Lehrback, Pontynen, Skovronski, Arman

August 6, 2017

Matts Anders Lehrback

  • Matts Anders Lehrback, a Finnish seaman from Uleaborg (Oulu), came to Australia in 1884 on the Russian barque Felix and deserted his ship in Geelong. He continued working as a seaman and stevedore, settling in Fremantle, where he joined the Freemason Lodge and married Louisa Rasmus. They had four children. Matts later worked as a water-police constable, station hand and miner in Western Australia.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in April 1917, but was discharged a month later as an ‘overage’ person (by that time he was nearly fifty).
  • After the war he lived in Western Australia working as a labourer; his son Carl Sanfrid served in the AIF in WWII.

Waine Henry Pontynen

  • Waine Henry Pontynen, a Finnish sailor from Helsingfors (Helsinki), came to Sydney in 1916 and worked as a house painter.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Brisbane and served with the 4th Machine Gun Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war, while in England, he married an English widow, Catherine Sharp (née Cummins) and came with his wife to Brisbane, where he worked as a painter.

Joseph Skovronski

  • Joseph Skovronski, a Polish man from Warsaw, came to Brisbane in 1912 via the Russian Far East, where he spent a number of years before emigration. His brother Stanley Skownonski lived in Australia as well. Upon arrival Joseph worked as a signwriter in Brisbane and Sydney.
  • Enlisting in the AIF he served with the 1st Field Company Engineers on the Western Front.
  • After the war he settled in Sydney, married an Australian girl, Isabella Toakley, and continued his occupation as a painter, decorator and a successful artist.

John Arman

  • John Arman, an Estonian from Pärnu, in 1916 moved from Halifax, in the cane-cutting area of Queensland, to Greta in New South Wales, working as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he served with the 45th and 56th battalions on the Western Front. In October 1918 he was killed during the attack on Hindenburg Line.
  • His family in Estonia was never found.