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Fager, Aalto, Lahti, Lindquist, Abrahamovitch

November 11, 2017

David Fager

  • 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

  • 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.

Kensman, Lottanen, Rytko, Farm, Smitt

October 17, 2017

John Joseph Kensman

  • John Joseph Kensman, a seaman from Libava (Liepaja) in Latvia, was living in the Sailors’ Home in Port Adelaide by the time of his enlistment in the AIF.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Adelaide in October 1917, he was discharged two months later as medically unfit.
  • In 1918 he returned to the USA and attempted to enlist in the US Army; by that time he was working as a riveter in the Submarine Boat Corps.

Wilhelm Lottanen

  • Wilhelm Lottanen, a Finnish seaman from Vyborg, came to Australia in 1915 and by the time of his enlistment was in Sydney, working as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he served with the 3rd Battalion on the Western Front, where he was gassed in August 1918.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, Catherine McGirvan, and settled in Newcastle, where he worked as a labourer.

Anton Rytko

  • Anton Rytko, a Finnish seaman from Sakkijarvi, came to Sydney in June 1916 and worked as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he served with the 4th Pioneer Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he lived in Sydney, working as a labourer.

Oscar Emmanuel Farm

  • Oscar Emmanuel Farm, a Finnish seaman from Helsingfors, came to Australia in 1905 and lived in Sydney.
  • Enlisting in the AIF together with Rytko, he served with the 4th Pioneer Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he lived in Sydney and died early.

Frederik Smitt

  • Frederik Smitt, an Estonian seaman from Piarnu, came to Australia in December 1916, deserting from his ship.
  • He enlisted in the AIF together with Rytko and Farm and served with the 4th Pioneer Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he lived in different cities in Australia and continued working as a seaman.

Alto, Jurgens, Zygas

October 8, 2017

John Alto

  • John Alto, a Finnish seaman from Varkaus, came to South Australia in 1909. He worked as a seaman and labourer in the port cities of the state, but later moved to New South Wales.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney in September 1917, he was discharged a few days later as medically unfit.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, Martha Margaret Williams, and lived with his family in the Newcastle area, working as a fitter.

Alexander Jurgens

  • Alexander Jurgens, an Estonian seaman from Piarnu, came to San Francisco in 1915 and then sailed to Sydney where he worked as a labourer.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Sydney the same day with Alto and was similarly discharged a few days later.
  • In January 1918 he was already in San Francisco where, being unemployed, he tried to enlist in the American Army.
  • He stayed in the city, serving on the ships, and naturalised in 1925.

Stanley Zygas

  • Stanley Zygas, a Lithuanian sailor from Survilishkis, came to South Australia in 1909 and worked as an agricultural labourer and handyman.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Adelaide, he served with the 32nd and 50th battalions on the Western Front.
  • After the war, in July 1919, he married Kathleen Green in London and returned to Australia with his wife. They lived in the Adelaide suburbs, where Stanley worked as a mechanic.

Atoff, Baeff, Johansen, Costin

October 3, 2017

Mik Atoff

  • Mik Atoff, an Ossetian from Khristianovskoe (Digora), was working as a miner in Queensland and New South Wales.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in West Maitland, he served with the 1st Battalion on the Western Front. He was recommended for an award for the battles of August 1918, setting ‘a fine standard of devotion to duty and soldierly bearing in action’. He never got the medal as in September he joined his mates in protest, as they were sent to battle instead of being relieved. He was court martialled, but the sentence was suspended after the war.
  • After the war her was returned to Australia, but later left for Russia.

Daniel Baeff

  • Daniel Baeff, another Ossetian, would later tell Australians that he served in a Cossack regiment in Russia. He came to Sydney in 1913 and was working as a colliery wheeler with Mik Atoff in Kurri Kurri. He also was known as a trainer and jockey.
  • He enlisted together with Atoff in the AIF, but was discharged a few days later as medically unfit.
  • Although he had left his wife behind in Russia, after the war he stayed in Australia, working in Queensland and New South Wales.

Vallance Johansen

  • Vallance Johansen, a Finnish seaman from Tenala (Turku), came to Newcastle in 1911.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Broken Hill, but was discharged a month later as medically unfit, as his foot had been crushed in an earlier accident.
  • After the war he lived in Adelaide working as a labourer. He married an Australian girl, Dorothy Langley, and died early, leaving three young children.

