Nogal, Payton, Brun, Selman

December 31, 2015

Wladyslaw Nogal

  • Wladyslaw Nogal from Warsaw in Poland came to Australia in 1914 and worked in Kalgoorlie. He was a bricklayer by trade.
  • He served as a sapper with the 12th Field Company Engineers on the Western Front. In February 1917 he was wounded in the right shoulder and returned to Australia as medically unfit. Recovering in Australia, he enlisted once again in the AIF, but served only in the the depot.
  • While recovering in England, he met and married an English girl, Rosetta Westhorpe, who joined him in Western Australia, where he worked as a bricklayer, millhand, and miner. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF once again, working as a driver.

Frank Payton

  • Frank Payton (his original name was Dave Libman) was born in a Jewish family in Riga. At 13 he ran away from home, changed his name, and signed on to a boat to work. He landed in Australia in 1913 and worked as a fisherman.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served in the 10th Battalion on the Western Front, where he was wounded three times: first in July 1916 at Pozieres in his face and left hand, then in September 1917 in the arm, and in May 1918 at Ville-sur-Ancre with a gunshot wound fracturing his leg and leaving him lame. After that wound he was repatriated to Australia.
  • After the war he worked in Western Australia and Darwin as a fisherman, wharfie, whaler, and prospector.

Mathias Gustav Brun

  • Mathias Gustav Brun, an Estonian ship’s carpenter, came to Australia in November 1915 and enlisted a few weeks later in Sydney.
  • He served in the 53rd Battalion on the Western Front. In September 1917 he was wounded in the face, but recovering, returned to the trences. In March 1918 he was gassed and in April 1918 accidentally wounded himself in the left arm and was invalided to Australia.
  • After the war he continued his seafaring occupation.

Ivan Frederick Lowack Selman

  • Ivan Frederick Lowack Selman was born in Mitava (Jelgava) in Latvia. He studied for two years in a military college in St Petersburg. He gave his occupation as medical student.
  • He enlisted in the army in the beginning of the war in New Zealand, but was discharged as medically unfit. Coming to Australia he enlisted in Sydney and came to Egypt with the 17th Battalion. He got sick with meningitis and returned to Australia. In January 1917 he enlisted in the AIF once again, in Gulgong, Victoria, and sailed to England with the 7th Battalion. Reaching Plymouth he got sick and was repatriated to Australia.
  • The last records available about him relate to 1924 when he was in the Hospital for Incurables, Heidelberg, Victoria.

Savolainen, Buchner, Chernianin, Syren

December 29, 2015

Arthur John Savolainen

  •  Arthur John Savolainen, a seaman from Finland, came to Australia in about 1903 and worked as a sailor.
  • He came to the Western Front with the 57th Battalion in June 1916 and was killed three weeks later in the battle for Sugarloaf.
  • His mother in Finland was found after the war.

Hyman Buchner

  • Hyman Buchner (his real name was Waitrock), a Jewish man from Lodz in Poland, left with his family to Scotland, where he lived for 12 years, and in 1908 moved to Melbourne, where he worked as a tailor.
  • He served with the 57th, 59th, and 60th battalions on the Western Front. In August 1916 he was wounded at Pozieres. He recovered and returned to the trenches. In June 1918 he was wounded for the second time.
  • After the war he married an Australian woman, Margaret Ann Violet Armstrong; they lived in Melbourne, where Hyman worked as a mantle manufacturer. Later he lived in Sydney, where during WWII he enlisted in the AIF.

Effim Chernianin

  • Effim Chernianin from Eniseisk in Siberia, came to Australia in 1912 as a seaman. He worked in Port Pirie, Broken Hill and Adelaide, probably as a fitter and turner.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served in the 10th Battalion on the Western Front.
  • While in England he married a local girl, but she did not follow him to Australia and later he married Ruby Myrtle Eades. They lived in Adelaide, where he worked as a labourer and seaman.

Karl Syren

  • Karl Syren, a seaman from Finland, by the time of enlistment in the AIF, lived in Goulburn.
  • He served on the Western Front with the 55th Battalion. In September 1918 he was killed at the battle for Peronne.
  • His family in Finland was never found.

