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Belfort, Kohl

October 20, 2018

Alexander Eisy Belfort

  • Alexander Eisy Belfort, a Jewish man from Odessa, came to the USA in 1907 and worked on the ships as an electrician and marine mechanic. In 1917 he tried to enlist in the US Army. Later he travelled to New Zealand and then to Australia, disembarking in Melbourne in January 1918.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Rockhampton, Qld, in July 1918, but was discharged six weeks later as medically unfit.
  • After the war he returned to the USA and continued working on ships until 1926, when his ship visited Odessa. He deserted the ship there and stayed in the Soviet Union.

Otto Emil Kohl

  • Otto Emil Kohl, a Finnish seaman from the Turku area in Finland, came to Australia in 1910. He had the trades of a boilermaker and fitter and worked in Newcastle and various places in Queensland.
  • In July 1918 he enlisted in the AIF in Rockhampton together with Belfort. He was allocated to the Flying Corps, but did not see active service and was discharged in December 1918 as medically unfit.
  • After the war he lived in Chippendale and Glen Davis in New South Wales, working as a fitter.

Greenstein, Claeson

October 7, 2018

Wolfe Greenstein

  • Wolfe Greenstein, a Jewish man born in Odessa, arrived in Australia in 1913 at the age of fourteen with his family from England, where they had been living for thirteen years. They settled in Canterbury, NSW. Wolfe gained an apprenticeship and worked as a printer.
  • At the age of eighteen he enlisted in the AIF in Sydney in June 1918. He sailed with reinforcements to the Western Front, but arrived in England three days after the end of the war.
  • After the war he lived in Sydney working as a newspaper compositor. He married Jean Piraner in 1924 and they had two children. Greenstein re-enlisted during WWII and served with the 1st Battalion in Egypt and Greece as a Lance Corporal. He was captured by the Germans on Crete, but survived and was returned to Australia; his marriage, however, did not survive the ordeal. His daughter Esther also served in the 2nd AIF.

Carl Alfred Vasele Claeson

  • Carl Alfred Vasele Claeson, a Swedish seaman born in Helsingfors (Helsinki), came to Australia in 1914, deserted his ship and worked on farms in New South Wales as a labourer; in 1918 he married an Australian girl, Violet Ethel Thompson.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in June 1918 as a native of Sweden, he arrived in London with reinforcements three days after the end of the war. He stayed in the army making a trip to Sweden to see his mother before return to Australia.
  • After the war he lived with his wife in Penrith, working as a fruitier and playing an active role in the local community. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF and served in a Garrison Battalion.

Forsberg, Smirnoff, Simula, Wishman

September 25, 2018

Otto Alexander Forsberg

  • Otto Alexander Forsberg, a Finnish seaman from Mariehamn, came to Australia in about 1902 and continued serving on ships in Australian waters. In 1903 he married an Australian girl, Mary Allen Semple, in Victoria and lived with his family in Melbourne, working as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in May 1918, he sailed with reinforcements to England, disembarking in London three days after the Armistice; nevertheless he spent some time with the troops in France.
  • After the war he returned to Melbourne, but died early, in 1922.

Paul Smirnoff

  • Paul Smirnoff, a young Russian man from Vologda, came to Australia in 1914 and worked as a labourer, wheeler and miner in New South Wales.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in May 1918 in Cessnock and sailed with reinforcements to the Western front, arriving there after the end of the war. In 1919 he joined the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army, the North Russian Relief Force, as  an interpreter and acting sergeant, and served with it in Northern Russia.
  • After the war he returned to Australia, but most likely later moved to the UK.

Vaino Alexander Simula

  • Vaino Alexander Simula, a Finnish seaman from Helsingfors (Helsinki), was serving on the ships in Newcastle during the war.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in February 1918, but was rejected on medical grounds. In May 1918 he enlisted once again in Newcastle, as Alexander Simula, and was accepted. He sailed with reinforcements to Western Front, arriving in France in January 1919, and served there in the graves registration department.
  • After the war, returning to Australia, he married an Irish girl, Mary Janetta Stewart, and lived in Parramatta and Sydney working as a labourer. They had three sons; their elder son Roy Alexander served in the Australian Army during the Second World War.

