Kotzebue, Adamzewitch, Falck, Alexejew, Wihtol

July 15, 2015

Nicholas Kotzebue

  • Nicholas Kotzebue came from the famous Baltic German family of Kotzebue from Estonia. He was born in Ekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains where his father worked in the goldmining industry. At four, after his father’s death, the family returned to Estonia. As a teenager Nicholas spent some time in Germany, served in the French legion and travelled as a seaman in Asia and America. He came to Western Australia at the turn of the nineteenth century and worked as a labourer and mechanic, moving later to Warrandyte in Victoria.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served on the Western Front with the 2nd Field Company Engineers, and subsequently studied at the Anzac wireless school. Then he had a brief spell, from April to August 1917, with the 1st Anzac Intelligence Police. He returned to his unit and in early 1918 was invalided back to Australia with a chest penetrating gunshot wound received at Ypres in September 1917. He also suffered from mental disturbance, fearing that he would be ‘disclosed’ as a German.
  • Luckily he recovered after the war and enriched Australia with a number of mechanical inventions.

Marian Adamzewitch

  • Marian Adamzewitch, a Belarussian from Minsk, worked as a ship’s fireman on coastal vessels in Australia.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Brisbane, but was discharged a month later as medically unfit.
  • He moved to the USA, continuing his employment as a fireman and registered for Army service in Boston.

Paul Richard Eugene Napoleon Nicholas Falck 

  • Paul Richard Eugene Napoleon Nicholas Falck came from a well-off family in Helsingfors (Helsinki) in Finland, where he received a good education. He came to Australia in 1908 as a sailor.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Tasmania he served with a machine gun detachment on the Western Front with the rank of Lance Corporal. He was gassed twice and in September 1918 was killed by a shell in Bullecourt.
  • His family in Finland was found after the war.

Albert Alfred Alexejew

  • Albert Alfred Alexejew was born in Riga, where his father was working in the City theatre. He came to Melborne in 1911 and worked as a labourer.
  • He served on the Western Front with the 57th Battalion. In 1917 he was wounded twice, in January and in May, at the Bullecourt battle. In the latter case he experienced nervous exhaustion from being buried, and shell shock.
  • After the war he married Australian girl,Edith Martha Campey, and lived in Macedon Upper, north of Melbourne.

Bernchard Wihtol

  • Bernchard Wihtol from Riga lived in Stockingal, NSW, working as a bricklayer.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Sydney, but did not embark with his 1st Battalion and disappears from the records.