Larin, Wolfson, Bockmelder, Pannel, Williams

August 26, 2018

Woldemar Larin

  • Woldemar Larin, a Russian born in Verny (now Almaty, Kazakhstan), took part in the Russo-Japanese War and came to Australia in 1905 as a political refugee. He lived in the remote areas of north-western Australia, working as a prospector and miner, later moving to Fremantle. When he applied for naturalisation, the intelligence officer suspected him of being an anarchist.
  • In January 1918 Larin enlisted in the AIF in Fremantle in the Medical Corps as a pharmacist, but was discharged soon afterwards due to poor vision.
  • After the war he settled in Fremantle, working as a lumper, and when he got older, as a watch repairer. He was known by the nickname ‘Russia’ and often got into trouble with the local police for minor offences.

Jacob Wolfson

  • Jacob Wolfson, a Jewish man from Mogilev in Belarus, came to Australia in 1917 as a seaman and deserted his ship.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Sydney and sailed for the Western Front as a gunner in the 4th Division Artillery Column, but they arrived to France only in January 1919.
  • Returning to Australia he worked as a labourer in Sydney.

Charles Bockmelder

  • Charles Bockmelder, a seaman from Riga, was seafaring in the South Pacific already at the end of the nineteenth century. He came to Australia in 1901 and continued working on the ships.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he served on the Western Front with the 34th Battalion, where he injured his leg and was returned to Australia.
  • After the war he worked as a labourer in Sydney.

Peter Pannel

  • Peter Pannel, an Estonian seaman from Arensburg (now Kuressaare on Saaremaa Island), came to Australia in 1914.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in January 1918 in Sydney, but was discharged soon. His service records have not been found.
  • After the war he continued seafaring from Sydney, but after 1920 disappears from the records.

John Oscar Williams

  • John Oscar Williams enlisted in the AIF in January 1918 too and was discharged soon after. His service records have not been found.

Fuks, Lileystrom, Levet, Mast, Lakovsky

August 18, 2018

John Henry Fuks

  • John Henry Fuks, an Estonian from Derpt (Tartu), served in the Russian Army and participated in the Russo-Japanese War. He came to Australia in 1913 as a fireman and lived in Melbourne and Sydney working as a seaman, engineer and fitter.
  • Enlisting in the AIF as Jan Heinrich Fuks, he came with the 1st Pioneer Battalion to England, but arrived too late to go to the Western Front. He worked in a military hospital as a wardsman and interpreter.
  • While in England, he married Kathleen Bride Collins and returned with his wife to Australia. They took a soldier scheme farm at Yenda and raised a large family there. Their son John David fought in WWII in Malaya.

Hjalmar Lileystrom

  • Hjalmar Lileystrom, a Finnish seaman from Kotka, was living in Melbourne by the time of his enlistment in the AIF.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne and took the oath, but was discharged a few days later.
  • In the following years he continued his occupation of a fireman.

Jacob Hendry Levet

  • Jacob Hendry Levet, an Estonian seaman from Revel (Tallinn), came to Australia in May 1917.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne the day after Lileystrom, and his service did not last long either. He continued serving on British ships as a merchant seaman and was awarded a medal by the British government.
  • After the war he continued seafaring, naturalising in the USA. He continued to serve on the ships during WWII and died in 1942.

Joseph Mast

  • Joseph Mast, an Estonian from Arensburg (Kuressaare), came to Australia together with Levet in May 1917 as a greaser.
  • They joined the AIF together, and Mast was soon discharged as well.
  • After the war, he continued seafaring in the Pacific Ocean and in the Baltic Sea in 1920s.

David Lakovsky

  • David Lakovsky, a Jewish man, was born in Ekaterinoslav (Dnipro) in Ukraine and emigrated with his family to Australia as a child in 1903. They lived in Fremantle, Kalgoorlie, and Broken Hill, finally moving to Sydney, where David had some training in the Home Defence.
  • Enlisting in the AIF at the age of 19, he was allocated to artillery units and had some training in Liverpool in England, but arrived on the Western Front soon after the Armistice.
  • He was discharged in London and went to America, where he changed his name to David Lake. He married Hannah Brumer and returned to Australia in the 1920s, later working as the general sales manager of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.

Blasser, Jarvenpaa, Soin, Lambert

August 11, 2018

Kurst Blasser

  • Kurst Blasser from Dago (Hiiumaa) Island in Estonia lived in Sydney working as a sailmaker and rigger by the time of his enlistment in the AIF.
  • Enlisting in December 1917, he joined the 34th Battalion on the Western Front in July 1918, but was injured a week later and repatriated to Australia.
  • After his discharge he tried to enlist once again, in May 1919, to be a concentration camp guard, but was not attested. In 1920 he applied for a war pension, but disappears from the records after that.

Ivar Jarvenpaa

  • Ivar Jarvenpaa, a seaman from Hämeenlinna in Finland, came to Australia in 1913, deserting from his ship, and worked in Sydney as a labourer.
  • He enlisted in the AIF and took the oath, but was re-examined and rejected a few days later.
  • He stayed in Sydney, and in June 1919 died in Waterfall Sanatorium.

Leonard Soin

  • Leonard Soin, a seaman from Abo (Turku) in Finland, came to Australia in 1913 and served on the ships in Sydney; he also had the trade of fitter and turner.
  • He first tried to enlist in Western Australia in 1915, but was rejected because of poor English. In December 1917 he was accepted and reached the Western Front in October 1918 with the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade, serving as a driver.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, Florence Hayes, and lived in Sydney, continuing his occupation as a seaman, but after the death of their daughter Elsie in 1929, their marriage did not last and Leonard moved to Victoria, where he worked as a fitter.

George Washington Lambert

  • George Washington Lambert was born in St Petersburg, where his father, an American engineer, was working. His father died before George was born and his mother with the children moved first to Germany and then to England. In 1887, when George was 13, they emigrated to Australia. Here he studied art and became a professional artist. In 1900 he married Amelia Beatrice Absell and had two sons.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in England, George Lambert was appointed an official war artist. During 1918-1919 he visited Egypt, Palestine, the Western Front, and Gallipoli, where he made numerous sketches which were later turned into famous battle paintings including ‘Anzac, the landing 1915’ and ‘A sergeant of the Light Horse’.
  • Lambert returned to Australia in 1921, continuing his career as an artist and winning the Archibald Prize in 1927.