David Wishman

  • David Wishman, a Jewish man from Sheduva (now Lithuania), probably came to Australia as a seaman on the Russian ship Lawhill, deserting it in South Australia in 1917. During the war he lived in Sydney working as a bicycle builder.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in May 1918, he sailed with reinforcements to the Western Front, arriving in France in February 1919.
  • After the war he returned to Sydney, but it has been impossible to trace his life in the following years.

Kasak, Nazarow, Goldberg, Helppi

September 16, 2018

John Kasak

  • John Kasak, a Latvian or Estonian sailor from Riga, came to Australia during the war. Before that he had already registered for military service in the USA in 1917.
  • In May 1918 he enlisted in the AIF and was sent with reinforcements to England. In October he became severely ill with pneumonia and was returned to Australia.
  • After the war the continued serving on ships in the USA.

Daniel Nazarow

  • Daniel Nazarow came from the village Zaplavnoe, near Astrakhan. Ethnically he was Russian, but belonged to the Judaizing Talmudists by denomination. He spent two and a half years in Palestine and came to Western Australia in 1912, leaving behind his wife and two children. In Australia he worked as a labourer, clearing land, and then as a miner in outback areas; in 1917 he was injured in a dynamite explosion.
  • In May 1918 he enlisted in the AIF, but was discharged soon afterwards due to medical reasons and lack of English.
  • After the war he worked as an umbrella mender, and then again as a miner, living in Sydney and different areas of Western Australia.

Joseph Goldberg

  • Joseph Goldberg, whose true name was Joseph Albert Rosen, bas born in Warsaw and came to Australia in 1902 as a seaman. He lived in South Australia, working as a pastry cook.
  • In May 1918 he enlisted to the AIF and was sent with reinforcements to England, but arrived after the armistice.
  • After the war he married Margaret McInerney and lived in Sydney, working as a salesman.

Antti Helppi

  • Antti Helppi, a Finnish seaman from Vyborg, came to Australia in 1916 and served on the ships in Sydney and Brisbane.
  • In May 1918 he enlisted in the AIF in Brisbane and sailed with reinforcements to the Western Front. He was sent to France on 6 November 1918, a few days before the armistice.
  • After the war he continued serving on the ships in Australia and died in 1927.

Dambelis, Henrickson, Warro, Eriksson, Traub

September 4, 2018

Frederick August Dambelis

  • Frederick August Dambelis, a Latvian seaman from Riga, came to Australia in 1913 and lived in Sydney, working as a rigger and motor driver. In 1917 he married a widow, Mary Raymond Goddard.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in March 1918, he was allocated to the Australian Flying Corps as a 2nd class mechanic. He was not sent to Europe and discharged after the end of the war.
  • After the war he worked in the Australian Gas Company; he lost his wife in 1924.

Anton Wicktor Henrickson

  • Anton Wicktor Henrickson from Vardo, Aland Islands, in Finland, came to Western Australia as a seaman in 1908. He was working as a timber worker in the south-western areas of the state, but later moved to Newcastle.
  • He tried to enlist in 1916, but was rejected because of insufficient English. He got in the trouble with the law several times and after finishing a 3 month prison term enlisted in the AIF in March 1918 in Newcastle and was accepted. He was sent to England with the reinforcements to the 55th Battalion but arrived too late to fight on the Western front.
  • He died in 1921, soon after returning to Australia and his discharge.

John Warro

  • John Warro, a young Estonian seaman from Revel (Tallinn), by the time of his enlistment in the AIF, was working as a labourer in Port Pirie.
  • Enlisting in Port Pirie, he sailed with reinforcements to England, but his unit reached France only after the end of the war.
  • After the war he stayed in Australia, working as a fireman on the ships, but by the 1920s moved to the USA and continued seafaring there.

Erik Hugo Eriksson

  • Erik Hugo Eriksson, a Finn from Mariehamn, by the time of his enlistment was working as a labourer in Sydney. During the war he served in the 5th Light Horse unit in Citizen Forces.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in March 1918, but was discharged soon afterwards.
  • It was impossible to trace his life after the war.

Aron Traub

  • Aron Traub, a Jewish man from Pilica, Poland, came to Australia in 1900 and worked as a hairdresser. After 3 years in Sydney, he moved to Albury, where he married Kathleen Miller. They had two daughters, later moving to Melbourne.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Melbourne, he sailed to England with the reinforcements to the 58th battalion, but his unit landed in France 11 days after the Armistice.
  • After the war he lived with his family in Melbourne, working as a hairdresser and warder.

