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Rothberg, Shulcosky, Wendell, Tornroos, Carlson

August 27, 2017

Max Rothberg

  • Max Rothberg, a Jewish man from Bessarabia, after spending several years in Canada and England, came to Australia in 1913 and worked in Melbourne as a carpenter, living with his partner Sarah Spitallnic and their children.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served with the 1st Field Company Engineers on the Western Front.
  • After the war he moved to Brisbane, where he married Doris Elizabeth Mary Mellor and continued working as a carpenter. In the 1940s and 1950s he worked in Port Moresby in New Guinea.

Tony Shulcosky

  • Tony Shulcosky, a Polish man from Suwalki Province, came to Australia from America in 1904. By the time of his enlistment in the AIF he was living in Armidale, working as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served with the 36th Battalion on the Western Front as a Lewis gunner. In April 1918, at Amiens, he was wounded in the leg and repatriated to Australia.
  • After the war he lived in country NSW, working as a labourer.

Leander Ludwig Wendell

  • Leander Ludwig Wendel, a Finn from Abo (Turku), spending several years in the USA and England, came to Australia in 1915. He settled in Newcastle, where he married Edith Albertina Hambley, a widow with eight children, and worked as a motor driver.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served as a sapper with the 14th Field Company Engineers on the Western Front. In November 1918 he was accidentally injured and returned to Australia.
  • After the war he lived in Newcastle and Sydney, working with NSW Railways as a fitter, motor driver and later as a carpenter and bridge carpenter.

Arvo Malakiias Tornroos

  • Arvo Malakiias Tornroos, a Finnish seaman from Rauma, came to Melbourne in 1913 and worked at Leongatha as a farm hand.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Melbourne, he served with the 24th Battalion on the Western Front. In July 1918 he was gassed, but recovered and returned to his battalion. In October 1918 he was killed in the attack on the Hindenburg Line.
  • His family was found in Finland after the war.

Carl Carlson

  • Carl Carlson, a Finnish seaman from Abo (Turku), was working as a labourer in South Australia.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Port Pirie, he served with the 48th Battalion on the Western Front. He got sick after a month at the front, was repatriated to Australia, and died in Melbourne soon after his return to Australia.

Green, Lauren, Peterson, Steinberg, Hanson

August 24, 2017

Michael Green

  • Michael Green, a Finnish seaman from Helsingfors (Helsinki), came to South Australia in 1895 and by the time of his enlistment in the AIF worked as a wharf labourer and sailmaker.
  • Enlisting in Port Augusta in May 1917, he was discharged five months later as ‘overage’ (he was 45 by that time).
  • It was not possible to trace his life after the war.

Karl Walter Wilhelm Lauren

  • Karl Walter Wilhelm Lauren, a Finn from Abo (Turku), came to Australia in about 1910 and was working as a labourer in South Australia.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Adelaide he served with the 43rd Battalion on the Western Front. In July 1918 he was severely wounded and died of wounds a day later.
  • His mother was found after the war in Finland.

Gustaf Adolph Peterson

  • Gustaf Adolph Peterson, a Finnish carpenter from Vyborg, settled in Newcastle and married an Australian girl Johanna Kelly in 1907; they had five children. By the time of his enlistment in the AIF he was living in Brisbane.
  • He enlisted for the first time in November 1916 and was allocated to the Naval Bridging Train. In May 1917, when the unit was disbanded, he reenlisted and served as a sapper with the 8th Field Company Engineers on Western Front.
  • After the war he moved to Sydney, where he continued working as a carpenter. His sons Gustave Reinhold and Eric served in the AIF in WWII.

Jack Steinberg

  • Jack Steinberg, a Jewish man from Odessa or Brest, worked in Perth as a cabinet maker. He was married.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in May 1917, but was discharged two months later for medical reasons.
  • After the war he lived in Brisbane. In 1944 he committed suicide.

Hugo Hanson

  • Hugo Hanson, a Finnish seaman from Lovisa, came to Australia in about 1915.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he served with the 17th Battalion on the Western Front. In August 1918 he was killed at the Amiens advance.
  • His family was found in Finland after the war.

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.

Eriksson, Sundell, Andstrom

May 31, 2017

Eric Waldemar Eriksson

  • Eric Waldemar Eriksson, a Finnish sailor from Helsingfors (Helsinki), came to Australia in 1915 and enlisted in the AIF in Tamworth.
  • He sailed for Egypt with the reinforcements to 1st Light Horse Regiment, but on the way there became sick and stayed in hospital in Colombo, serving later in the Signal Service Depot in Poona, India. In April 1918 he finally reached Egypt and served in the Light Horse Regiment and as a stores guard in Duran.
  • After the war he worked as a coal miner and tried to enlist during WWII.

Andrew Sundell

  • Andrew Sundell, a Finnish sailor and carpenter from Wasa, came to South Australia in December 1916.
  • Three months later he enlisted in the AIF in Port Pirie. He was not sent overseas, having some AWLs and being court martialled.
  • After the war he lived in South Australia, working on the farms as a saddler and occasionally getting into the trouble with police for disorderly behaviour and drunkenness.

