Archives


Forsberg, Smirnoff, Simula, Wishman

September 25, 2018

Otto Alexander Forsberg

  • Otto Alexander Forsberg, a Finnish seaman from Mariehamn, came to Australia in about 1902 and continued serving on ships in Australian waters. In 1903 he married an Australian girl, Mary Allen Semple, in Victoria and lived with his family in Melbourne, working as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in May 1918, he sailed with reinforcements to England, disembarking in London three days after the Armistice; nevertheless he spent some time with the troops in France.
  • After the war he returned to Melbourne, but died early, in 1922.

Paul Smirnoff

  • Paul Smirnoff, a young Russian man from Vologda, came to Australia in 1914 and worked as a labourer, wheeler and miner in New South Wales.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in May 1918 in Cessnock and sailed with reinforcements to the Western front, arriving there after the end of the war. In 1919 he joined the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army, the North Russian Relief Force, as  an interpreter and acting sergeant, and served with it in Northern Russia.
  • After the war he returned to Australia, but most likely later moved to the UK.

Vaino Alexander Simula

  • Vaino Alexander Simula, a Finnish seaman from Helsingfors (Helsinki), was serving on the ships in Newcastle during the war.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in February 1918, but was rejected on medical grounds. In May 1918 he enlisted once again in Newcastle, as Alexander Simula, and was accepted. He sailed with reinforcements to Western Front, arriving in France in January 1919, and served there in the graves registration department.
  • After the war, returning to Australia, he married an Irish girl, Mary Janetta Stewart, and lived in Parramatta and Sydney working as a labourer. They had three sons; their elder son Roy Alexander served in the Australian Army during the Second World War.

David Wishman

  • David Wishman, a Jewish man from Sheduva (now Lithuania), probably came to Australia as a seaman on the Russian ship Lawhill, deserting it in South Australia in 1917. During the war he lived in Sydney working as a bicycle builder.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in May 1918, he sailed with reinforcements to the Western Front, arriving in France in February 1919.
  • After the war he returned to Sydney, but it has been impossible to trace his life in the following years.

Kasak, Nazarow, Goldberg, Helppi

September 16, 2018

John Kasak

  • John Kasak, a Latvian or Estonian sailor from Riga, came to Australia during the war. Before that he had already registered for military service in the USA in 1917.
  • In May 1918 he enlisted in the AIF and was sent with reinforcements to England. In October he became severely ill with pneumonia and was returned to Australia.
  • After the war the continued serving on ships in the USA.

Daniel Nazarow

  • Daniel Nazarow came from the village Zaplavnoe, near Astrakhan. Ethnically he was Russian, but belonged to the Judaizing Talmudists by denomination. He spent two and a half years in Palestine and came to Western Australia in 1912, leaving behind his wife and two children. In Australia he worked as a labourer, clearing land, and then as a miner in outback areas; in 1917 he was injured in a dynamite explosion.
  • In May 1918 he enlisted in the AIF, but was discharged soon afterwards due to medical reasons and lack of English.
  • After the war he worked as an umbrella mender, and then again as a miner, living in Sydney and different areas of Western Australia.

Joseph Goldberg

  • Joseph Goldberg, whose true name was Joseph Albert Rosen, bas born in Warsaw and came to Australia in 1902 as a seaman. He lived in South Australia, working as a pastry cook.
  • In May 1918 he enlisted to the AIF and was sent with reinforcements to England, but arrived after the armistice.
  • After the war he married Margaret McInerney and lived in Sydney, working as a salesman.

Antti Helppi

  • Antti Helppi, a Finnish seaman from Vyborg, came to Australia in 1916 and served on the ships in Sydney and Brisbane.
  • In May 1918 he enlisted in the AIF in Brisbane and sailed with reinforcements to the Western Front. He was sent to France on 6 November 1918, a few days before the armistice.
  • After the war he continued serving on the ships in Australia and died in 1927.

Dambelis, Henrickson, Warro, Eriksson, Traub

September 4, 2018

Frederick August Dambelis

  • Frederick August Dambelis, a Latvian seaman from Riga, came to Australia in 1913 and lived in Sydney, working as a rigger and motor driver. In 1917 he married a widow, Mary Raymond Goddard.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in March 1918, he was allocated to the Australian Flying Corps as a 2nd class mechanic. He was not sent to Europe and discharged after the end of the war.
  • After the war he worked in the Australian Gas Company; he lost his wife in 1924.

Anton Wicktor Henrickson

  • Anton Wicktor Henrickson from Vardo, Aland Islands, in Finland, came to Western Australia as a seaman in 1908. He was working as a timber worker in the south-western areas of the state, but later moved to Newcastle.
  • He tried to enlist in 1916, but was rejected because of insufficient English. He got in the trouble with the law several times and after finishing a 3 month prison term enlisted in the AIF in March 1918 in Newcastle and was accepted. He was sent to England with the reinforcements to the 55th Battalion but arrived too late to fight on the Western front.
  • He died in 1921, soon after returning to Australia and his discharge.

John Warro

  • John Warro, a young Estonian seaman from Revel (Tallinn), by the time of his enlistment in the AIF, was working as a labourer in Port Pirie.
  • Enlisting in Port Pirie, he sailed with reinforcements to England, but his unit reached France only after the end of the war.
  • After the war he stayed in Australia, working as a fireman on the ships, but by the 1920s moved to the USA and continued seafaring there.

Erik Hugo Eriksson

  • Erik Hugo Eriksson, a Finn from Mariehamn, by the time of his enlistment was working as a labourer in Sydney. During the war he served in the 5th Light Horse unit in Citizen Forces.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in March 1918, but was discharged soon afterwards.
  • It was impossible to trace his life after the war.

Aron Traub

  • Aron Traub, a Jewish man from Pilica, Poland, came to Australia in 1900 and worked as a hairdresser. After 3 years in Sydney, he moved to Albury, where he married Kathleen Miller. They had two daughters, later moving to Melbourne.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Melbourne, he sailed to England with the reinforcements to the 58th battalion, but his unit landed in France 11 days after the Armistice.
  • After the war he lived with his family in Melbourne, working as a hairdresser and warder.

Roth, Ettingove, Elecoff

September 1, 2018

Felix Witold Roth

  • Felix Witold Roth, a sculptor from Warsaw in Poland, came to Australia from Japan in 1911. He lived in Sydney, where he married Australian girl Lynda Thelma Johnson and had a daughter.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in February 1918 he arrived to England with reinforcements, but was sent to France only after the end of the war and later worked in the Modelling Subsection of the Australian War Records Section in London.
  • After the war he lived with his family in Sydney, working as a sculptor.

Samuel Ettingove

  • Samuel Ettingove, a Jewish man from Mogilev Province in Belarus, came to Australia in 1912 to join his uncle Sidney Myer. He studied at Melbourne University.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in February 1918 and was trained as a gunner, but a month later he was severely injured when his motorcycle collided with a tram. He died two months later.
  • His army mates paid tribute to him in newspaper advertisements years after the war.

Michael Elecoff

  • Michael Elecoff, an Ossetian from the North Caucasus, came to Australia in 1914 and was working as a labourer and wheeler at the mines.
  • He made several attempts to enlist in the AIF, but was rejected on medical grounds. His last unsuccessful attempt was in February 1918.
  • After the war he was working as a miner and in 1924 married an Australian girl, Ivy May Shaw, in Lithgow. They had four children, but Michael died early.