Hamann, Zines, Cepkouski

November 22, 2014

Martin Hamann

  • Martin Hamann, a seaman from Riga, enlisted in Sydney and served in the 13th Battalion. He was wounded twice at Gallipoli, but recovered.
  • Serving at the Western Front in the Field Artillery Brigade as a gunner, he was killed in Februry 1917.
  • His sister Anne from Riga was never found,

Joseph Morris Zines

  • Jewish Anzac Joseph Morris Zines came from Kamentsk-Podolsk with his family as child. Living in Perth he learnt the trade of a tailor.
  • At 19 he joined the AIF and fought at Gallipoli in the 12th Battalion. Later he wrote: ‘I was the only one in the co[mpan]y that served right through without being wounded or sick’. At the Western Front, however, he received a shrapnel wound to the head at the battle for Mouquet Farm; although he recovered, he fell ill in 1917 and returned to Australia.
  • After the war he married and moved to Sydney, where he worked as a tailor.

Charles Cepkouski

  • Kazimieras Cepkauskas from the Lithuanian township of Arlavishkis escaped from Russia at the age of 16 to avoid military service. He spent 3 years in Berlin and landed in Western Australia in 1910, deserting from a ship. Although having a trade of a boot maker, he worked for Todds Brick Kilns as a labourer.
  • He was the first Lithuanian to enlist in the AIF, serving with the 16th Battalion. He fought at Gallipoli, but in July 1915 was returned to Australia as medically unfit. After working as station hand for a year, he enlisted again and served as a Corporal in the Home Service until the end of the war. He enlisted in the AIF as Cepkouski, but later his name evolved into Charles Capouski.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl and had four children. He worked as a labourer in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. Depression and work related trauma hit him hard and he could hardly make ends meet. His elder son Charles served in the RAAF during WWII.

Sander, Eckland, Zeeman, Antin

November 15, 2014

Today we celebrate the lives of four seamen; three are from Latvia and one from Finland.

Arnold Sander

  • Arnold Sander, a seaman from Riga, was just 21 when he joined the AIF in Sydney.
  • Serving in the 3rd battalion, he participated in the landing at Gallipoli and was killed a month later, being the first Latvian Anzac to be killed in the war. He was buried in the Beach Cemetery, but his grave was lost.
  • After the war his father was found in Riga, he was given his son’s medals and an Australian pension.

Adolf Eckland

  • Adolf Eckland from Hanko in Finland joined the AIF the day after Sander, but unlike the young Latvian, 29 year old Eckland was a real sea wolf, his arms covered with tattoos and with a knife-wound scar in his left side.
  • In the AIF Ecland was in the same detachment as Sander and participated in the landing. He was wounded in August 1915 at the Lone Pine battle and spent several months in hospitals. With the 45th Battalion he was transferred to the Western Front and was killed in September 1916 at the battle for Mouquet Farm.

Fritz Zeeman

  • Fritz Zeeman (Zeemin) from Vindava (Ventspils), before landing in Newcastle in 1912, worked for 18 years as a seaman.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he reduced his age by five years and served in the 13th Battalion. After Gallipoli he served on the Western Front, where he was wounded through the carelessness of another soldier and returned to Australia as medically unfit.
  • He worked as a miner in Kurri Kurri and Cloncurry and later on the railways in Queensland.

Martin Mikkel Antin

  • Martin Mikkel Antin, a seaman from Riga, enlisted as Fritz Lepin and served together with Zeeman in the 13th Battalion in Gallipoli before being transferred to the Western Front as a saddler in the 4th Machine Gun Battalion. He was wounded and gassed at the Western Front and, while recuperating in England, deserted and was court-martialled: the cause being that his co-servicemen teased him as a German in spite of the fact that he officially applied for the restoration of his original Latvian name.
  • He married soon after the war with a woman who had two young daughters, but his marriage ended in tragedy when he accidentally shot his wife during a squabble. The jury’s verdict was ‘not guilty’.

