Peter Magnus Aquilander

Russian Crimean War Medal
An example of a Crimean War medal military type.

Major General
17.2.1824 Uusikirkko, Grand Duchy of Finland
1894 St.Petersburg, Russian Empire

Born into a wealthy family in Uusikirkko, Peter entered the Finnish Cadet School in Hamina in 1838. Graduating with the rank of Ensign in 1844, he pursued a career in the Engineer Troops and enrolled in the Military Engineer School in St.Petersburg. After completing the 2-year course, he was assigned to Ahvenanmaa (Åland) and took part in the construction of the Bomarsund fortress.

When the Crimean War broke out, the now Lieutenant Aquilander saw combat during the Anglo-French assault against Bomarsund, becoming one of the over 2,000 prisoners taken after the surrender. Becoming interned on the French island of Île-d’Aix, he would be repatriated after the war. Upon his return, Peter was assigned to Viapori (nowadays Suomenlinna) as one of the fortress’s many engineering officers. In 1857 he was made chief of staff for the Engineering troops at Viapori, followed soon after in 1859 as commander of the Engineering troops.

In 1860 he was transferred to South East Russia to take up a post in the military district’s military engineering administration there, two years later he was in Irkutsk, and then in 1863 was moved to St.Petersburg. The posting in the capital wouldn’t be for long, however, as by the year’s end he would take up a position as head of the military engineering administration in Tallinn.

He would remain in Tallinn for the rest of his service. Slowly climbing through the ranks, captain in 1864, to lieutenant colonel in 1868 and to colonel in 1873. He was dismissed (other sources state he resigned) from the post of head of the Tallinn military engineering administration, returning to St.Petersburg, he was placed in the reserves with the rank of Major General in 1885.

He would pass away sometime in 1894 in St.Petersburg.

Honours and Awards

1856 – War of 1853-1856 medal


1838 – Cadet
1844 – Ensign
1851 – Junior Lieutenant
1854 – Lieutenant
1864 – Captain
1868 -Lieutenant Colonel
1873 – Colonel
1885 – Major General


Wife -Margaretha (née von Grund 6.11.1838- 2.3.1898), married 6.2.1857


Peter Magnus Aquilander, Biography Center, Finnish Literature Society

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *