The West Uusimaa Society of Military History

Mission

The main purpose of the West Uusimaa Society of Military History is to preserve and maintain the memory of events of military history in the region of West Uusimaa. The main focus is on events on the Hanko Front in 1939 –1941. The Society seeks to maintain an active and popular up-to-date museum that applies modern technology.

Our work is mainly aimed at the young generation and we also want to reach out to Finnish and foreign tourists.

Background

Over the course of several years, the Karis krigsveteraner (Karjaa war veterans) association led by Stig Häggström contributed significantly to the founding and upkeep of the Hanko Front Museum. Owing to decreasing resources, it gradually became necessary to sell the museum. At the end of 2015, the new West Uusimaa Society of Military History was founded and at the beginning of 2016 the new association bought the museum buildings and collections of objects.

The Society is a joint organisation for the war veterans’ associations of Hanko, the Tammisaari region, Snappertuna and Karjaa.

The renovation of the museum

The facilities bought by the Society were in considerable need of renovation and the whole museum underwent a dramatic transformation in 2016 and 2017. The exhibition hall was insulated and thoroughly renovated. An auxiliary building with a conference room, museum shop, canteen, kitchen and sanitary facilities. was added to the existing museum structure.

The yard area with its firing trenches on the so-called Hillock of Death was cleaned and put in order. Students from the Novia University of Applied Sciences constructed a new obstacle course in the area and a roof shelter. The new parking area serves large numbers of visitors. In addition, the Irma Bunker in Harparskog was renovated to become a real gem of the whole museum area.

New content

The museum activities also needed to be developed and given a revised concept. As a first step, the whole museum was emptied. The objects (approximately 1,000) were put in storage and catalogued with expert assistance. In the autumn of 2016, work began on the museum’s new permanent exhibition, for which the main responsibility was borne by Museum Director Dan Lindholm of Raasepori in association with a working group established for the purpose.

The board of the West Uusimaa Society of Military History

The main duty of the board is to manage the Society’s affairs in due legal fashion. It also ensures that the bookkeeping is in accordance with the law and that the Society’s assets are managed in a reliable manner. The board is also responsible for the realisation of the aims of the Society, preparing the Society’s meetings and representing the Society to outside parties. Where necessary, the board can also appoint various working groups to help carry out its work.

Members of the board of the West Uusimaa Society of Military History, 2017

Bengt Lundström (chairman), Thomas Blomqvist (vice chairman), Ingmar Asplund, Lars Björklöf, Markus Friman, Ulf Heimberg, Ingmar Lindberg, Dan Lindholm, Kåre Pihlström, Sture Söderholm, and  deputy members Rabbe Kajander, Nils Juslin and Olof Thodén.

The members of the board are persons with experience of business and civic association activities in the region. Some of them also serve in a military capacity and/or have experience of work on behalf of war veterans and veterans’ associations in the region.