Hjalmar Karhu

Born 22.01.1891

Place Vyborg, Finland (now Russia) (service records) or Trangsund, Uleaborg (Oulu), Finland (naturalisation)

Ethnic origin Finnish

Religion Church of England

Father Gabriel Karhu


Wife Lily Violet Karhu (née Warwick), married 1918 in London; son Arthur John Karhu, b. 1922, served in the AIF in WWII

Residence before arrival at Australia Was seaman for 8 years

Arrived at Australia
from Brazil
on 07.1915
per Aleyan
disembarked at Fremantle, WA

Residence before enlistment Perth

Occupation 1915 seaman, 1921 boot maker

service number 4638
enlisted 4.11.1915
POE Perth
unit 16th Battalion, 48th Battalion
rank Private
place Western Front, 1916-1917
casualties WIA 1916, 1917; POW 1917
final fate RTA 13.12.1918
discharged 1.08.1919

Naturalisation 1921

Residence after the war 1921 Swanbourne, WA, 1925 Cottesloe, WA

Died 29.04.1973, Perth


Digitised naturalisation (NAA)

Alien registration file (NAA)

Digitised service records (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM)

Statement as prisoner of war (AWM)

Red Cross POW file (AWM)

Digitised Red Cross wounded and missing file (AWM)

Personal case file 1 2 3 4(NAA)

Investigation Branch file (NAA)

Blog articles

Russian Anzacs blog (Russian)

Russian Anzacs blog (English)

Anzac Diversity, educational resource (AWM)

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

Hjalmar Karhu, a Finnish former seaman from Western Australia, gave his account of what he called 'the first "stunt" at Bullecourt' [1917], in which he was wounded as he tried to retreat. 'We reached the second line of enemy trenches. "Fritz" counter-attacked us and our bombs ran short. Our chaps were retreating, and I tried to get back to our lines.' The wounded Karhu was captured by the Germans. Another four Russians were also captured on the same day: three other Finns -- Matti Harsila, Konrat Troyle and Frans Fredrikson -- and Charles Reppe, from Riga, who was one of the first Russians to enlist.