Archives


Alksen, Campman, Gedgawd, Roman, Lax

August 30, 2016

Karl Alksen

  • Karl Alksen, a seaman from Vindava (Ventspils) in Latvia, came to Sydney in July 1916 and enlisted a month later; by that time he was already over forty.
  • He served with the 22nd Battalion on the Western Front. In September 1917 he was wounded at Ypres and in July and September 1918 he suffered gas damage.
  • After the war he continued seafaring in Australia, but prematurely died in 1924.

Charles Campman

  • Charles Campman, another mature-aged soldier from Riga, Latvia, had served in the South African War.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Lithgow in November 1915, but was soon discharged for drunkenness and insubordination. He reenlisted in August 1916 in Dubbo and served with the 45th Battalion on the Western Front. In June 1917, at Messines, he was wounded in the knee and was returned to Australia as medically unfit.
  • He received a pension after the war and died soon after his return.

Charles Anton Gedgawd

  • Charles Anton Gedgawd, a seaman from Libava (Liepaja) in Latvia, came to Australia in 1906 and worked in Queensland and South Australia as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Cloncurry, he served with the 25th Machine Gun Company on the Western Front. For his courage and devotion to duty during the battle for Polygon Wood in September 1917 he was awarded the Military Medal. In April 1918 he was severely wounded in the back, but recovered and returned to the front in September 1918; in October he suffered gas damage and received wounds to the face.
  • After the war he lived in country NSW working as a labourer and, marrying Elizabeth Ann Walton, farmed in the Windsor area.

Alexander Roman

  • Alexander Roman, a Polish man from Lublin, came to Queensland from the Russian Far East with his parents and family. By the time of his enlistment in the AIF he had four children.
  • He enlisted for the first time in June 1915, but was discharged soon after for lack of English. In August 1916 he enlisted again in Cloncurry and served with the 52nd Battalion on the Western Front until he was discharged as medically unfit.
  • After the war he went to Poland to reunite with his family, spent some time in China, but returned to Australia in 1926 and worked as a labourer in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

Ernst Arvid Lax

  • Ernst Arvid Lax, a Finnish seaman from Helsingfors, enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne.
  • Two months later he deserted from the camp.
  • He continued working as a seaman in the USA, where he naturalised, married and settled in New York.

Holmberg, Winter, Alexandroff, Kocaj, Elsky

August 27, 2016

Edward Holmberg

  • Edward Holmberg from Abo in Finland came to Western Australia in 1907 and was farming in Bolgart.
  • He served with the 16th Battalion on the Western Front. In August 1917 he was wounded in the leg, but recovered and continued serving. In April 1918 he received a self-inflicted wound due to negligence; three months later he was accused ‘inciting a comrade to desert with him’, but remained with his battalion and was wounded in the face in August 1918, during the Amiens advance.
  • Returning to Australia, he married an Australian girl, Lenore Fallon, and farmed in Kulin.

Frank Winter

  • Frank Winter, a Finish sailor from Helsingfors, enlisted in the Army in Claremont, Tasmania.
  • A month later he died in Hobart Hospital from pneumonia.
  • His mother in Helsingfors was found after his death and paid a pension.

Alex Alexandroff

  • Alex Alexandroff from Vladivostok came to Australia in 1914 and worked in Sydney as a cook.
  • He served with the 4th Battalion on the Western Front. Being discharged in London in August 1919, he enlisted in the Middlesex regiment as an interpreter and served in the Russian Relief Force as a sergeant.
  • When returning to Australia in 1920 he was suspected by the Australian authorities to have ‘Bolshevik sentiments’, but soon they lost trace of him. He settled in Sydney working as a chef. In 1943 he married an Australian woman, Doris Fairy Cook. When he was naturalising in 1940 police considered the evidence that he did ‘not mix with people of Russian nationality’.

Nicholas Kocaj

  • Nicholas Kocaj, a Polish man from Tomaszow, arrived in Australia in 1910 and worked as a cook in Coffs Harbour.
  • He served with the 3rd Pioneer Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he married an English girl, Gladys Winnifred Wilshere, returning with his wife to Australia in 1920. They settled near Sydney where they had a poultry farm. In 1925 Nicholas died and his widow with four young children returned to England.

