Polar Explorers

ove-braskerud-big-(3).pngOve Braskerud (1872-1899)

Braskerud participated on the second Fram expedition with Otto Sverdrup to northwest Greenland and the islands north of Canada 1898-1902. He died during the expedition at the age of 27.

Ove Braskerud was born in Våler in Solør in Hedmark county. At the age of 19 he became a smith’s apprentice for two years before working at the main arsenal machine shop (Hovedarsenalets Verksteder) and then as a mechanic at Frognerkilens Fabrikk. He then returned to the family farm until he in 1897 was employed as electrical installer at Norsk Elektrisk Aktiebolag.

On being accepted on Sverdrup’s expedition, he was sent to England for a couple of months to learn various types of machinery, since he was to be both stoker and machine expert on the Fram. During the first winter, on the east coast of Ellesmere Island, Sverdrup started planning to winter the following year on the northwest coast of Greenland. In the early spring he would then sledge around and map the far north of Greenland. Braskerud and Ivar Fosheim were given the job of building a hut to be erected on the coast.

The following winter was, however, spent further west – on the south coast of Ellesmere Island. In September 1899 Braskerud was taken ill with what was thought to be a cold, but was probably pneumonia, and he died in October This was the second death on the 16-man expedition. He was buried through a hole in the sea ice and a memorial cross was erected on land nearby. The cross is still standing, but without the original arm and name plate.

"Victory awaits him, who has everything in order - luck we call it.  Defeat is definitely due for him, who has neglected to take the necessary precautions - bad luck we call it"

Roald Amundsen

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