Roth, Ettingove, Elecoff

September 1, 2018

Felix Witold Roth

  • Felix Witold Roth, a sculptor from Warsaw in Poland, came to Australia from Japan in 1911. He lived in Sydney, where he married Australian girl Lynda Thelma Johnson and had a daughter.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in February 1918 he arrived to England with reinforcements, but was sent to France only after the end of the war and later worked in the Modelling Subsection of the Australian War Records Section in London.
  • After the war he lived with his family in Sydney, working as a sculptor.

Samuel Ettingove

  • Samuel Ettingove, a Jewish man from Mogilev Province in Belarus, came to Australia in 1912 to join his uncle Sidney Myer. He studied at Melbourne University.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in February 1918 and was trained as a gunner, but a month later he was severely injured when his motorcycle collided with a tram. He died two months later.
  • His army mates paid tribute to him in newspaper advertisements years after the war.

Michael Elecoff

  • Michael Elecoff, an Ossetian from the North Caucasus, came to Australia in 1914 and was working as a labourer and wheeler at the mines.
  • He made several attempts to enlist in the AIF, but was rejected on medical grounds. His last unsuccessful attempt was in February 1918.
  • After the war he was working as a miner and in 1924 married an Australian girl, Ivy May Shaw, in Lithgow. They had four children, but Michael died early.

Larin, Wolfson, Bockmelder, Pannel, Williams

August 26, 2018

Woldemar Larin

  • Woldemar Larin, a Russian born in Verny (now Almaty, Kazakhstan), took part in the Russo-Japanese War and came to Australia in 1905 as a political refugee. He lived in the remote areas of north-western Australia, working as a prospector and miner, later moving to Fremantle. When he applied for naturalisation, the intelligence officer suspected him of being an anarchist.
  • In January 1918 Larin enlisted in the AIF in Fremantle in the Medical Corps as a pharmacist, but was discharged soon afterwards due to poor vision.
  • After the war he settled in Fremantle, working as a lumper, and when he got older, as a watch repairer. He was known by the nickname ‘Russia’ and often got into trouble with the local police for minor offences.

Jacob Wolfson

  • Jacob Wolfson, a Jewish man from Mogilev in Belarus, came to Australia in 1917 as a seaman and deserted his ship.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Sydney and sailed for the Western Front as a gunner in the 4th Division Artillery Column, but they arrived to France only in January 1919.
  • Returning to Australia he worked as a labourer in Sydney.

Charles Bockmelder

  • Charles Bockmelder, a seaman from Riga, was seafaring in the South Pacific already at the end of the nineteenth century. He came to Australia in 1901 and continued working on the ships.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he served on the Western Front with the 34th Battalion, where he injured his leg and was returned to Australia.
  • After the war he worked as a labourer in Sydney.

Peter Pannel

  • Peter Pannel, an Estonian seaman from Arensburg (now Kuressaare on Saaremaa Island), came to Australia in 1914.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in January 1918 in Sydney, but was discharged soon. His service records have not been found.
  • After the war he continued seafaring from Sydney, but after 1920 disappears from the records.

John Oscar Williams

  • John Oscar Williams enlisted in the AIF in January 1918 too and was discharged soon after. His service records have not been found.

Fuks, Lileystrom, Levet, Mast, Lakovsky

August 18, 2018

John Henry Fuks

  • John Henry Fuks, an Estonian from Derpt (Tartu), served in the Russian Army and participated in the Russo-Japanese War. He came to Australia in 1913 as a fireman and lived in Melbourne and Sydney working as a seaman, engineer and fitter.
  • Enlisting in the AIF as Jan Heinrich Fuks, he came with the 1st Pioneer Battalion to England, but arrived too late to go to the Western Front. He worked in a military hospital as a wardsman and interpreter.
  • While in England, he married Kathleen Bride Collins and returned with his wife to Australia. They took a soldier scheme farm at Yenda and raised a large family there. Their son John David fought in WWII in Malaya.

Hjalmar Lileystrom

  • Hjalmar Lileystrom, a Finnish seaman from Kotka, was living in Melbourne by the time of his enlistment in the AIF.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne and took the oath, but was discharged a few days later.
  • In the following years he continued his occupation of a fireman.