John Costin

  • John Costin, a Russian seaman from Riga, came to Australia in 1914 and was working as a labourer in country NSW.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Grafton, he served with the 53rd Battalion on the Western Front. Soon after his arrival to the front, in April 1918, he was gassed. Recovering in England, he returned to the front in August 1918 and was killed two weeks later in the attack on Peronne.
  • His mother in Riga was never found. When enlisting in the army he made his will out to the Red Cross in Sydney.

Rappeport, Lindquist, Malberg, Nyman

September 28, 2017

Lionel Rappeport

  • Lionel Rappeport, a Jewish man from Nikopol in Ukraine, came to Western Australia in 1902 with his parents; he was trained as a tailor, but settling in Australia, he worked as a boot salesman and later as a keeper of a wine and soft drink saloon and as a fruiterer.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Perth but was discharged four months later as medically unfit.
  • After the war he continued working in Perth as a fruiterer and greengrocer. He was married to a woman named Miriam and they had four children.

Walerian Lindquist

  • Walerian Lindquist, a Finnish seaman from Tavastehus (Hämeenlinna), worked in the USA, came to Australia in January 1916, and lived in Newcastle working as a rigger, sailor and labourer. In February 1917 he asked for money for a drink posing as a returned soldier, and was sentenced to six months hard labour.
  • Upon release from prison he enlisted in the AIF in September 1917 in Newcastle, but was discharged a week later as medically unfit.
  • After the war he returned to the USA.

William Malberg

  • William Malberg, an Estonian from Revel (Tallinn), by 1917 was working as a labourer in Salter Springs in South Australia.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Adelaide, he served with the 48th Battalion on the Western Front. In September 1918, at the advance south of Peronne, he was wounded in the arm. Recovering, he received some training in the workshops in England and returned to Australia.
  • After the war his trail disappears.

Gustav Nyman

  • Gustav Nyman from Finland was working in Merredin, Western Australia, as a farm hand by the time of his enlistment in the AIF.
  • Enlisting in Merredin, he served with the 16th Battalion on the Western Front. In August 1918, at the Amiens advance, he was wounded in the arm and returned to Australia.
  • After the war he lived in the mining areas of Western Australia, working as a labourer.

Nieminen, Sacks, Barzel, Susil

September 23, 2017

Urho Oscar Nieminen

  • Urho Oscar Nieminen, a Finnish sailor from Tampere, was working as a labourer in Chinchilla, Queensland by the time of his enlistment in the AIF.
  • His first enlistment was in Roma, Queensland, in June 1916, but he was discharged three months later as medically unfit. In August 1917, enlisting in Sydney as a bootmaker, he was accepted and sailed with troops to England. While in the training camp in Liverpool, he became sick and was returned to Australia.
  • After the war his trail disappears.

Bennett Solomon Sacks

  • Bennett Solomon Sacks, a Jewish man from the unidentifiable ‘Waigove, Russia’, had relatives in South Africa. By the time of his enlistment in the AIF he was a widower and lived in Melbourne, being an ostrich feather merchant.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Melbourne, he served with the 46th Battalion on the Western Front. After the armistice he was detached to the Brigade Headquarters.
  • After the war he lived in Melbourne, continuing his business.

Abraham Barzel

  • Abraham Barzel, a Jewish man from Poland, moved with his parents as a child to Egypt, and after 10 years there, in 1912 immigrated to Sydney, from where he moved to Western Australia, working as blacksmith and miner.
  • His first enlistment in the AIF was in Perth in September 1916, but he was discharged at his own request. His second enlistment was in August 1917 in Geraldton, but he was discharged a month later. His third attempt to enlist was in February 1918, but he was discharged a month later.
  • After the war he lived in Fremantle, working as a lumper.

Ladislav Susil

  • Ladislav Susil enlisted in the AIF as a ‘Russian Bohemian’, but was an Austrian subject from Slavkov in Moravia. When he was 17 he ran away from home and served as a sailor in the USA. In August 1914 he came to Australia, was arrested as an Austrian subject, and placed in a POW camp. He managed to escape several times from the camps in New South Wales and Victoria. While working, he posed as Russian and even registered as a Russian alien.
  • In August 1917 he enlisted in the AIF in Wagga Wagga but was discharged two months later.
  • In June 1919, when alien regulations still were in force, he surrendered as destitute and was deported to his motherland. In 1924 he moved to the USA.

