Makaroff, Zavodtchikoff, Holmstrom, Petersen, Mishkinis

November 14, 2015

George Makaroff

  • George Makaroff, a Russian ship’s stoker from Libava (Liepaja) in Latvia, came to Australia in 1913. For several months he worked as a bridge carpenter in Queensland and then enlisted in the AIF.
  • He served with the 42nd Battalion on the Western Front until he was returned to Australia in April 1918 as medically unfit.
  • After the war he worked as a railway employee and fettler in the Roma district and Rockhempton.

William Zavodtchikoff

  • William Zavodtchikoff came from a Jewish family that moved to Tomsk in Siberia. He arrived in Darwin in the Northern Territory in 1914 and worked there at a meatworks. When he got sick with malaria he moved to Queensland, where he enlisted in the AIF in Townsville.
  • After six moths service he was discharged for being under age. He moved to Sydney where he was detained as a prisoner of war, but the interdiction of the Russian consul helped him to get released. After that he made one more attempt to enlist in Sydney, but was discharged as medically unfit.
  • After the war he lived in Melbourne and in Sydney, working as a general dealer.

Axel Hjalmar Holmstrom

  • Axel Hjalmar Holmstrom, a Finnish seaman from Somero, came to Newcatle in 1913. He worked on railway construction and then enlisted in the AIF.
  • He arrived at the Western Front with the 19th Battalion and was wounded in August 1916 in the hand at the battle for Mouquet Farm. Recovering, he returned to the trenches and was transferred to the artillery detachment, but in May 1917 he was wounded for the second time at Bullecourt; this time he was wounded in the leg and back, but he recovered and served to the very end of the war.
  • After the war he continued working as a seaman and probably left Australia.

Charles Petersen

  • Charles Petersen, a Finn from Abo (Turku), most likely came to Australia as a seaman. By the time of enlistment he lived in Bankstown, working as a labourer.
  • He served with the 19th Battalion on the Western Front, being wounded in September 1916, a few weeks after arrival. Recovering in England, he returned to the front and was killed in January 1918 at Le Touquet whilst on outpost duty during an attempted raid by the enemy on the Australian front line.
  • His family in Finland has never been found.

Adolf Ignatieff Mishkinis

  • Adolf Ignatieff Mishkinis from Novoaleksandrovsk (Zarasai) in Lithuania came to Melbourne in September 1915 as a seaman and enlisted a few weeks afterwards.
  • He arrived with the 46th Battalion on the Western Front and in August 1916, soon after arrival, was wounded in the back and thorax at the battle for Mouquet Farm. Returning to the trenches, he was wounded for the second time in October 1917 in Passchendaele. The damage was severe, with a broken skull, shrapnel wounds to his left foot, arm and back. He survived many operations in England and was repatriated to Australia.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, May Curtayne, and had two sons. After separation with his wife he raised the boys in Ballarat, working as an engineer. His sons served in the AIF during WWII, and Adolf lived long enough to tell them about his childhood in Lithuania.