Mannerman, Welson, Sepscak, Olsen, Dynowski

February 2, 2016

Lauri Mannerman

  • Lauri Mannerman, a ship’s stoker from Lahti in Finland, served on the ships for 8 years, before landing in Australia in October 1915. For a few months he worked as a colliery wheeler in Kurri Kurri and enlisted in the AIF in West Maitland.
  • He served with the 4th Battalion on the Western Front and was awarded Military Medal for his bravery in the battle of Hazebrouck, working as a runner.
  • After the war he worked as a labourer in North Queensland.

Michael Welson

  • Michael Welson, a Finn from Waasa, was working with Manneman as a colliery wheeler in Kurri Kurri and enlisted together with him.
  • A month later he was discharged, being a ‘menace to the discipline, agitating for a strike’.
  • After the discharge he was seafaring and moved to the USA.

John Sepscak

  • John Sepscak, in his enlistment documents and application for naturalisation, consistently gave his place of birth as simply ‘Russia’, although in a newspaper advertisement he added an unidentifiable ‘Romen, Russia’, but policemen during the naturalisation interview recorded that he was born in ‘Hopszywnica, Russia’. ‘Romen’ could be the Ukrainian town of Romny, while ‘Hopszywnica’ could be Polish Koprzywnica in Radom Province. Sepscak came to Australia in 1911, most likely as a sailor, and worked as farm labourer in Mahong Station in NSW.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Cootamundra, he served with the 56th Battalion on the Western Front. In October 1917 Sepscak was gassed during the attack at Passchendaele, then buried by shell debris and found unconscious; his condition was so serious that he was taken to hospital and later repatriated to Australia.
  • After the war he settled in Bilboa near Kingaroy (Queensland) under the soldiers’ settlement scheme.

Charles John Olsen

  • Charles John Olsen (his true name was Karl Ronnbom) from Waasa in Finland came to South Australia in 1909, deserting his ship. In Australia he worked as a labourer and mill-hand.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Adelaide, he was discharged five months later as medically unfit.
  • After the war he lived in NSW, becoming an inmate of mental institutions.

Frank Dynowski

  • Frank Dynowski, born into a well-off Polish family in Kiev, came to Australia in 1914 and worked as a labourer at Bugaldie, north of Dubbo.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Gulgong, he served with the 45th Battalion on the Western Front, being appointed acting sergeant. Later he was transferred to the Base Depot as a permanent staff member stationed in Havre.
  • While serving in France, he married a French girl, Mary Hue, and chose to stay in France after the war ended. Later he moved to Poland, where he took part in the 1944 Warsaw insurrection. He survived it and served in Polish forces in Germany in 1944-1950. In 1950 he returned to Australia in the wave of displaced persons. By that time he had a profession of an engineer, but settling in Hobart he had to turn again to the unqualified work of a waiter.