Sandstrom, Nelson, Dreger, Amstead, Alexandrov

February 5, 2016

Bertie David Sandstrom

  • Bertie David Sandstrom, a Finnish seaman, lived in Melbourne by the time of his enlistment in the AIF.
  • He served with the 57th Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he stayed in Australia under the name of Strong.

Eric William Nelson

  • Eric William Nelson (his original name was Blomqvist), a seaman from Abo in Finland, came to Australia in 1905 and was sailing on the South Australian Coast.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Adelaide, he served with the 10th Battalion on the Western Front. In April 1917 he was killed near Boursies.
  • His friend in Bowden commemorated his death in the local newspaper.

Ernest Mikel Dreger

  • Ernest Mikel Dreger, a son of German parents from Riga, worked as a seaman and came to Western Australia in 1910, followed by his brothers and fiancée Sarah Ligum. By the time of his enlistment in the AIF they had two children. His contacts with Latvian radicals in London provoked a lot of interest towards him in Australia.
  • He served with the 44th Battalion on the Western Front. In January 1918 he was awarded with the Military Medal for his bravery.
  • After the war he farmed with his family (he had seven children) in Geraldton and Koolanooka. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF and served in the 7th Geraldton Battalion Volunteer Defense Corps.

James Amstead

  • James Amstead, a Jewish man from Czenstochowa in Poland, came to Australia in 1907 and worked in Sydney and Brisbane as a hairdresser.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he was discharged four months later as medically unfit.
  • After the war he married Bertha Field and continued his occupation of a hairdresser and operated as a bookmaker in Mackay. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF and served for two years in the Australian Defence Canteen Service.

Alex Alexandrov

  • Alex Alexandrov, a Russian seaman and carpenter from Koskolovo in St Petersburg Province, came to Albany in Western Australia in 1913. By the time of his enlistment in the AIF he had visited all the states.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Sydney, deserted three months later, and was arrested in Melbourne.
  • He probably left Australia after the war.