Sauvola, Miller, Anderson, Shilony, Hofdahl

September 17, 2017

Carl Gustav Sauvola

  • Carl Gustav Sauvola, a Finnish seaman from Brahestad (Raahe), came to South Australia in 1904 and worked as a labourer and later as an ‘electrical labourer’. In 1908 he married an Australian girl, Emily Louisa Kerr; their first children were born in Port Adelaide, but after the death of their two daughters they moved to Melbourne.
  • Carl enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne, but was transferred to the home service, 3rd District Guard Corps – by that time he was 40 years old. In December 1918 he was discharged, but in January 1919 enlisted for home service in the Central Flying School, Laverton.
  • After the war he lived with his family in Melbourne, working as a fitter’s labourer.

Alfred Miller

  • Alfred Miller, a Polish man from Lodz, was a motor mechanic by trade. He came to Western Australia in 1914 and later moved to Adelaide.
  • He tried to enlist in the AIF in October 1916, but was rejected because of defective vision. Enlisting in August 1917 in Adelaide, he was allocated to the Army Medical Corps, but was discharged in December 1917, getting the position of an instructor for motor and electrical work for returned men.
  • In 1920-1921 he travelled all over Australia in search of work and finally settled in Melbourne.

Charles Anderson

  • Charles Anderson, a Finnish seaman, came to Australia in 1914 and worked as a miner.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Nymagee, NSW, he served with the 2nd Tunnelling Company on the Western Front. In October 1918, during the advance on the Hindenburg Line, he was wounded in the arm and returned to Australia.
  • After the war he lived in Sydney.

Jack Shilony

  • Jack Shilony enlisted in the AIF as a ‘Russian Jew’; in one case he stated he was born in Jerusalem in Palestine, in another case, in Marseilles in France. Most likely he grew up in Palestine, where his parents were living. He came to Western Australia in 1913 and was working as a moulder apprentice. In 1916-1917 he worked as a ward orderly in Perth Public Hospital.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Perth, he served with the 10th Field Ambulance on the Western Front.
  • After the war he stayed in Perth, working as a hospital attendant and later as a laundry man. In 1925 he married Julie Staricoff. After his wife’s death in 1937 he married Olga Rosenberg. Retiring, he moved to Melbourne in the late 1970s.

Emil Everd Hofdahl

  • Emil Everd Hofdahl, a Finnish seaman from Tammerfors (Tampere), came to Australia in 1916, deserting his ship.
  • He tried to enlist in October 1916, but was not successful. He was accepted at the second attempt, in August 1917, and was sent to work to the Australian General Hospital as an orderly. In April 1918 suspicions arouse that he was a German, although he stated that he did not know the German language, and he was discharged.
  • After the war he continued serving as a seaman.

Nevola, Nelson, Ospovat, Luoma, Wicks

September 13, 2017

Jacob Nevola

  • Jacob Nevola, a Finnish seaman from Wasa (Vaasa), came to South Australia in 1914.
  • In 1916 he twice enlisted in the AIF, but was discharged because of drunkenness. His third attempt, in July 1917, was successful and he served with the 50th Battalion on the Western Front. In June 1918 he was wounded in the knee, but rejoined his battalion.
  • Before leaving for the front he married an Australian woman, Alice Newton, and lived in South Australia, working as a labourer and gardener. He had a number of convictions because of drunkenness, especially after his wife’s death in 1934, and tragically drowned in the Murray River while drinking with a group of swagmen.

John Henry Nelson

  • John Henry Nelson, a Finnish seaman from Helsingfors (Helsinki), came to South Australia in December 1916 and worked in the smelters and on coasting crafts.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Port Adelaide, he served with the 48th Battalion on the Western Front. A month after his arrival to the front, in May 1918, he was wounded in the right hand, losing four fingers. The ship Barunga, on which he was returning to Australia, was torpedoed by the Germans, but he survived.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, Vera Constance Hooper, and lived in Adelaide, working as a labourer.

Hyam Ospovat

  • Hyam Ospovat, a Jewish man from Dvinsk (now Daugavpils, Latvia), grew up in England and was working on the ships as a steward. In May 1917 he came to Australia.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Newcastle in July, but was discharged soon after as medically unfit.
  • In 1918 he married an Australian girl, Ella Ada Hughes, and had a son. He could not find employment and, while in Queensland, drowned in 1920 while crossing the flooded Flinders River.

