Croot, Komula, Paegle, Bergroth

July 17, 2016

Alexander Croot

  • Alexander Croot claimed to be born in Dvinsk (now Daugavpils in Latvia), although in fact he was born in London in 1899. He came from a Jewish family from Dvinsk, who moved to London not long before his birth. In 1914 he came to Australia with his parents and worked in Sydney as a tailor.
  • He served with the 22nd Battalion on the Western Front until he was diagnosed with heart disease and returned to Australia as medically unfit. He tried to reenlist soon after his discharge and was allocated to the 4th Australian General Hospital in Randwick, but his service did not last long.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, Ursula Stapleton, and lived with his family in Wollongong, working for Wollongong City Council. During WWII he joined the AIF and served at the Engineers depot in Moore Park.

Antti Komula

  • Antti Komula, a seaman from Oulu in Finland, came to Australia in January 1916 and worked as a labourer in outback New South Wales. By the time of his enlistment he was in his 40s.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Cootamundra, he served with the 8th Battalion on the Western Front. In October 1917 he was wounded at Ypres, the wound was aggravated by sickness and he was returned to Australia in in 1918.
  • After the war he worked at Waranga Basin in Victoria, but after 1921 he moved to America where he continued seafaring.

Michal Paegle

  • Michal Paegle, a Latvian from Libava (Liepaja), was a sailmaker by trade.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Melbourne, he served with the 6th Battalion on the Western Front. In May 1917 he was wounded accidentally, but recovered; in September 1917 the was reported missing in action at the battle at Mennin Road in Belgium. Later it was confirmed that he was killed in action.
  • His family in Latvia was found after the war.

Hjalmar Bernard Bergroth

  • Hjalmar Bernard Bergroth, a Finnish carpenter and seaman from Helsingfors (Helsinki), came to Australia in 1908 and worked as a labourer in Perth. In 1913 he married an Australian girl, Elizabeth Burke.
  • At the beginning of the war he served in the Australian Navy, on the Cerberus, for two months, but failed a trade test. Enlisting in the AIF, he was allocated to the Australian Mechanical Transport Service, but got sick while in England and was returned to Australia.
  • After the war he moved to Melbourne, where he was working as a carpenter.