August 11, 2018
- Kurst Blasser from Dago (Hiiumaa) Island in Estonia lived in Sydney working as a sailmaker and rigger by the time of his enlistment in the AIF.
- Enlisting in December 1917, he joined the 34th Battalion on the Western Front in July 1918, but was injured a week later and repatriated to Australia.
- After his discharge he tried to enlist once again, in May 1919, to be a concentration camp guard, but was not attested. In 1920 he applied for a war pension, but disappears from the records after that.
- Ivar Jarvenpaa, a seaman from Hämeenlinna in Finland, came to Australia in 1913, deserting from his ship, and worked in Sydney as a labourer.
- He enlisted in the AIF and took the oath, but was re-examined and rejected a few days later.
- He stayed in Sydney, and in June 1919 died in Waterfall Sanatorium.
- Leonard Soin, a seaman from Abo (Turku) in Finland, came to Australia in 1913 and served on the ships in Sydney; he also had the trade of fitter and turner.
- He first tried to enlist in Western Australia in 1915, but was rejected because of poor English. In December 1917 he was accepted and reached the Western Front in October 1918 with the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade, serving as a driver.
- After the war he married an Australian girl, Florence Hayes, and lived in Sydney, continuing his occupation as a seaman, but after the death of their daughter Elsie in 1929, their marriage did not last and Leonard moved to Victoria, where he worked as a fitter.
George Washington Lambert
December 25, 2017
- George Washington Lambert was born in St Petersburg, where his father, an American engineer, was working. His father died before George was born and his mother with the children moved first to Germany and then to England. In 1887, when George was 13, they emigrated to Australia. Here he studied art and became a professional artist. In 1900 he married Amelia Beatrice Absell and had two sons.
- Enlisting in the AIF in England, George Lambert was appointed an official war artist. During 1918-1919 he visited Egypt, Palestine, the Western Front, and Gallipoli, where he made numerous sketches which were later turned into famous battle paintings including ‘Anzac, the landing 1915’ and ‘A sergeant of the Light Horse’.
- Lambert returned to Australia in 1921, continuing his career as an artist and winning the Archibald Prize in 1927.
- Enoch Rossi, a Finnish seaman from Kuopio, came to Sydney at the end of 1915.
- Enlisting in the AIF in Townsville in October 1917, he served with the 49th Battalion on the Western Front.
- In 1919, while in London, he married Finnish woman Ilma Keihonen and returned to Australia with her. After the war they lived in Brisbane, where he worked as a fitter. The marriage did not last long. By 1926 Enoch moved to Melbourne, changing his surname to Ross. There he worked as a labourer and cement worker. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF and served in the garrison battalion.
- Harry Trellick, a Latvian seaman from Libava (Liepaja), came to Australia in 1906 and worked on the ships in Victoria.
- Enlisting in the AIF in Melbourne, he served with the 3rd Pioneer Battalion on the Western Front.
- After the war he married an Australian girl, Lily Guthrie, settled in Melbourne and continued serving on the ships.
Carl Eric Gyllensten
- Carl Eric Gyllensten from Helsingfors (Helsinki) came to Sydney in 1912. Australian newspapers later reported that he turned out to be a Russian Count who lost his fortune in the financial crash of a London bank. He worked as a surveyor, visiting Darwin and Papua in New Guinea.
- Enlisting in the AIF in Port Augusta, SA, Gyllensten was allocated to the Medical Corps reinforcements and served in England. After the war he took a course in surveying at King’s College, London, and returned to Australia in September 1919 as a nursing staff member aboard a troopship.
- After the war he settled in South Australia, taking a block of land in Berri not long before his premature death.
Hugo Michael Walter Saari
- Hugo Michael Walter Saari from Marihamn in Finland came to Australia in 1914, probably as a seaman, and worked as a labourer.
- Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he served with the 15th Company Engineers and the Motor Transport Section in France, arriving there after the armistice.
- After the war he vagabonded all over Australia, worked as a seaman and often got into trouble with the police for his disorderly behaviour, being known by his Australian nickname, Pappinburra Bill.
November 11, 2017
- John Smelga, a Latvian seaman from Riga, came to Melbourne in October 1917 and enlisted in the AIF three weeks later.
- Enlisting in the AIF as John Smilga, he sailed with the 39th Battalion to the Western Front, but received a head wound on the ship and, upon reaching London, was finally returned to Australia.
- While in London he married Florence Quinn, who joined him in Australia in 1920. They settled in Melbourne, where he was working as a waterside worker.
- David Fager, a Finnish seaman from Helsingfors (Helsinki), was working in Port Pirie as a labourer by the time of his enlistment.
- He enlisted in the AIF in Port Pirie, but was discharged a few days later as medically unfit.
- After the war, in 1919, he appears in the Police Gazette of South Australia as an Italian subject living in Port Pirie, but after that his trail disappears.
Gustaf Nikolai Aalto
- Gustaf Nikolai Aalto, a Finnish seaman from the Abo (Turku) area, came to Australia in 1911 and was working on the ships in Sydney.
- Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he arrived with the 2nd Battalion in England, but became sick and was returned to Australia.
- After the war he moved to Mackay in Queensland, where he worked as a labourer and waterside worker. For years his address was ‘Town Beach, Mackay’, where he was probably camping.
- Albert Lahti, a Finnish seaman from Vyborg, came to Australia in 1914 and continuing seafaring, visiting different Australian ports.
- Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he served with the 35th Battalion on the Western Front.
- After the war continued serving on ships sailing from Sydney.
Lars Walter Lindquist
- Lars Walter Lindquist, a Finnish ship’s fireman from Helsingfors (Helsinki), was in Sydney working as a labourer by the time of his enlistment.
- Enlisting in the AIF together with Lahti, he served on the Western Front with the 4th Battalion and 1st Ammunition Unit.
- After the war he lived in Newcastle.
Henry George Abrahamovitch
- Henry George Abrahamovitch, a Jewish man from Warsaw (he also stated to be born in Odessa), came to Australia as a seaman in about 1903. He worked in Victoria as a rabbit trapper.
- Enlisting in the AIF in October 1917 in Melbourne, he served as an orderly in hospital, but was discharged two weeks later as medically unfit. He made a new attempt to enlist in May 1918, but his service did not last long. During the war he published two patriotic songs and contributed articles to newspapers.
- After the war he carried his swag around New South Wales. During WWII he made a new attempt to enlist in the AIF in spite of the fact that he was sixty years old.