Cherpiter, Pollanen, Ahbol, Williamson

November 5, 2015

John Cherpiter

  • John Cherpiter was born in Kamenets-Podolskii in Ukraine. His Ukrainian name was probably Cherpita. He came to Australia about 1912 and worked as a bootmaker in Adelaide. By the time of enlistment he had his wife Anastasia and daughter Lucy living with him in Australia.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served with the 50th Battalion on the Western front and was killed during the Noreuil advance in April 1917.
  • His wife received an Australian pension after his death, but after 1923 she and their daughter seem to disappear from Australian records and it is quite possible that they returned back to Ukraine. South Australian newspapers continued to commemorate his name on the day of his death up to the late 1920s.

John Pollanen

  • John Pollanen from Kotka in Finland came to Australia on the eve of the war. He was a moulder by trade but worked as a seaman.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he missed embarkation in January 1916 and was discharged.
  • In 1917 he sailed to San Francisco and registered for Army service there. After the war he continued to work on ships sailing along the American coast and died in 1927 in San Francisco.

Ludwig Edward Ahbol

  • Ludwig Edward Ahbol, born in Grose near Kuldiga in Latvia, came to Newcastle in Australia in 1907 as a seaman. He continued his occupation there, sailing between Australian ports.
  • He enlisted in the AIF as William Andersen, under which name he was sailing since 1897, and was naturalised in Australia, but later provided his true name. He went to the Western Front with the machine gun detachment of the 41st Battalion. In October 1916 he was appointed Lance Corporal, but a month later he got sick with pneumonia and died in December 1916.
  • His friend, Miss Kathleen Kennedy from Annandale, received his effects after the war. His relatives in Latvia have never been found.

John Williamson

  • John Williamson was an Estonian seaman from Saaremaa Island, although he also gave his place of birth as Riga. He came to Australia in 1913.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney he served with the 20th Battalion on the Western Front. In October 1916 he was hospitalised, developing deafness, and was returned to Australia as medically unfit.
  • After the war he continued to sail on coastal ships.