Nemirovsky, Kalinin, Johnson, Lagutin, Jansson

December 27, 2015

Michael Nemirovsky

  • Michael Nemirovsky, a Russianised Jewish man, was born in Mariinsk in Tomsk Province. He came to Western Australia not long before the war and worked as a draper.
  • He served in the 51st Battalion on the Western Front, being transferred in 1917 to the transport section. In September 1916 he was wounded at the battle for Mouquet Farm.
  • After the war he lived in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, working as a motor driver, tinsmith and conductor.

Serguey Kalinin

  • Serguey Kalinin from Ekaterinburg, after his service in the Russian army, came to Brisbane in 1909 and worked on farms and on railway construction.
  • Enlisting in the AIF as Serge Medvedeff, he served in the 31st Battalion on the Western Front. Gassed in 1917, he was returned to Australia with badly affected lungs.
  • After the war he lived in Brisbane, working as a labourer.

Andrew Johnson

  • Andrew Johnson, a Finn from Wasa, came to Australia in 1913 most likely as a seaman and worked in outback Queensland as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served as a gunner with the artillery batteries on the Western Front. He was wounded in October 1917 at Passchendaele and in April 1918 probably at Dernancourt, but continued soldering until the end of war.
  • After the war he lived in Queensland, but it is impossible to trace his life further due to his common name.

Nicholas Lagutin

  • Nicholas Lagutin was born in Moscow; according to police records, his father was French. He came to Australia in 1911 and worked as a labourer in New South Wales.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served in the 47th Battalion on the Western Front. He was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery and determination during the battle near Lihons in August 1918.
  • While in England, he married an English girl, Mabel Victoria Smith, and brought her to Australia after the war. They settled in Sydney where he worked as a tram conductor.

August Waldemar Jansson

  • August Waldemar Jansson, a Finnish seaman from Mariehamn, in the Aland Islands, enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne.
  • He came with the 5th Battalion to France in June 1916, but got sick and was discharged in London in the same year.
  • After his discharge from the army, he returned to the Aland Islands.

Berger, Fisher, Jacobson, Belkind, Brutton

December 26, 2015

John William Berger

  • John William Berger, a Latvian fireman from Riga, came to Melborne in 1912 if we are to believe his naturalisation. According to Victoria deserted seamen records he deserted from the Beltana in October 1915.
  • He enlisted in the AIF as John Birger in Brisbane, first served in the reserve and then with the 25th Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he married Australian girl,Beryl May Stokes, and lived in Brisbane working as a labourer. Later he lived in Sydney, working as a glass silverer and ironworker.

Henry Fisher

  • Henry Fisher, another seaman from Riga, came to Melbourne in 1887 and after several years in Sydney and Queensland settled in Port Pirie. He married a local girl, Elizabeth. By the time of his enlistment in the AIF he was a widower with three teenage sons.
  • He reduced his age, was accepted in the AIF and came to the Western Front with the 27th Battalion. He got sick there and was returned to Australia as ‘over age’ (he was 56 at that time).
  • After the war he lived in Port Pirie, working as a stevedore.

John Alfred Jacobson

  • John Alfred Jacobson, a Finnish ship’s carpenter from Vyborg, had an adventurous life before he landed in Australia. He was once shipwrecked, remaining for six days in the sea until he was rescued and taken to an English hospital.
  • He enlisted in the AIF at Werris Creek as Alfred Nelson. In March 1916 he left his camp on leave, spent all his money while drinking and, unable to return to the camp, went to Sydney and enlisted in the AIF there under his true name. In June the story repeated: he got stuck while drinking with his friends in Newcastle when he was arrested as an absentee and his two identities were blended into one. He ended up with a short detention and was discharged as medically unfit (he had osteoarthritis caused by the exposure during his shipwreck).

Ishai Belkind

  • Ishai Belkind, enlisting in the AIF, stated that he was born in Vilna (Vilnius) in Lithuania, but according to the Rishon Le Zion family history website, his parents were among the founders of the Rishon Le Zion agricultural settlement in Palestine and he was born there. His father was from Belarus and mother from Poland. In 1913 Ishai came to Western Australia and stating his occupation as a gardener and orchadist.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served with the 7th Field Company Engineers on the Western Front.
  • In 1919 he received a permit to travel to Palestine, and eventually returned to his family in Rishon Le Zion. In 1921, during the Arab uprising, he became a mounted policeman. Later he worked as an agricultural expert and film mechanic.

