On 16 July 1872, Roald Engebreth Gravning Amundsen was born at “Tomta” on Hvidsten in Borge (Østfold/Viken). He was the fourth son of Gustava and Jens Amundsen. Only a few months later, in October of the same year, the family moved from “Tomta” to Christiania (Oslo) and Roald Amundsen grew up with his older brothers Leon, Gustav and Tonni at Uranienborgveien 9 in the capital. At home it was the nanny Betty who mostly took care of the boys.
In the summer and on other holidays, the Amundsen brothers are often in Hvidsten, where Roald Amundsen keeps in touch with his teenage girlfriend Kamilla Schiørn. Amundsen keeps the letters from Kamilla for the rest of his life, taking them to Uranienborg when he moves there more than 20 years later.
The letters from Kamilla. The letters that Amundsen sent to Kamilla are not preserved. Photo: Follo museum, MiA.
In one of her letters Kamilla also sent a lock of her hair. Photo: Follo museum, MiA.
In 1878 Roald Amundsen started at Gjertsen’s School, and in 1880 he started at Otto Andersen’s School. Amundsen, according to several sources, was not very good at homework, but he apparently wrote a good essay about Norway in 1814. He took the examen artium for university entry as a private student.