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!

Rosberg, Sindeeff, Sast

September 2, 2014

Today we celebrate the lives of three servicemen:

Edwin Ferdinand Rosberg

  • A Finn from Helsingfors (Helsinki), he came to Australia in 1906, working as a telephone mechanic.
  • Sailed to Gallipoli, leaving his young family behind in Sydney. Was wounded soon after landing but recuperated and served on the Western Front in 1916-1918.
  • After the war, he raised a large family in Sydney. He died in the Coral Sea in a tragic accident in 1942.

Nicholas Sindeeff

  • Born in Syzran on Volga River, Sindeeff came from a well-off family.
  • He took a prominent part in political meetings in St Petersburg, so fled to the Russian Far East and in 1910, arrived in Brisbane.
  • Experienced the trades of a ship’s fireman, navvy, and engineer at Dubbo Freezing Works
  • Enlisted in the AIF in spite of Bolshevik propaganda against participation in the imperialist war.
  • In Gallipoli he was affected by a shell explosion during the August battles and, almost deafened, was invalided to Australia.
  • No trace is found of him after that. He either changed his name or returned to Russia.

Alexander Sast

  • Born in Odessa, Alexander fled Russia in his late teens to avoid military service, landing in South Australia in 1912 where he worked in Port Pirie, Kilkenny, Broken Hill, and Port Augusta as a motor mechanic.
  • Wounded at Gallipoli soon after landing, he returned to the trenches of his 10th Battalion and was taken POW by the Turks. After several months in captivity in Turkey and Bulgaria he made a daring escape and, crossing Romania and Russia, reached the British Army in Archangelsk. Smuggled to the UK, he was screened by the Court of Enquiry and continued his service on the Western Front.
  • Returning to Australia, he went blind and died in Sydney of heart failure, leaving behind a wife and three stepchildren.