Victor Ellis Andstrom

  • Victor Ellis Andstrom, a Finnish carpenter from Bramarf, came to Western Australia in 1910; in 1913 he married an Australian girl, Margaret Kennedy.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served with the 11th Battalion on the Western Front. In June 1918 he was gassed, but continued his service to the end of war.
  • After the war he continued working as a carpenter and then as a building contractor, enlisting in the AIF during WWII.

Morga, Airikka, Prap, Forsblom

April 20, 2017

Stefan Morga

  • Stefan Morga, a Pole from Częstochowa, came to Sydney in 1915 and worked as a blacksmith.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in March 1917, but deserted a month later.
  • In 1922, as a result of a confrontation, he killed another Russian immigrant in Cairns, and was wounded himself, becoming blind. He was sentenced to hard labour for life, but was later released due to his blindness. In 1946 his vision returned and he worked in Wongaville Colliery in NSW.

Kansta Airikka

  • Kansta Airikka, a Finnish ship’s carpenter from Vyborg area, came to Australia in 1913.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Kempsey, NSW, and allocated to the 1st Pioneer Battalion, he missed embarkation. Moving to Victoria, he reenlisted, but was discharged a month later.
  • After the war he moved to Sydney, working as a carpenter. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF, worked in the Army workshop, and died in an incident while serving in 1940.

Michael Prap

  • Michael Prap, a Polish seaman from Warsaw, came to Port Pirie in South Australia in March 1917 and enlisted a few days later.
  • He served with the 43rd Battalion on the Western Front. He was wounded for the first time in April 1918, but continued his service. In July 1918 at the battle for Hamel he was severely wounded for the second time, was evacuated to England and had his leg amputated.
  • After the war he lived in South Australia.

Swen Walter Forsblom

  • Swen Walter Forsblom, a Finnish seaman from Helsingfors (Helsinki), like Prap came to Port Pirie in South Australia in March 1917 and enlisted a few days later.
  • He served with the 48th Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he continued working as a seaman and labourer. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF and served in the garrison battalion.

Walters, Berg, Hellman, Harast

April 17, 2017

Philip Walters

  • Philip Walters, a Jewish man from Ludza in Latvia, emigrated to Western Australia with his relatives as a teenager; some of them changed their original surname, Pasvalsky, to Walters. Philip worked in Perth as a tailor.
  • Before enlisting in the AIF he was a sergeant major, working on troop training. Two of his uncles, Louis Pasvalsky and Isidore Walters, enlisted in the army earlier, and Louis, aged 19, was killed in September 1916, at the battle for Mouquet Farm. In 1917, when Philip was 22, he enlisted himself and served on the Western Front with the 26th Battalion. During an operation to the east of Mont St Quentin, near Peronne, on 3rd September 1918, he was engaged, according to his recommendation for award, ‘with a bombing party in bombing the enemy out of a portion of trench required to establish our line. His officer being killed early in the operation, he took charge of his party, and when it was held up by heavy machine gun fire, he decided to go forward himself, with one volunteer, to attack the position. By great courage and daring, he attacked and dispersed the enemy, thus allowing his party to establish a post at the required position’. For his heroism he was awarded a Military Medal.
  • Philip married an Australian woman, Fanny Morris, before his departure to the Western Front, but she died in 1921. Later he married Sylvia Fay and lived in Perth, working as a financier. During WWII he served in the AIF in the audit section.

Arnold Berg

  • Arnold Berg, whose original name was Arne Kanttinen, was a Finnish seaman from Helsingfors (Helsinki). He came to Australia in February 1917 and enlisted a few days later.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Adelaide, he served with the 43rd Battalion on the Western Front. In May 1918 he was gassed and spent several months in English hospitals.
  • While recovering in London, he married an English girl, Carrie Ethel Robinson, and returned to Australia with his wife. After the war he was farming in Greenock and Kielpa in South Australia, raising a large family. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF and served with the 5th Volunteer Defense Corps Battalion, while his son Arnold Hjalmar also served in the AIF, being taken POW by the Japanese and working on the infamous Burma railway.

Edward Hellman

  • Edward Hellman, an Estonian from Dorpat (Tartu), was seafaring for several years, before he came to Western Australia in 1913. He worked in Australia as a sleeper hewer.
  • He tried to enlist for the first time in the AIF in March 1916, but was rejected as medically unfit. In March 1917 he was accepted and served with the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade on the Western Front.
  • Returning to Australia, he settled in Sydney with his wife Gertrude, working as a restaurant keeper and chef. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF and served in the 1st Motor Regiment.

Alexander Harast

  • Alexander Harast, a sailor from Revel (Tallinn) in Estonia, came to Australia about 1913 and by 1917 lived in Ravine in New South Wales.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he was allocated to the machine gun reinforcements, but in August 1917 he deserted the camp.
  • The following years he spent hiding in the Snowy and Blue Mountains in Victoria and New South Wales. He lived in caves and to survive stole weapons, blankets, and food from settlers; later he started stealing horses. He used several aliases and his description in Police Gazette mentioned that he ‘speaks several languages, fond of sketching and writing religious passages in his notebook’. The police apprehended him several times; he served several years of hard labour, but as soon as he was released the crimes resumed. In 1934, when he was terrorising the Nawendoc area of New South Wales, a policeman whom he threatened shot him dead.