Amberg, Kampman, Reiman, Tuomi, Kabatoff

January 9, 2016

Otto Amberg

  • Otto Amberg, an engineer from Arensburg (Kuressaare) on Saaremaa Island in Estonia, enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne.
  • He served with the 5th Pioneer Battalion on the Western Front. In January 1917 he suffered from shell shock and was returned to Australia as medically unfit.
  • After the war he lived in Melbourne and received a military pension.

Ferdinand Kampman

  • Ferdinand Kampman, a ship’s fireman from Pianru in Estonia, came to Melbourne in January 1916 and enlisted together with Amberg on the same day. They both provided as their address in Australia the name of R. Hunter from Melbourne Estonian Society.
  • They served in the same Pioneer battalion on the Western Front. In May 1918 Kampman got sick and was returned to Australia.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, Francess Maria Penhalluriack; they lived in Melbourne, where Kampman worked as a wharf labourer.

Frederick Reinhold Reimann

  • Frederick Reinhold Reimann from Piarnu in Estonia served for four months in the Russian Navy, came to Australia in 1913, probably as a seaman, and worked in South Australia.
  • Enlisting in Adelaide, he served with the 27th Battalion on the Western Front. He got sick with neurasthenia and was despatched to work in Bulford, a hospital for servicemen infected with venereal diseases. He refused to work there, was returned to Australia and discharged as ‘undesirable’ and ineligible for medals.
  • After the war he married and lived in South Australia. For years he struggled in vain to receive his medals, but nevertheless he died a hero: he served in the Merchant Navy aboard the Kowarra, which was torpedoed in April 1943 by a Japanese submarine near Fraser Island, with the tragic loss of 21 lives, including Reimann.

Oscar Tuomi

  • Oscar Tuomi, a ship’s fireman from Abo (Turku) in Finland, was working on sailing ships since 1899; he came to Australia in August 1915.
  • Enlisting in Adelaide, as Tuami, he served with the 32nd battalion on the Western Front. In July 1916 he was court martialled for disobedience, arguing that he did not understand English well; a year later his sentence was suspended and he was sent to the battlefront to the 48th Battalion where he won a Military Medal for bravery and devotion to duty while ‘carrying wounded men under extremely dangerous fire’ at the battle for Pashendale in October 1917.
  • After the war he lived in South Australia, marrying Australian woman Marjorie Avis Henderson.

Ivan Vasiliff Kabatoff

  • Ivan Vasiliff Kabatoff, a Russian from Nizhni Novgorod, worked in Australia as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in Sydney, he served with the 13th Battalion on the Western Front. His father contacted the Russian consul in Australia in 1917 to learn about the destiny of his son, only to find that he had been killed at Mouquet Farm in August 1916.