Alksen, Campman, Gedgawd, Roman, Lax

August 30, 2016

Karl Alksen

  • Karl Alksen, a seaman from Vindava (Ventspils) in Latvia, came to Sydney in July 1916 and enlisted a month later; by that time he was already over forty.
  • He served with the 22nd Battalion on the Western Front. In September 1917 he was wounded at Ypres and in July and September 1918 he suffered gas damage.
  • After the war he continued seafaring in Australia, but prematurely died in 1924.

Charles Campman

  • Charles Campman, another mature-aged soldier from Riga, Latvia, had served in the South African War.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Lithgow in November 1915, but was soon discharged for drunkenness and insubordination. He reenlisted in August 1916 in Dubbo and served with the 45th Battalion on the Western Front. In June 1917, at Messines, he was wounded in the knee and was returned to Australia as medically unfit.
  • He received a pension after the war and died soon after his return.

Charles Anton Gedgawd

  • Charles Anton Gedgawd, a seaman from Libava (Liepaja) in Latvia, came to Australia in 1906 and worked in Queensland and South Australia as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Cloncurry, he served with the 25th Machine Gun Company on the Western Front. For his courage and devotion to duty during the battle for Polygon Wood in September 1917 he was awarded the Military Medal. In April 1918 he was severely wounded in the back, but recovered and returned to the front in September 1918; in October he suffered gas damage and received wounds to the face.
  • After the war he lived in country NSW working as a labourer and, marrying Elizabeth Ann Walton, farmed in the Windsor area.

Alexander Roman

  • Alexander Roman, a Polish man from Lublin, came to Queensland from the Russian Far East with his parents and family. By the time of his enlistment in the AIF he had four children.
  • He enlisted for the first time in June 1915, but was discharged soon after for lack of English. In August 1916 he enlisted again in Cloncurry and served with the 52nd Battalion on the Western Front until he was discharged as medically unfit.
  • After the war he went to Poland to reunite with his family, spent some time in China, but returned to Australia in 1926 and worked as a labourer in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

Ernst Arvid Lax

  • Ernst Arvid Lax, a Finnish seaman from Helsingfors, enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne.
  • Two months later he deserted from the camp.
  • He continued working as a seaman in the USA, where he naturalised, married and settled in New York.