Ilupmaggi, Tamm, Fels

November 8, 2014

Roman Ilupmaggi

  • Roman Ilupmaggi was the first Estonian to enlist in the AIF. Born in Revel (Tallinn), he worked the seas for some time, until he settled in Sydney, working as a shoeing smith.
  • With this trade he was in demand in the AIF, serving with the 2nd Signal Troop Engineers in Gallipoli. In the Western Front he was transferred to the 4th Battalion and reached the rank of corporal. Wounded in arm in June 1918 in the battle for Strazeele, he was repatriated to Australia.
  • Recently a group of enthusiasts tried to find his relatives in Estonia in order to return to them his WWI medals, but did not succeed.

Karl Tamm

  • Karl Tamm, another native of Estonia born in Pärnu, worked in Sydney as an engine driver.
  • He served in Gallipoli and the Western Front in the artillery detachments, first as a driver, and then as a gunner and bombardier. In April 1918 at Hazebrouck he was severely wounded in the chest and leg and sent to hospital in the UK.
  • Demobilising there in 1919, he married an English girl and moved with her to New Zealand, working as a seaman. In 1924-1927 they made an attempt to settle in Estonia, but in 1927 returned with three young children to New Zealand and settled in Kopuawhara, where Karl worked as a miner.

Schija Fels

  • Schija Fels came from a well-off Jewish family from Warsaw. At eighteen he came to Antwerp as an apprentice of his uncle, learning the trade of diamond cutter, and in 1912 emigrated to Australia.
  • He participated in the Gallipoli landing with the 13th Battalion; a few days later during the battle for Bloody Angle he received a gunshot wound leaving him lame for the rest of his life. He was evacuated to Australia, but for him the war was not yet over. While recovering, he went to England on his own initiative. There, he first tried to enlist in the Royal Flying Corps but was rejected as medically unfit; then managed to get a post in British military intelligence, where he served until the end of the war.
  • After the war he returned to Australia but soon engaged in the Shanghai-Paris exporting business. In Paris he married a young Russian refugee, Vera. Coming with him to Australia, she became Germaine Rocher, the head of Sydney’s most celebrated fashion house.

Rozenfeld, Beglot, Reineke

November 5, 2014

Today we celebrate lives of three Latvian born servicemen.

Didrich Rozenfeld

  • Didrich Rozenfeld from Libava (now Liepaja, Latvia) was probably of Baltic German origin. He came to South Australia in 1909 as a sailor and lived in Port Pirie.
  • In Gallipoli he fought in the 9th Light Horse Regiment and continued to fight on the Western Front as a gunner in an artillery brigade.
  • In September 1917 he died in Belgium as a result of an accident and was buried in Hazebrouck cemetery. His mother, living in Revel (Tallinn), was located after the war and received an Australian pension.

Edward Beglot

  • Edward Beglot was born in Riga, but his ethnic origin remains unknown. While in Russia he was an apprentice on the railway and served for 3 years in the artillery in the Russian Army. Arriving in Australia in 1910, he worked as an engine fitter.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in South Australia and served in the 9th Light Horse Regiment, but deserted before embarkation, for reasons which remain unclear.
  • He lived in Melbourne and Sydney, working as a fitter and turner.

John Reineke

  • John Reineke from Libava was, most probably, of German descent. Arriving to Australia in 1909, he had worked as a labourer at Greenvale, north of Melbourne.
  • He served with the Light Horse Regiment in Gallipoli and then in Egypt. Taking part in the famous raid on Beersheba on 31 October 1917, he was hit in the stomach with a bullet whilst charging, and died at a field ambulance station.

The First Fleet of the new Australian nationhood

November 1, 2014

The very first contingent of Australian troops, this First Fleet of the new Australian nationhood, whose departure we celebrate today, had 14 Russian-born future Anzacs. The Afric carried Russian from St Petersburg Alexander Arn, Finn Thomas Baer, and Jewish teenager from Poland Robert Mayer; the Argyllshire – George Kamishansky from Ukraine; the Ascanius – Lithuanian German Oscar Zander and Russian Alexander Sast from Ukraine; the Euripides had a Pole, Alfred Jan de Topor Markowicz, Russian Jew Abraham Levene posing as David Conroy from Scotland, Finn Edwin Rosberg, and Russian from Simbirsk Nicholas Sindeeff; the Geelong carried Finn Alexander Hiltunen; the Honorata – Briton from St Petersburg George Ball; the Marere – another Briton from Riga, Francis Wilfred Holt Dyson; and the Medic – Edward Watson from Poland. They would all participate in the Gallipoli landing.