Ernest Otto Brutton

  • Ernest Otto Brutton, a seaman from Luban near Riga, was of German-Lettish origin. He came to Australia in October 1915 and enlisted soon afterwards.
  • He served as a gunner in the Field Artillery batteries on the Western Front. In October 1917 he was severely gassed at Passchendaele and returned to Australia as medically unfit.
  • After the war he worked as an electrician, farmer, canecutter and wharf labourer. In 1925 he married an Australian girl, Ada Rose Frost, and lived with his family in North Queensland.

Kostin, Jonhson, Leffow, Olsen, Zmood

December 25, 2015

John Kostin

  • John Kostin, according to his naturalization, was born in Kyshtym in Perm Province. His descendants believe that he was from Irkutsk and participated in the Russo-Japanese war. He was a fitter and engineer by trade. He arrived in Australia in 1910 and lived in New South Wales and Queensland.
  • Enlisting in the AIF he served in the 12th and 5th Field Company Engineers on the Western Front. In May 1917 he was wounded in the face at Bullecourt and gassed in June 1918.
  • In 1916, arriving with the troops to England, he met and married an English girl, Doris Louisa Trim. After the war they came to Australia where John took land in the soldier settlement of Stanthorpe. Later they moved to Deagon, north of Brisbane. In 1937 John died of complications from his mustard gas poisoning, leaving behind four young children. His two sons served in the AIF during WWII.

Paul Johnson

  • Paul Johnson from Kotka in Finland came to Sydney in 1887. He worked on Clarence River, Lane Cove River and in Fiji. In 1903 he married Australian woman Ruth Goff in Sydney.
  • When he enlisted in the AIF he was fifty five and he served only in the depot.
  • After the war he lived in Sydney working as a caretaker.

Jacob Leffow

  • Jacob Leffow was, most likely, from Chernigov in Ukraine. He came to Australia as a ship’s fireman and enlisted in the AIF soon afterwards.
  • He served with the 36th and 34th Battalions on the Western Front. His service was dotted with AWLs. In August 1918 he was killed at Peronne.
  • He made his will to the ‘Deaf, dumb and blind Institution’ in Sydney.

John Olsen

  • John Olsen, a labourer from Riga, lived in The Caves near Rockhampton by the time of his enlistment in the AIF.
  • He deserted two months after enlistment and disappears from the records.

Woolf Zmood

  • Woolf Zmood, a Jewish man from agricultural settlement Andreevka in Tavrida Province (now Ukraine), came to Australia in 1910, where he joined his relatives in Melbourne, working as a commercial traveller.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Cootamundra, he served with the 2nd Battalion on the Western front. In January 1917 he was wounded in the thigh, and in April 1918, at Hazebrouck, he was wounded once again in the left side.
  • After the war he lived in Melbourne, working as a commercial traveller and manufacturer in drapery business.

Aloe, Greive, Peachenoff, Rosing, Fest

December 21, 2015

Jack Aloe

  • Jack Aloe, an Estonian fireman from Revel (Tallinn) came to Australia in 1911 and worked in Port Pirie in South Australia. Before enlisting in the AIF he applied for naturalisation, but was refused.
  • He served with the 27th Battalion on the Western Front where he was wounded three times: twice in August 1916, at Pozieres and Mouquet Farm, and in April 1917 at Bullecourt. In August 1918, at the battle for Perrone, he was killed.
  • His mother, Mary Aloe, was found after the war in Riga and received his medals.

Charles Greive

  • Charles Greive, an engineer from Riga, came to Australia after three years service in the Russian army. By the time of his enlistment in the AIF, he lived in Cobram in Victoria.
  • Eight months after enlisting he deserted. He disappears from Australian records after that.

