russia. Only Sweden, Switzerland and Portugal were "outside" the conflict. But the mail to and from even these neutral countries was intercepted by the war-making parties and censored. The contacts with London had to go by telegram.

On April 9, 1940, we woke up to the news that the Germans had occupied Denmark and Norway. It became very clear that we had to take into account that even Sweden might be occupied. How would the occupying German armed forces react if they found an "English" Salvation Army, corresponding with the London Salvation Army and reporting on the situation in Europe?

After discussing this with his staff, Karl Larsson decided - on Erik Wickberg's recommendation - to tell General Carpenter that the war situation made it necessary for him to cease all communications with London. This was done and announced in Stridsropet (the SA weekly magazine in Sweden) on June 7, 1941. What was not announced was that Erik would not only continue to handle the correspondence with the affected parts of Europe but would also, on his own authority, take full responsibility to make those contacts with London that were deemed necessary. It was understood that he should not report on this. Karl Larsson should have the "deniability" of any collaboration with London and could use Erik as the scapegoat if the matter was found out.

General Carpenter never transferred Erik Wickberg to the Swedish territory. In theory he remained appointed to the IHQ in London, on special mission in Sweden. But he changed to Swedish SA uniform trimmings and was presented as "Secretary of Special Affairs" to Commissioner Karl Larsson.

In the Stridsropet (Swedish War Cry) of September 30, 1939, we were presented  like this:

Adjutant Erik Wickberg, stationed at International Headquarters in London, has on account of the disturbances of war arrived, together with his family, in Sweden which is the Adjutant's native country. He will take up a temporary assignment at Headquarters.

That would hardly scare the Nazis... But on June 22, 1940, Stridsropet announces (perhaps somewhat unwisely):

Adjutant Erik Wickberg from Overseas Dept. at IHQ, who at present is placed in Stockholm, has been promoted to the rank of Major.

Perhaps the Editor was warned not to do this again. At any rate, on February 6, 1943, Stridsropet only has the laconic comment:

Major Erik Wickberg has been promoted to the rank of Brigadier. We congratulate!

All these promotions came by telegram from IHQ directly to Erik. Many years later he told me that when  he showed this last one to Karl Larsson, the Commissioner  looked at it for a while and grunted: "Over there they must consider your work as very important!"

The Nazis never occupied Sweden before their fortunes of war turned. After their losses at El Alamein and Stalingrad it became more and more obvious that it was only a matter of time before the Nazis would be definitely defeated. But for a long time they would still be very powerful in Germany and the occupied territories.

The SA was treated in various ways in the different countries. In most places the work could be carried out, but at times there where prohibitions and hardships. It was difficult to get through with economic and practical assistance and to keep the pieces together while waiting for better times.

In another memorandum that I found in my father's files Karl Larsson states:

The sudden dissolution of The Salvation Army in Holland and the further steps in a similar direction, which we had cause to fear (in Elsass-Lothringen a similar prohibition had occurred)  called for swift action. Even though we have not been able to prove that our actions have saved the existence of our work in the different countries, it is nevertheless so that the work has been able to continue everywhere. In our archives we also have letters of gratitude, which the leaders in the different territories sent after the break with IHQ, and those leaders whom I personally have met, have all been in full agreement concerning the precautions which we have taken.

But in the beginning of 1944, General Carpenter found that the time had come for a change. Karl Larsson's "year of grace" had now gone on for six years and had to be terminated. He was now 76 years of age. The General reopened contacts with Sweden by requiring Karl Larsson to make an extensive tour of the Scandinavian Corps in the USA, which the General considered would be very helpful to them. This tour was later extended to South America.

The History of the Salvation Army, Volume Six, 1973, by General Frederick Coutts states: "The upshot was that in San Francisco on November 12th (1944) the Commissioner (Larsson) met Commissioner Charles Baugh, then the Chief of the Staff, and was able to give a faithful account of the faithful stewardship during those years when contact between International Headquarters and the continent of Europe had been broken.

Perhaps the General had intended to let Karl Larsson leave his commission at this point, but this did not suit the Swedish Commissioner who looked upon this journey as a temporary break.

So Karl Larsson prepared for his absence from the Swedish territory by issuing a number of memoranda and commissions to take care of the work during his absence. Among other things, he now had to put Erik's position into writing to make it possible for him to continue under a new leader.

But the circumstances were still very delicate and secrecy must be maintained. The Commission shown above was not typed out in the Commissioner's office but probably in our home on Erik's private typewriter. He had a second-hand Remington collapsable typewriter that he could bring with him on travels. I recognize the style. It had bigger type than usual ("Large Pica") and the left dot over the Swedish "ö" was missing. The Commission was signed by Karl Larsson and witnessed only by the Commissioner's "ordinary" private secretary, Ivar Sörman, who must have been informed of what was going on. As far as I understand, this was the only original and was to be kept by my father. No copies were allowed, and in case of emergency the document must be destroyed.

Dad once instructed me: "If something happens to me, take the contents of this box, shred them  into small pieces and flush them away in the toilet." I did not know nor did I ask (dangerous!) what the secrets might be; but then there was a war on and it felt quite natural to me (14 years old) that such precautions might have to be taken. 

Commissioner Karl Larsson put up some more documents, copies of which were also there in Dad's collection. He commissioned his Chief Secretary, Colonel Karl Jerrestam, to be his deputy "should no other regulations be made by the General".

But the General did make other regulations. He appointed my grandfather (Commissioner David Wickberg who had recently retired from service in Switzerland and was now, aged 74, living in Stockholm) to take command of the territory. Thus we have the reason why David Wickberg is recorded as TC for Sweden from 1944-45 while Karl Larsson is stated as 1935-45.
By the time Commisioner Larsson returned to Sweden the War was over. General Carpenter had chosen a successor, and Karl Larsson - willing or not - had to retire at last.  

The end of the War was also the end of Erik's secret mission. Because this had not been official in the first place there was no official ending. I think it grieved Dad a bit that he was not asked to give a report or thanked for his services. After all he had taken a very big personal risk. He probably was unaware of the above-mentioned San Fransisco talks; and outside the very small group of perhaps four or five initiated persons nobody knew about this potentially dangerous secret part of his work.

Perhaps I, unknowingly, was one of them. For my hobby of stamp collecting I received new stamps from all over Europe that the catalogues and the stamp dealers did not know about. I think the Nazi's regarded stamps as a state secret. My uncle Tott (Dad's brother) who managed to live in Berlin during the whole war, told me that the Germans were not allowed to buy stamps. "We have to hand over our letters, open, to the Post Office. They censor them and then put on the stamps, so I never know which stamps you get." (And I have already mentioned the story of destroying the contents in that secret box.)

However, good circumstances eased Dad's turnover to new assignments.

Karl Larsson had instructed him to start organizing a Post War Relief Service. When the war ended this plan was realized and kept Erik very busy. Then Erik's appointment was changed once again. General Carpenter made one of his few overseas visits by daring to go to Sweden in a rebuilt "Flying Fortress" (American bombing plane). It had to pass over Norwegian territory at a high altitude and with hostile enemy aircraft still around. But all went well and Erik met his highest Chief and acted as his aide and translator at his visit in Sweden and Norway. Carpenter told him during this visit that he now was to be officially transferred to the Swedish territory and become Divisional Commander in Uppsala

So father's service passed over into a more "normal" career. But that is another story.

Editors Note: we have attempted to establish contact with the copyright holder. If any reader can put us in touch, SAHPA would be grateful.