Levene will be killed at Gallipoli; Sindeeff severely wounded and repatriated to Australia.

Hiltunen will contract TB during his service at Gallipoli and die back in Australia, at Port Elliott, in 1917.

Sast will be captured POW at Gallipoli, and escaping from Turks, will cross Russia to reach the British Army in Archangel and rejoin the Australian Army.

Ball, awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry at Lone Pine in Gallipoli, will be killed at the Somme in 1916. Zander, too, will be killed in 1916, at Mouquet Farm. Dyson will be killed at the Somme in 1918.

Baer, wounded at Gallipoli, will survive two years at the Western Front and return to Australia with his British wife. Watson will survive, although be wounded soon after the Gallipoli landing, and again in 1916 at Pozier at the Western Front. Kamishansky and Rosberg, too, will survive Gallipoli and the Western Front.

Arn, losing his fingers at the Gallipoli landing, will reenlist and serve for two more years in the Camel Corps in Egypt. Mayer, repatriated from Gallipoli to Australia with enteric fever, will reenlist and serve on the Western Front where he will be wounded at Peronne at the very end of war.

Markowicz, showing bravery during the first days of the battle, will then be deported to Australia on suspicion of being a spy and will fight for years to clear his name.

Woolf, Urniarz, Turner

October 31, 2014

Isaac Woolf

  • Isaac Woolf was born in Uman in Ukraine in 1870. He came to Australia in his youth and worked as a shoemaker.
  • Enlisted in South Australia and was discharged a week later, probably because of his age.

Stanislaus Urniarz

  • Stanislaus Urniarz was born in Vilno (now Vilnius, Lithuania) and was either a Pole or a Lithuanian. He came to Australia in 1904 via the Russian Far East and worked as a tailor in Sydney, being one of the founders of the first Russian circle in Sydney.
  • By the time of the war he was over 40 years old and was accepted into the Australian Medical Corps, later serving in the 2nd Australian General Hospital in Egypt, on the Western Front, and in England.
  • In 1920 he left Australia for his motherland, the young independant country of Lithuania, and in 1925 he renounced his British nationality.

Frederick Claude Turner

  • Frederick Claude Turner, according to his attestation, was born in Bromberg, Germany which is now Bydgoszcz, Poland. Most likely he was British, as he never had any trouble on account of his place of birth in the enemy country. In Australia he worked as a steward, horse breaker and groom.
  • He served several months in Gallipoli in the 4th Battalion until he was hospitalised with otitis and injury to his knee. There followed a chain of hospitals, base depots and AWLs, until he was repatriated to Australia as medically unfit in 1917. In 1918 he reenlisted and served in the Depot as a driver.
  • In 1918 he married and lived in Melbourne, working as a builder and labourer.

Reppe, Watchman, Erickson-Long

October 29, 2014

Charles Reppe

  • Charles Reppe, a Latvian seaman from Riga, landed in Western Australia in 1906, where he worked as a ship’s fireman and a miner.
  • He participated in the Gallipoli landing and was wounded at the Battle for Bloody Angle. His second wound he received in 1916 at Mouquet Farm on the Western Front; and finally he was wounded and became a POW at Bullecourt in 1917.
  • None of that prevented him from taking ten years off his age and re-enlisting in the 2nd AIF during the Second World War. At that time he was prospecting at NSW.

Nathan Watchman

  • Nathan Watchman from Navernai in Lithuania came to Australia in 1911 and worked as a travelling salesman.
  • He landed in Gallipoli with the 6th Battalion in May 1915 and later wrote: ‘I lost all my papers at the landing at Gallipoli’. His service was not long; eight days later he was severely wounded in hand and leg and repatriated to Australia.
  • In 1917 he married, and lived with his family in Mildura, Geelong and Broken Hill, working as a draper and salesman. His son Phillip served in the Australian Navy during the WWII.