Feodot Peachenoff

  • Feodot Peachenoff, a peasant from Bratskoe in Kiev Province in Ukraine, served for four years in the Russian army. In 1911 he came to Australia from the Russian Far East, leaving behind his wife and daughter. He worked for over a year in railway construction work before he collected enough money to allow them to join him in Australia. They bought an agricultural farm in Booyal in Bundaberg area.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, Feodot served in the Field Ambulance.
  • After the war he returned to Booyal, but worked in cane-cutting as a labourer rather than a farmer; during WWII he moved to Sydney, while his son Victor served in the 2nd AIF.

Ian Rosing

  • Ian Rosing, a Latvian born in Omsk, according to his naturalisation papers, received a good education in Russia. He was fluent in Latvian, Russian, modern Greek, German and English. Later he stated that he worked in ciphers and codes in the Imperial Russian war office. He came to Australia in December 1915 and enlisted a few days later.
  • He started his service in Melbourne and while he was training his photograph appeared in The Australasian with the inscription: ‘Trooper Ian Rosing, a Siberian Cossack who fought in the Russo-Japanese war’ – despite Rosing being sixteen when the war started. He served with the 37th Battalion on the Western front, attaining the rank of warrant officer. He was wounded in January 1917 at Armentieres and in October of the same year at Passchendaele. In August 1918 he was wounded for the third time, at Amiens advance. In June 1917 he showed ‘conspicuous gallantry’ at the battle for Messines, for which he was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal. At a critical moment, when his officers ‘had become casualties’, he took command, ‘capturing the objective and re-organising his men against possible attacks’.
  • While serving in France he met and married a French woman Jeanne-Marie Chiffre, who joined him in Australia after the war. They lived in Melbourne where Rosing worked as a businessman engaged in import-export operations. He aspired to represent Latvian and Russian interests in Australia and during WWII joined the AIF serving in Headquarters in Melbourne as a clerk.

Charles Fest

  • Charles Fest from Helsingfors (Helsinki) in Finland came to Australia in 1909 and deserted his ship in Port Pirie. By 1915 he worked in Mount Morgan as miner.
  • Enlisting in the AIF he married an Australian girl, Mary Emmeline Phillipson, avoided embarkation and thendeserted the army several months later.
  • Afterwards he also used the names George Solomon and Charles George Fest. He was employed by the Harbour and Marine Department. By the time of WWII he lived on a houseboat called ‘Ocean Spray’ on the Hamilton Reach of the Brisbane River working as 2nd mate and diver on a drainage boat.

Leoshkevitch, Ruland, Levy, Chepurnoff, Gorkoon

December 9, 2015

Favst Leoshkevitch

  • Favst Leoshkevitch was born in Sokulka, on the territory of present day Poland, in the family of Russian colonel Pavel Leoshkevich. He studied in the Warsaw Cadet Corps and was fluent in French and Russian. His aspiration was to be a navigator, and in 1914, when he was just seventeen, he joined the sailing ship Gunda in Libava, which brought him and his Russian friends to Geelong in January 1915.Four of them joined the AIF.
  • Leoshkevitch served with the 24th Battalion on the Western Front, learning English from his mates. He was gassed twice, in March 1918, in Ploegsteert, and in August 1918, near Rouen.
  • After the war he settled in Melbourne working as a tram motorman. He married an Australian girl, Pauline Catherine Oakes, and raised a family. His son Leon preserved numerous yarns about his father’s life.

James Ruland

  • James Ruland, a seaman from Revel (Tallinn) in Estonia – although he also claimed to be born in Finland – came to Fremantle in November 1915 and enlisted a few days later.
  • He served in the 3rd Tunneling Company as a sapper on the Western Front and was gassed in October 1918.
  • While recovering in London, he married an English woman, Elsie Louisa Wykes, giving his name to her son Lawrence, who later served in the 2nd AIF. Their son James died in 1919 soon after birth and in 1920 they sailed to Australia with little Lawrence. They lived in Toodyay, Perth, and Kalgoorlie, where James worked as a boarding-house keeper and a cook. During WWII he joined the AIF and worked in the Aircraft Depot.

