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Rossi, Trellick, Gyllensten, Saari, Smelga

December 25, 2017

Enoch Rossi

  • Enoch Rossi, a Finnish seaman from Kuopio, came to Sydney at the end of 1915.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Townsville in October 1917, he served with the 49th Battalion on the Western Front.
  • In 1919, while in London, he married Finnish woman Ilma Keihonen and returned to Australia with her. After the war they lived in Brisbane, where he worked as a fitter. The marriage did not last long. By 1926 Enoch moved to Melbourne, changing his surname to Ross. There he worked as a labourer and cement worker. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF and served in the garrison battalion.

Harry Trellick

  • Harry Trellick, a Latvian seaman from Libava (Liepaja), came to Australia in 1906 and worked on the ships in Victoria.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Melbourne, he served with the 3rd Pioneer Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, Lily Guthrie, settled in Melbourne and continued serving on the ships.

Carl Eric Gyllensten

  • Carl Eric Gyllensten from Helsingfors (Helsinki) came to Sydney in 1912. Australian newspapers later reported that he turned out to be a Russian Count who lost his fortune in the financial crash of a London bank. He worked as a surveyor, visiting Darwin and Papua in New Guinea.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Port Augusta, SA, Gyllensten was allocated to the Medical Corps reinforcements and served in England. After the war he took a course in surveying at King’s College, London, and returned to Australia in September 1919 as a nursing staff member aboard a troopship.
  • After the war he settled in South Australia, taking a block of land in Berri not long before his premature death.

Hugo Michael Walter Saari

  • Hugo Michael Walter Saari from Marihamn in Finland came to Australia in 1914, probably as a seaman, and worked as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he served with the 15th Company Engineers and the Motor Transport Section in France, arriving there after the armistice.
  • After the war he vagabonded all over Australia, worked as a seaman and often got into trouble with the police for his disorderly behaviour, being known by his Australian nickname, Pappinburra Bill.

John Smelga

  • John Smelga, a Latvian seaman from Riga, came to Melbourne in October 1917 and enlisted in the AIF three weeks later.
  • Enlisting in the AIF as John Smilga, he sailed with the 39th Battalion to the Western Front, but received a head wound on the ship and, upon reaching London, was finally returned to Australia.
  • While in London he married Florence Quinn, who joined him in Australia in 1920. They settled in Melbourne, where he was working as a waterside worker.