Axel Johan Erickson-Long

  • Axel Johan Erickson-Long, was born in Mustasaari near Vaasa in Finland and toiled the sea since the age of 11. He came to Western Australia in 1911 and worked as a mill hand all over the state.
  • He came to Gallipoli in May 1915, serving in the 11th Battalion. At the end of July he was hospitalised with dysentry and dyagnosed with goitre. He was repatriated to Australia and discharged as medically unfit.
  • His life after the discharge remains obscure; even when he was due to be awared with military medals he could not be located.

Margolin

October 28, 2014
  • Born in Belgorod in Kursk Province, Eliazar Lazar Margolin was educated in a local high school, immersed in Russian culture. In 1892, affected by the Zionist movement, he moved to Rehovot in Palestine, and in 1902 to Western Australia.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he became the highest-ranking Russian Anzac, as lieutenant-colonel and commander of the 16th Battalion.
  • Wounded three time at Gallipoli, he was loved by his soldiers who called him ‘Old Margy”. In 1918 he became the Commander of 39 Battalion of Royal Fusiliers fighting in Palestine and for a short time was the Governor of Jerusalem.
  • Although he died in Western Australia, his ashes were buried in Rehovot in 1949 after the establishment of the state of Israel.

Watson, Haroldson, Zinevich

September 30, 2014

Edward Watson

  • Edward Watson was born in Warsaw, served in the Russian Army for 3 years and settled in WA in 1911, working as a butcher.
  • Wounded soon after the Gallipoli landing, and again in 1916 at Pozier at the Western Front, he was repatriated to Australia in 1917.

 

Charles Herbert Haroldson

  • A Swede, he enlisted in the AIF as a native of “Moscow, Russia”.
  • Came to Australia in 1892 and worked as an AB seaman. By the time of enlistment in the AIF he was a widower with four children living in Sydney.
  • He served in the AIF as a driver and a batman, was wounded at Gallipoli and repatriated to Australia from the Western Front in 1917.
  • In 1918 his Australian born son Charles Herbert Jr. enlisted in the AIF, but reached Europe too late to take part in the war.

 

Pavel Zinevich

  • The first Belarusian to enlist in the AIF. Before arriving to Australia as a seaman he worked for three years in Canada.
  • After being wounded in Gallipoli, he served at the Western Front as a Lance Corporal, but was returned to Australia as medically unfit.
  • His English fiancée Eva Grace Cowne followed him to Australia in 1919, where they married in the Sydney Greek Orthodox church. Paul worked as a carrier and salesman in Melbourne and after his retirement they moved to Highcliff, Bournemouth in the UK.
  • Recently I found his Belarusian family who are eager to get in touch with Eva Cowne’s relatives and to learn more about Paul’s life.

Hiltunen, Walinkevic

September 21, 2014

Today we celebrate the lives of two servicemen, both former seamen:

 

Alexander Hiltunen

  • A Finn from Vyborg, born in a well connected family, came to South Australia in 1910 aged 20.
  • Settled in Port Elliot at Mrs Trigg’s, who took him into her family as a son and taught him English. Was one of the first to enlist in the area.
  • Wounded soon after landing in Gallipoli, he recovered but soon succumbed to TB which he had contracted at the front.
  • Repatriated to Australia and died a few months later, nursed on his death bed by the kind Mrs Trigg. The local community raised money and established a monument for him.

 

Kazis Walinkevic

  • A Lithuanian from Mariampol, he came to Western Australia in 1910 as a seaman.
  • Enlisted in the AIF as Kazis Walinkevic, was wounded soon after the Gallipoli landing, recovered and returned to the trenches, but lost his hearing as a result of a shell explosion.
  • Repatriated to Australia, he was discharged as “Charles Volukawytz”. When in 1925 his wife from Lithuania sent a query about “Kazimir Valukevicius”, an officer from Base Records had to undertake a whole investigation to combine these two apparently separate individuals back into one!