Tosold, Gershen, Wald, Uscinski

August 22, 2017

John Tosold

  • John Tosold, from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, at enlistment in the AIF posed as a native of ‘Russian Poland’. He was a sailor and came to Australia in 1906, working as a labourer in South and Western Australia. When the war broke out he tried to naturalise, but was rejected. In 1915 he was arrested and interned as an enemy, but stated that he was naturalised in the USA and was released.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Port Lincoln in South Australia in May 1917 as a Russian subject, but was discharged a month later and interned as a POW.
  • In 1919 he was deported to Austria, where he married and returned to Australia in 1927 with his wife Hanna and two daughters. He worked as a farmhand and contractor and for years tried to naturalise in Australia, until he finally succeeded in 1946.

Morris Gershen

  • Morris Gershen, a Jewish man from Russian Poland, came to England in his youth and emigrated to Western Australia in 1908. He worked as a tailor in Boulder City and Kalgoorlie, marrying a local girl, Ethel May Temby, in 1915.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served with the 16th Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he received some vocational training in England and, returning to Australia, opened a successful business, first in Moora and then in Geraldton.

Alfred Wald

  • Alfred Wald, a Finn from Mariehamn, worked in Western Australia as a farmhand.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Bunbury, he served with the 16th Battalion on the Western Front. In August 1918 he was wounded in the ear, but returned to his battalion two weeks later.
  • After the war he lived in country areas of Western Australia, working as a farm worker and labourer.

Vincent Uscinski

  • Vincent Uscinski, a Polish man born in Ostrow, came to Australia with his parents and siblings in 1911 from Harbin, where the family had spent several years. They settled in Brisbane, where Vincent worked as a sign writer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served with the 41st Battalion on the Western Front.
  • He died in an accident in 1921 upon his return to Australia.

Puhakka, Kipman M., Kipman S., Mikolaizyk, Danoff

August 18, 2017

Matti Puhakka

  • Matti Puhakka, a Finnish seaman from Oulu, came to Australia in 1910 and worked as a horse driver.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Brisbane, he served with the 47th and 49th battalions on the Western Front. In March 1918 he was wounded in the forearm, but returned to the front after his recovery.
  • After the war he married in Finland and brought his wife Hulda Katherina Pulkkenen to Australia. They lived first in Melbourne and then in Sydney, while Matti continued working as a seaman. In 1936 he was accidentally killed aboard the SS Wanganella.

Maximilian Kipman

  • Maximilian Kipman came from a well-off, cultured Polish family; he was born Copenhagen, Denmark, while his parents were travelling in Europe. Spending some time in Switzerland and England, he came to Australia in November 1914 together with his younger brother Stanley Kipman. They settled in Sydney and worked as cashiers.
  • Maximilian volunteered to the army but was rejected; on the 5th of May 1917 he was accepted as a member of the clerical staff, working in the Quartermaster section of Liverpool camp. He also worked in the Censor’s staff as an interpreter. In July 1917 he was discharged in order to join AIF. He was allocated to the Engineer Officers Training School, but discharged two months later. One the reasons for this could have been denunciations of his ‘pro-German’ sympathies sent in by the members of the public.
  • After the war Maximilian worked as a piano tuner in Sydney and NSW; later he became a liqueur salesman. In 1922 he married Henrietta Christina Mclean, whom he later divorced. His second wife, Florence Hooke, died due to an attempted abortion.

Stanley Kipman

  • Stanley (Stanislaus) Kipman, the younger brother of Maximilian, was born in Warsaw, travelled all over Europe and came to Australia in 1914.
  • He applied to enlist in the AIF in 1914, 1915, and 1916, but was rejected for medical reasons. Finally, like his brother, he was accepted in the Quartermaster section of Liverpool camp. After two months he was discharged to join the AIF. He was accepted to Home service and posted to the wireless section, but was discharged in January 1918 as medically unfit. The denunciations against his brother could have affected his army career as well.
  • After the war he lived in Sydney, working as a piano tuner. In the late 1920s he moved to the USA, where he settled in Oakland, California.

Victor Ivan Mikolaizyk

  • Victor Ivan Mikolaizyk, a seaman of Russian-Estonian background, came to Australia in 1913 and worked in Sydney as a winch driver.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served with the 2nd Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he continued his occupation as a seaman.

Jacob Danoff

  • Jacob Danoff, a Russian seaman from Levaia Rossosh in Central Russia, came to Australia in 1913 and worked as a labourer. He was active in the radical Russian community in Brisbane.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Brisbane, he was allocated to the Mining Corps reinforcements, but discharged the next year because of ‘mental disease’.
  • He died in 1923 in Sydney.

Kiviselg, Stuhrit, Rautio, Brining, Pavoloff

August 13, 2017

Alexander Kiviselg

  • Alexander Kiviselg, an Estonian seaman from Pärnu, came to Australia in April 1917 and enlisted a few days later.
  • Enlisting in Sydney, he served with the 3rd Battalion on the Western Front. In September 1918, during the advance south of Perone, he was severely wounded in the leg, arm, head and shoulder.
  • Recovering, he returned to Australia, but died as the result of an accident in September 1919.

