Holmberg, Winter, Alexandroff, Kocaj, Elsky

August 27, 2016

Edward Holmberg

  • Edward Holmberg from Abo in Finland came to Western Australia in 1907 and was farming in Bolgart.
  • He served with the 16th Battalion on the Western Front. In August 1917 he was wounded in the leg, but recovered and continued serving. In April 1918 he received a self-inflicted wound due to negligence; three months later he was accused ‘inciting a comrade to desert with him’, but remained with his battalion and was wounded in the face in August 1918, during the Amiens advance.
  • Returning to Australia, he married an Australian girl, Lenore Fallon, and farmed in Kulin.

Frank Winter

  • Frank Winter, a Finish sailor from Helsingfors, enlisted in the Army in Claremont, Tasmania.
  • A month later he died in Hobart Hospital from pneumonia.
  • His mother in Helsingfors was found after his death and paid a pension.

Alex Alexandroff

  • Alex Alexandroff from Vladivostok came to Australia in 1914 and worked in Sydney as a cook.
  • He served with the 4th Battalion on the Western Front. Being discharged in London in August 1919, he enlisted in the Middlesex regiment as an interpreter and served in the Russian Relief Force as a sergeant.
  • When returning to Australia in 1920 he was suspected by the Australian authorities to have ‘Bolshevik sentiments’, but soon they lost trace of him. He settled in Sydney working as a chef. In 1943 he married an Australian woman, Doris Fairy Cook. When he was naturalising in 1940 police considered the evidence that he did ‘not mix with people of Russian nationality’.

Nicholas Kocaj

  • Nicholas Kocaj, a Polish man from Tomaszow, arrived in Australia in 1910 and worked as a cook in Coffs Harbour.
  • He served with the 3rd Pioneer Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he married an English girl, Gladys Winnifred Wilshere, returning with his wife to Australia in 1920. They settled near Sydney where they had a poultry farm. In 1925 Nicholas died and his widow with four young children returned to England.

Stanley Elsky

  • Stanley Elsky, a Polish man from Warsaw, came to Brisbane in 1911 from Vladivostok, where his mother was staying. Although recorded in the shipping records as a student, he worked as a labourer on the farm.
  • He served with the 3rd Machine Gun Battalion on the Western Front. In July 1918 he was wounded in the leg, but returned to his unit in November 1918.
  • In May 1919 he was discharged in London and stayed there, naturalising in 1959.