Stanley Elsky

  • Stanley Elsky, a Polish man from Warsaw, came to Brisbane in 1911 from Vladivostok, where his mother was staying. Although recorded in the shipping records as a student, he worked as a labourer on the farm.
  • He served with the 3rd Machine Gun Battalion on the Western Front. In July 1918 he was wounded in the leg, but returned to his unit in November 1918.
  • In May 1919 he was discharged in London and stayed there, naturalising in 1959.

Pimonoff, Popoff, Sandberg, Waxman, Lihpin

August 22, 2016

Waseli Pimonoff

  • Waseli Pimonoff was born in a village near St Petersburg. He came to Brisbane in 1915 as a seaman on a sailing ship from London and worked as a railway labourer.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Rockhampton, but was discharged two months later as medically unfit.
  • After the war he made several attempts to return to Russia to reunite with his wife and parents, but finally stayed in Australia, working as a labourer and waterside worker in Queensland, Melbourne and Sydney.

Alick Popoff

  • Alick Popoff from Penza came to Australia in 1915 as a sailor.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he served with the 21st Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he continued his occupation as a merchant seaman, working on British ships.

Carl John Sandberg

  • Carl John Sandberg from Borgo in Finland came to Melbourne in 1907 and worked as a miner and labourer in Victoria.
  • He served with the 58th Battalion on the Western Front. In September 1917 he was wounded in the head and shoulder in the battle for Polygon Wood near Ypres and died of his wounds two days later.

Samuel Waxman

  • Samuel Waxman, a Jewish man from Warsaw, came to Melbourne in 1912 and worked as a salesman and draper.
  • He served with the 24th Battalion on the Western Front. In March 1918 he was gassed at Ploegsteert, but recovered and continued his service.
  • After the war he married Leah Peskin and had a family, working as a cloth merchant in Melbourne and Adelaide.

George Lihpin

  • George Lihpin from Riga came to Australia in 1911 as a seaman, deserting his ship in Geelong.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Adelaide as George Haak, he was discharged six months later as medically unfit. He made one more attempt to enlist in the AIF in 1917 and disappears from the records after that.

Pankoff, Sterletsky, Gordon, Rohdy

August 18, 2016

John August Pankoff

  • John August Pankoff from Libava (Liepaja) in Latvia left Russia in his youth as a sailor travelling all over the world. He came to Australia on a sailing ship in 1913 and continued working in Australian waters.
  • With the 8th and 5th Machine Gun companies he served on the Western Front where he was affected by gas poisoning.
  • After his discharge from the Army he worked on the ships on the north-east coast of the USA, returning to Australia in 1925. He married an Australian girl, Jane Christine Jorgenson, and lived with his family in Ipswich working as a millwright assistant. During WWII he served in the Volunteer Defence Corps.

Peter Sterletsky

  • Peter Sterletsky, a Russian from Tobolsk in Siberia, came to Brisbane in 1912 and worked as a labourer on the construction of railways.
  • He served with the 26th Battalion on the Western Front, being gassed in November 1917, at Passchendaele.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, Isabella Esther Stephens, and worked as a railway ganger.

Leo Gordon

  • Leo Gordon, a Jewish man from Girtagola (Girkalnis) in Lithuania, came to Adelaide in South Australia in 1908 and worked in Broken Hill as a storekeeper and hotel useful. In 1911 he married a Jewish girl, Annie Griff, but she died in 1915.
  • He served with the 18th Battalion on the Western Front, being severely wounded in the back and arm in May 1917, at Bullecourt. Recovering, he continued his service until he was wounded in the leg in October 1918 during the final attack on the Hindenburg Line.
  • After the war he lived in Sydney, marrying Rebecca Symonds. In the 1930s they moved to Broken Hill, where Leo worked as a salesman.

John Rohdy

  • John Rohdy was born in Russia, but did not provide the place of his birth. He studied in a school in America, coming to Australia in 1906, and lived in Newcastle and Brisbane, working as a wharf labourer. He married an Australian girl, Cecelia Cox, and had a daughter.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney as an American citizen, he served with the 1st Battalion on the Western Front. In May 1917 he was wounded in the right arm at Bullecourt and returned to Australia.
  • After the war he lived with his family in Brisbane working as a labourer, later moving to Sydney and then to Narrabeen, where he worked as a watchman.