Alexander Stuhrit

  • Alexander Stuhrit, a Latvian from Libava (Liepaja), claimed to serve for 4 years in the American Navy. In February 1917 he worked on ships in South Australia as a donkey-man. He got into trouble with the police for assault and soon afterwards enlisted in the AIF.
  • He served as a sapper with the 3rd Tunnelling Company on the Western Front.
  • While in Scotland, he married Agnes Aitken, but returned to Australia on his own, and after a number of further assaults and troubles with the law, left for the USA. He married there and worked on American ships.

John Rautio

  • John Rautio, a Finn from Oulu, came to Australia in 1890 and worked as a gardener in Sydney.
  • He enlisted in the AIF, but was discharged four months later as being ‘overage’ (he was 46 years old by that time).
  • His trail disappears after the war.

William Brining

  • William Brining, a Latvian seaman from Riga, enlisted in the AIF in Newcastle.
  • He served with the 36th and 34th battalions on the Western Front. He was killed on 31 August 1918 at the battle for Peronne.
  • His mother in Riga was found after the war and received an Australian pension.

George Pavoloff

  • George Pavoloff was born in the St Petersburg area and came to Australia 1916, working as a barber and hairdresser.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Grafton, he served with the 1st Battalion on the Western Front. In March 1918 he was gassed and in September 1918, during the advance south of Peronne, was wounded in the leg.
  • After the war he returned to Australia, but no information can be found after that time.

Hemming, Kinninen, Anderson, Michelson

August 8, 2017

Hemming Karl Hemming

  • Hemming Karl Hemming, a Finnish seaman from Abo (Turku), by the time of his enlistment lived in Melbourne, working as a turner.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he sailed with the 1st Pioneer Battalion for the Western Front, but became sick while in Liverpool and was returned to Australia.
  • He died in 1924 in Heidelberg, Victoria.

Kaarl Kinninen

  • Kaarl Kinninen, a Finnish seaman, enlisted in the AIF in Perth.
  • He served with the 11th Battalion on the Western Front. In August 1918, during the Amiens advance, he was wounded in the leg and shoulder and repatriated to Australia.
  • After the war he returned to Western Australia and received a pension in 1920, but disappears from the records after that.

Harry Anderson

  • Harry Anderson, a Finn from Helsingfors (Helsinki), was farming in Western Australia.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Perth, he served with the 10th Light Horse Regiment in Egypt.
  • After the war he returned to Western Australia.

John Victor Michelson

  • John Victor Michelson, a Latvian seaman, came to South Australia in 1912. He settled on Witera Station near Talia, working as a farm hand.
  • In April 1917 he enlisted in the AIF in Adelaide, and married Mary Irene White, a girl from Milang, a few months later; their first child was born when he was serving in the AIF overseas. He served with the 3rd Light Horse Regiment in Egypt.
  • After the war he took up farming in Olive Hill and Cungena, West Coast of South Australia, working as a carpenter and contractor. He and his wife raised a large family and two of their children served in the AIF in WWII. John himself enlisted in the AIF and served in a garrison battalion. After the war he was the president of the local sub-branch of the R.S.L. in Milang.

Lehrback, Pontynen, Skovronski, Arman

August 6, 2017

Matts Anders Lehrback

  • Matts Anders Lehrback, a Finnish seaman from Uleaborg (Oulu), came to Australia in 1884 on the Russian barque Felix and deserted his ship in Geelong. He continued working as a seaman and stevedore, settling in Fremantle, where he joined the Freemason Lodge and married Louisa Rasmus. They had four children. Matts later worked as a water-police constable, station hand and miner in Western Australia.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in April 1917, but was discharged a month later as an ‘overage’ person (by that time he was nearly fifty).
  • After the war he lived in Western Australia working as a labourer; his son Carl Sanfrid served in the AIF in WWII.

Waine Henry Pontynen

  • Waine Henry Pontynen, a Finnish sailor from Helsingfors (Helsinki), came to Sydney in 1916 and worked as a house painter.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Brisbane and served with the 4th Machine Gun Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war, while in England, he married an English widow, Catherine Sharp (née Cummins) and came with his wife to Brisbane, where he worked as a painter.

Joseph Skovronski

  • Joseph Skovronski, a Polish man from Warsaw, came to Brisbane in 1912 via the Russian Far East, where he spent a number of years before emigration. His brother Stanley Skownonski lived in Australia as well. Upon arrival Joseph worked as a signwriter in Brisbane and Sydney.
  • Enlisting in the AIF he served with the 1st Field Company Engineers on the Western Front.
  • After the war he settled in Sydney, married an Australian girl, Isabella Toakley, and continued his occupation as a painter, decorator and a successful artist.

John Arman

  • John Arman, an Estonian from Pärnu, in 1916 moved from Halifax, in the cane-cutting area of Queensland, to Greta in New South Wales, working as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he served with the 45th and 56th battalions on the Western Front. In October 1918 he was killed during the attack on Hindenburg Line.
  • His family in Estonia was never found.