Reppe, Watchman, Erickson-Long

October 29, 2014

Charles Reppe

  • Charles Reppe, a Latvian seaman from Riga, landed in Western Australia in 1906, where he worked as a ship’s fireman and a miner.
  • He participated in the Gallipoli landing and was wounded at the Battle for Bloody Angle. His second wound he received in 1916 at Mouquet Farm on the Western Front; and finally he was wounded and became a POW at Bullecourt in 1917.
  • None of that prevented him from taking ten years off his age and re-enlisting in the 2nd AIF during the Second World War. At that time he was prospecting at NSW.

Nathan Watchman

  • Nathan Watchman from Navernai in Lithuania came to Australia in 1911 and worked as a travelling salesman.
  • He landed in Gallipoli with the 6th Battalion in May 1915 and later wrote: ‘I lost all my papers at the landing at Gallipoli’. His service was not long; eight days later he was severely wounded in hand and leg and repatriated to Australia.
  • In 1917 he married, and lived with his family in Mildura, Geelong and Broken Hill, working as a draper and salesman. His son Phillip served in the Australian Navy during the WWII.

Axel Johan Erickson-Long

  • Axel Johan Erickson-Long, was born in Mustasaari near Vaasa in Finland and toiled the sea since the age of 11. He came to Western Australia in 1911 and worked as a mill hand all over the state.
  • He came to Gallipoli in May 1915, serving in the 11th Battalion. At the end of July he was hospitalised with dysentry and dyagnosed with goitre. He was repatriated to Australia and discharged as medically unfit.
  • His life after the discharge remains obscure; even when he was due to be awared with military medals he could not be located.