A glimpse of the Finnish civil war 1918 – a weapons cache at Kourla Manor, Vihti


  • Juho-Antti Junno University of Oulu
  • Titta Kallio-Seppä Oulun yliopisto
  • Pentti Törmä


In 1918 civil war teared Finland in two groups: the socialistic Red Guards and the conservative White Guards. Finnish civil war started in January 27th and lasted until May 15th. The war of 3,5 months resulted in almost 40 000 casualties. One of the first victims of this civil war was an estate owner Eljas af Hällström who was executed by the Red Guards in his Manor house Kourla in Januray 31st.


In February 2020 the restoration work in Kourla uncovered a small weapons cache directly associated with the 1918 civil war. Three military rifles from late 19th to early 20th century were wrapped in white packing paper and four ”red” newspapers from late February and early March 1918. This package was carefully hidden inside the Kourla manor house near the workers dormitory.


In this article we focus on these three rifles and newspapers surrounding them. Published diary notes and memoirs of a family member from 1917 and 1918 give also insight to the environment and the customs of the residents of Kourla manor. We aim to provide a glance at the Finnish civil war within very restricted geographical and temporal context. New finds directly associated with Finnish civil war are sparse and we thus believe that this study can provide a small but important addition into our understanding about this woeful episode.