Jacob Hendry Levet

  • Jacob Hendry Levet, an Estonian seaman from Revel (Tallinn), came to Australia in May 1917.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne the day after Lileystrom, and his service did not last long either. He continued serving on British ships as a merchant seaman and was awarded a medal by the British government.
  • After the war he continued seafaring, naturalising in the USA. He continued to serve on the ships during WWII and died in 1942.

Joseph Mast

  • Joseph Mast, an Estonian from Arensburg (Kuressaare), came to Australia together with Levet in May 1917 as a greaser.
  • They joined the AIF together, and Mast was soon discharged as well.
  • After the war, he continued seafaring in the Pacific Ocean and in the Baltic Sea in 1920s.

David Lakovsky

  • David Lakovsky, a Jewish man, was born in Ekaterinoslav (Dnipro) in Ukraine and emigrated with his family to Australia as a child in 1903. They lived in Fremantle, Kalgoorlie, and Broken Hill, finally moving to Sydney, where David had some training in the Home Defence.
  • Enlisting in the AIF at the age of 19, he was allocated to artillery units and had some training in Liverpool in England, but arrived on the Western Front soon after the Armistice.
  • He was discharged in London and went to America, where he changed his name to David Lake. He married Hannah Brumer and returned to Australia in the 1920s, later working as the general sales manager of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.

Blasser, Jarvenpaa, Soin, Lambert

August 11, 2018

Kurst Blasser

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

Tamppinen, Kaipanen, Doobrofsky, Isaacs, Halin, Samson

January 4, 2018

Vaina Tamppinen

  • Vaina Tamppinen, a Finn from Helsingfors (Helsinki), came to Queensland as a baby with his parents, the followers of Matti Kurikka, in 1900. His father died soon after the arrival and his mother remarried. By the time of his enlistment in the AIF he was farming in Nambour in Queensland.
  • In November 1917, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the AIF in Brisbane. With the reinforcements to the 31st Battalion he reached the Western Front in October 1918 and stayed there for the next nine months, working after the Armistice in the Australian Graves detachment.
  • After the war he married Lillian Grace Edith May Krosch, and lived in Nambour working as a carter, labourer and shopkeeper. He also conducted work for the local RSL.

Emil Kaipanen

  • Emil Kaipanen, a Finnish seaman from Helsingfors (Helsinki), came to Australia in 1908 and worked as a sailor on the ships.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he reached the Western Front with the 35th Battalion in July 1918. A few days after his arrival to the front, he was wounded to the right arm and evacuated to England.
  • After the war he returned to Australia and was working on the missionary ship ‘John Williams’. In 1920 he naturalised, but soon after that disappears from the Australian records. It is quite likely that he died in England in 1924.

George Doobrofsky

  • George Doobrofsky, a Russian from Petrograd, arrived at Australia as a sailor in November 1917 from California, where he had registered for army service.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, a week after his arrival, he sailed to England with the 1st Pioneers Battalion, but reached the Western Front only after the Armistice.
  • After the war he continued working as a seaman and labourer, occasionally getting in trouble with the law; in the 1930s he was suspected to be a Communist.

Harry Isaacs

  • Harry Isaacs, a Jewish man from Jakobstadt (Jekabpils) in Latvia, spent several years in Argentina and England before coming to Australia. In 1912 he came to Australia with his wife, Minnie, and settled in Melbourne, where he worked as a hair dresser and hawker.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in November 1917 in secret from his wife, he was discharged three weeks later because his wife was in ill health.
  • After the war he lived with his growing family in Melbourne, visiting South Africa, where their relatives lived. During WWII he joined the AIF again and served as a batman in Kantara in Greece.

John Halin

  • John Halin, a Finnish rigger from Abo (Turku), came to Australia in 1908 and worked on the ships, being based in Port Adelaide and Newcastle.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Newcastle in November 1917, but was discharged soon afterwards.
  • In 1920 he left for the USA, where he continued working in his occupation of a rigger. In 1925 he married a Finnish woman Ruth and settled in California. During WWII he registered for US Army service.

Antonio Samson

  • Antonio Samson, a Pole from Kurkliai in Lithuania, came to Australia in June 1917 as a seaman.
  • In November 1917 he enlisted in the AIF in Sydney, but was discharged two months later.
  • Soon after that he disappears from the records.