Arthur Levy

  • Arthur Levy, a Jewish man from Kovno (Kaunas), came to Australia most likely in the late nineteenth century. He worked as a salesman and commercial traveller in Sydney.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served in the 13th Battalion on the Western Front; in February 1917 he received a gunshot wound to his right arm and was repatriated to Australia.
  • After the war he lived in Sydney.

Dmitry Chepurnoff

  • Dmitry Chepurnoff was born in Andreevka near Penza in Russia and came to Australia in 1914 via the Russian Far East, landing in Cairns. He gave his occupation in Russia as a clerk and had to work as a labourer in Queensland and Northern Territory.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Melbourne, he served with the 46th Battalion on the Western Front. In September 1916 he was wounded in the back at Mouquet Farm. Recovering in England, he returned to the trenches in January 1917 and was wounded a week later in the left arm and repatriated to Australia.
  • In March 1918 he left for Russia and returned to his village, where his mother was waiting for him. In 1937 he was arrested by the NKVD for ‘Anti-Soviet activities’ and sentenced to three years imprisonment. In 1941 he was arrested once again, in Alma-Ata, and executed.

William Danieloff Gorkoon

  • William Danieloff Gorkoon was born in Fedorovka in Samara Province. He served in the Russian artillery for two years and came to Western Australia in 1912, probably as a seaman. He worked there as a sleeper cutter.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he arrived with the 51st Battalion on the Western Front in July 1916. He had several conflicts with his NCO, left his battalion, was caught and court martialled. A few days afterwards, in September 1916, he was killed at Mouquet Farm.
  • The authorities tried to contact William’s father in Fedorovka after his death, but most likely did not succeed.

Sundgren, Chain, Janus, Gustafson, Pasvalsky

December 5, 2015

Kusta Sundgren

  • Kusta Sundgren was born in Abo (Turku) in Finland; he came to Australia as a cook on a Finnish ship in 1907 and farmed in Pennant Hills, NSW.
  • He served with the 56th Battalion on the Western Front and was returned to Australia in 1917 as medically unfit.
  • After the war he farmed in Lisarow, marrying a local woman, Hilma Fuller.

Isaac Chain

  • Isaac Chain, a Jewish man from Odessa, came to Australia in 1908 from South Africa. He worked in Melbourne and Sydney as a cigarette manufacturer. By the time of his enlistment in the army he was married to Sarah Bass and had a son born soon after his departure for the front.
  • He served on the Western Front with the 4th Battalion until he got sick and returned to Australia in 1917.
  • After the war he stayed in the Sydney area and joind the 2nd AIF during WWII, serving in the 7th Garrison Battalion.

John Janus

  • John Janus, a seaman, came to Australia in the 1890s and naturalized in South Australia; later he lived in Echuca.
  • By the time of the war he was over forty, but in May 1915 he tried to enlist in the AIF in Echuka. He provided his place of birth as ‘Stettin in Germany’, but it was noted that he was of Russian descent. He was rejected on medical grounds, but a few weeks later he made a new attempt to enlist, this time in Jerilderie in NSW, providing his place of birth as the unidentifiable ‘Burnu’. Finally he was accepted in November 1915, in Narranderra. He served on the Western Front with the 55th Battalion and was wounded twice in the right leg, in March 1918 at Messines and in September 1918 at Perrone.
  • After the war he returned to Narranderra and tragically died in 1927 being crushed by a horse-driven wagon.

George Gustafson

  • George Gustafson (his true name was George Herman Bjorkbom), a Finnish sailor, came to Port Pirie in November 1915 and enlisted in the AIF a few weeks later.
  • He served on the Western Front with the 4th Pioneer Battalion. He had a number of AWLs and was court martialled for these in 1916. His service ended in 1918 when he accidentally fractured his jaw and was returned to Australia as medically unfit.
  • After the war he worked as a labourer and a cook in different areas of South Australia and New South Wales.

Louis Pasvalsky

  • Louis Pasvalsky, a young Jewish man born in Opotzk (Opochka) in Russia, came to Perth in Western Australia in 1912 to join his family. He worked as a metal polisher.
  • In August 1916 he arrived with the 51st Battalion at the Western Front and was killed twelve days later, in September 1916, at the battle for Mouquet Farm.
  • His brother and nephew served in the 1st and 2nd AIF.