Lopaten, McCleland, Pennanen

May 5, 2015

Vladimir Lopaten

  • Vladimir Lopaten from Alexino near Smolensk came to Queensland in 1913 via Far East; in Australia he worked in the railway construction.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Longreach joined Smagin and Volkoff in the 15th Battalion and sailed with them per Karoola to Gallipoli. He was wounded five days after the landing in August 1915 at the Lone Pine battle. His countryman Volkoff was killed the next day. Lopaten with gunshot wound to the chest and right lung was evacuated to Australia.
  • He mastered a trade of printer, married an Australian girl Elsie Clarkson and raised a family.

Kenneth Cyril McCleland

  • Kenneth Cyril McCleland was a Briton born in Moscow; his family had connections with Russia lasting for generations. His mother Ann Schanks was born in Moscow as well, where her father, a British subject, was trading with habedershary. Kenneth’s father died when he was young and his mother moved to England, where Kenneth was educated at the Oxford University. He came to Australia in 1913, bought land and started an orchard at Tresco near Lake Boga in Victoria.
  • Enlisting in the AIF he served in Egypt and Palestine in the Light Horse Field Ambulance and later in the Machine Gun Squadron. During the Gaza operations in April 1917 McCleland, according to his commander, ‘did splendid work for at least four hours under heavy shell and rifle fire in the capacity of AMC orderly. […] Although wounded early in the engagement he still carried on’. He was awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal for his bravery.
  • After the war he went to Samarai Island in Papua New Guinea and then worked as a patrol officer in Buna Bay. In 1922 he married a Melbourne girl Cecil MacDevitt, but the next year, as they were going to travel south for holidays, he died of blackwater fever in Samarai Hospital.

Alfred Henrik Pennanen

  • Alfred Henrik Pennanen was a ship’s fireman from Vyborg in Finland. By the time he landed in Australia not long before the enlistment he has travelled several times around the world.
  • Enlisting in Sydney in the 19th Battalion he served at Gallipoli and on the Western Front. He was killed at Pozieres in July 1916.
  • His parents in Vyborg were found after his death.