Bruno Luoma

  • Bruno Luoma was a Finnish seaman from Abo (Turku).
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Tasmania, but was discharged soon after, probably because of his lack of naturalisation.
  • After the war he continued seafaring and left for the USA.

Frank Joseph Wicks

  • Frank Joseph Wicks was born in St Petersburg or Warsaw; by the time of his enlistment in the AIF he was working as a labourer in Queensland.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Charleville, Queensland, he served with the Tunnelling Corps as a sapper on the Western Front.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, Mary Parkinson, and lived with his family in Bendigo, working as a labourer. During WWII he joined the AIF again.

Evanoff, Weckman, Hendrickson, Wiselenski

September 10, 2017

John Evanoff

  • John Evanoff (served as Jacob Evonoff), a Russian seaman from Novo Dilizhan, in Elizavetpol Province in the Caucasus (now Armenia), came to Australia in April 1917 and enlisted in Sydney two months later.
  • He served with the 53rd Battalion on the Western Front. In April 1918, two weeks after his arrival at the front, he was gassed, but continued his service. In September 1918, at the battle for Peronne, he was wounded in the leg and repatriated to Australia.
  • In 1919, soon after his discharge from the army, he married an Australian girl, Catherine Mary Lindbeck, and lived with his family in Sydney working as a labourer for the Water Board Department, and later as a miner.

Walter Alen Weckman

  • Walter Alen Weckman, a Finnish seaman from Vyborg, deserted his ship due to cruel treatment from the captain soon after their arrival at Fremantle in February 1917.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in July 1917, and served with the 51st Battalion on the Western Front. In July 1918 he fell ill and was evacuated to England; on 9 November 1918, two day before the Armistice, he died of pneumonia.
  • His relatives in Finland were found after the war.

John Edward Hendrickson

  • John Edward Hendrickson, a Finnish seaman from Abo (Turku), enlisted in the AIF in Fremantle in July 1917 together with Weckman.
  • Three months later he was discharged as medically unfit.
  • No records about his life after the war have been found.

Peter Wiselenski

  • Peter Wiselenski came from a peasant family in Slonim, Belarus. Leaving his home as a teenager, he spent five years in the USA, came to Brisbane in July 1917 and enlisted in the AIF a week later as Pete Wishkenlski.
  • He served with the 2nd Tunnelling Company on the Western Front as a sapper.
  • Returning to Australia, he married an Australian girl, Mary Eliza Revell. They took a land block in the soldiers’ settlement of Red Cliff, Victoria, where Peter worked as a farmer. Their son Peter Kelvin served in the AIF in WWII and Peter elder served in the volunteer defense corps.

Kopin, Carlsson, Hildon, Larson

September 1, 2017

Alexis Kopin

  • Alexis Kopin, a Polish carpenter, came to Brisbane from the Russian Far East in 1912. He worked in the cane-cutting areas of Central Queensland.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Melbourne in June 1917, he was sent to the Machine Gun Company for training. Two months later he asked to be discharged or to be transferred to the infantry, which raised his commanders’ suspicions.
  • Finally he was discharged, applied for a passport from the Russian consul, and left for Russia in December 1917.

Sven Eugen Carlsson

  • Sven Eugen Carlsson, a Finnish seaman from Helsingfors (Helsinki), came to Australia in December 1916.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Melbourne, he served with the 7th Battalion on the Western Front. In April 1918 he was wounded in the head, but recovered and returned to his battalion in August 1918. Two weeks later he was gassed, but survived. He was awarded Bronze Medal for his service.
  • He was discharged from the army in London in July 1919 and his life after that is unknown.

Alexander Hildon

  • Alexander Hildon, a Finnish seaman from Oulu, came to Western Australia in about 1909 and worked as a farm hand in the Fremantle area.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in June 1917, he was allocated to the 2nd Pioneer Battalion, but departed for the front only a year later. He was still in England when the war ended, but he was sent to the Western Front after that.
  • After the war he lived in Fremantle, working as a labourer.

John Edward Larson

  • John Edward Larson, a Finnish seaman from Kotka, came to Western Australia in 1906 and worked in the country as a labourer. He married an Australian girl, Rebecca Mary Beard, and had three children.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Perth, he served as a sapper with the 44th Battalion and the 11th Field Company Engineers on the Western Front.
  • After the war he lived in Fremantle, working as a labourer. He died early, in 1928, leaving 7 young children.