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Rosenberg, Robinsky, Jeschek, Yurak

August 13, 2016

Solomon Rosenberg

  • Solomon Rosenberg, a Jewish man from Warsaw, came to Australia in 1908, after serving in the Russian army. He arrived in Sydney from Japan and worked as a tailor.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne, but was discharged a few weeks later as his English was very limited.
  • In 1925 he left for France and his Australian naturalisation was revoked in 1934.

Peter Robinsky

  • Peter Robinsky from Riga travelled all over the world before landing in Newcastle in 1913. He lived in Sydney working as a gardener.
  • The first time he enlisted in Liverpool was as Peter Robaky in July 1915, but he was discharged as an absentee. He moved to Melbourne and enlisted there a year later and served with the 60th Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he lived in Melbourne and Sydney, working as a liftman, janitor, and carpenter. He was married to an Australian woman, Lottie Watson.

Frank Jeschek

  • Frank Jeschek, a Polish man from Warsaw, came to Australia as a seaman in 1908.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Tasmania, he sailed to the Western Front with the 12th Battalion, but upon arrival to England he fell ill with TB and was sent back to Tasmania.
  • After his discharge he returned to seafaring but his condition deteriorated and he died in August 1919 in Tasmania.

Oscar Yurak

  • Oscar Yurak from Salismunde in Latvia worked in Australia as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he arrived with the 39th Battalion to the Western Front and requested a transfer to the Russian Army. In 1917 he was returned to Australia and discharged.
  • After the war he planned to sail to New York.

Norman, Koty, Sadagoursky, Kirilloff, Alexseff

August 4, 2016

Frank Norman

  • Frank Norman, a Finnish seaman from Kristinestad, was working in Broken Hill by the time of his enlistment in the AIF.
  • He served with the 37th Battalion on the Western Front, later being transferred to the 3rd Division Salvage Company. In April 1917 he broke his leg in an accident and was returned to Australia.
  • After the was he lived in Bowden and Port Pirie in South Australia.

George Herman Koty

  • George Herman Koty, a Jewish man born in Kiev, emigrated to New York with his family in 1906. He came to Australia as a seaman and enlisted in the AIF in Adelaide.
  • He served with the 40th Battalion on the Western Front. In January 1917, at Armentieres, he was wounded in the neck, but, recovering, returned to the front. In April 1918, at Dernancourt, he was wounded once again in the arm and in August 1918, at the beginning of the final advance, in the leg.
  • After his discharge from the AIF in Australia he returned to the USA. He married, and worked in the dyeing and cleaning business.

Harry Sadagoursky

  • Harry Sadagoursky, a Jewish man from Odessa, migrated with his family to Palestine as a child. In 1912 Harry and his family moved to Perth.
  • Harry made his first attempt to enlist in August 1914 when he was just seventeen, but was rejected because of ‘under chest measurement’. The second time he enlisted was in July 1916, but he was discharged several months later as being underage. He made one more attempt to enlist a year later, but was rejected because of eye problems.
  • After the war he worked as a carter, later moving to Melbourne where he married Sadie Leon and became a master fruiterer at the Victoria, Prahran and Dandenong markets.

Ivan Vasilivich Kirilloff

  • Ivan Vasilivich Kirilloff, a Russian from Rostov-on-Don, came to Australia in 1911 from the Russian Far East with his wife Klavdia and daughter Evgenia. They settled in Ipswich, where he worked as a turner in the railway workshops.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Brisbane, he got ill with rheumatism and was discharged three months later.
  • After the war he lived in Injune, managing a store. Retiring, he moved to Brisbane, and took a trip with his family to the USA and England in 1929.

Vladimir Alexseff

  • Vladimir Alexseff, born in Vladivostok, came to Australia in 1911 from Africa as a seaman and worked on coastal ships.
  • According to his statement, he enlisted in the AIF at the beginning of the war and served for six months; later he was engaged on the transport vessel taking troops to Gallipoli (these records have not been found). In July 1916 he applied for enlistment in the AIF once again but was rejected as medically unfit because of defective vision.
  • In 1915 he married an Australian girl, Myra Alison Burwood-Baldry, and had a son. They lived in Sydney where Vladimir worked as a fitter and turner. He got sick with TB and, in spite of medical treatment in Switzerland, died in 1932.