Feldman, Soderberg, Baschbauer, Volkofsky, Myer

June 25, 2016

Israel Feldman

  • Israel Feldman, a Jewish man from Odessa, was a widower with a young daughter who spent several years in Egypt and Palestine before coming to Australia. In 1915 he came to Perth where his parents and brother lived. Like his father Israel worked in Australia as a marine collector.
  • Enlisting in the AIF he sailed with the 51st Battalion to England. While there he got sick with trachoma and was returned to Australia.
  • After the war he lived in Perth, naturalising in 1925, but soon after that he disappears from the records.

Arvid Soderberg

  • Arvid Soderberg, a Finn from Helsingfors, came to South Australia in 1910, settled in Renmark and worked as a fisherman.
  • He served with the 32nd Battalion on the Western Front until he got sick with nephritis and was returned to Australia in 1917.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, Dorothy May Patey, and had a large family. He continued his occupation of a fisherman living in the Renmark area.

Edward Ernest Baschbauer

  • Edward Ernest Baschbauer from Vindava (Ventspils) in Latvia came to Western Australia in 1910 as a seaman and worked as a millhand, mill wright, engineer, and carpenter. When interviewed for his naturalisation application in 1913 the policeman commented ‘he appeared to me to be rather a superior individual in his dress and manner’.
  • He served with the 5th Pioneer Battalion on the Western Front attaining the rank of Lance Corporal. In May 1917 at the battle for Bullecourt he was severely wounded, his right am was amputated, and a month later he died of sepsis in an English hospital.
  • His family in Latvia was found after the war.

Theofil Volkofsky

  • Theofil Volkofsky, a man of Polish-Ukrainian origin from Lipki near Kiev, received education in a teachers’ college and came to Australia in 1910 from the Russian Far East. Trying several labouring jobs he started a business, fishing in Bourke.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Dubbo, he was diagnosed with TB and discharged from the army in December 1916.
  • Working in the Bourke area, he made his way to one of the prosperous sheep stations. In 1928 he married an Australian nurse, Thelma McKean and had three children. His son Thomas told the story of the outback endurance of his father.

Norman Myer

  • Norman Myer, a Jewish boy born in Tatarsk, near Mogilev in Belarus, came to Melbourne in 1909 on the invitation of his uncle Sidney Myer, the founder of the Myer Emporium.
  • He was a student of Wesley College when he enlisted in the AIF at the age of 19. He served on the Western Front, being allocated to artillery units, where he made his way from a Driver to Lieutenant.
  • After the war he stayed in London, studying silk manufacturing as part of his vocational training. Returning to Australia in 1920 he joined his uncle’s business, the Myer Emporium. Knighted in 1956, he was chairman of the Sidney Myer charity trust, well known all over Melbourne.