Sjoberg, Mattson, Plisch, Rickoff, Laurent

November 13, 2016

Bror Gustaf Selim Sjoberg

  • Bror Gustaf Selim Sjoberg, a Finnish seaman from Abo (Turku), enlisted in the AIF in Western Australia.
  • He served with the 10th Battalion on the Western Front. In October 1917 he was wounded in the leg and arm at Ypres. Recovering in England, he returned to the front and served in the 1st Machine Gun Battalion.
  • After the war he lived in Victoria.

Oscar Mattson

  • Oscar Mattson (Madson), a Finnish fireman from Kotka, deserted his ship in Hobart in 1909. By the time of his enlistment in the AIF he was working in Western Australia as a miner.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Perth as Karl Nurmi, he discovered that he had problems with understanding English and deserted while in Bendigo Camp. He was arrested at Mount Morgan a year later and court martialled, declaring that he was a Bolshevik.
  • After the war he lived in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales working as a miner and sleeper cutter and preserving his Bolshevik persuasions.

Gustave Alexander August Plisch

  • Gustave Alexander August Plisch came from the Cracow area in the Austrian part of Poland, but claimed that his father was a Russian subject. He came to Melbourne as a child to join his uncle Johann Plisch, a well-known baker, and worked as a pastry cook. Later he moved to Adelaide and married an Australian girl, Maud Adeline Watts, they had two sons.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Adelaide as a Russian subject, he was approved for home service, but after his discharge he was court martialled, as the authorities had grounds to believe that he was a German.
  • After the war he lived in South Australia and Queensland. His son Cyril Franz Plisch was killed in an aircraft accident at Temora while serving in the RAAF during WWII.

Charles Rickoff

  • Charles Rickoff from Cracow (possibly Petrokov) in Austrian Poland came to Queensland as a baby with his parents. In Australia he became a cabinet maker and polisher. Before leaving for the front he married Kathlyn Violet Davies.
  • Enlisting in the AIF as a Russian Pole, he served with the 49th Battalion on the Western Front. In June 1918 he was wounded in the thigh, but recovered and continued his service to the end of the war.
  • After the war he lived in Bundaberg, working as a cabinetmaker. During WWII he served in the Volunteer Defence Corps, while his son also enlisted in the AIF.

Frank Laurent

  • Frank Laurent, a Finnish seaman from Ilmajoki, came to Australia in 1912 and worked in Sydney as a labourer, marrying an Australian girl, Adele Cressely, in 1916.
  • He enlisted in the AIF twice, in 1916 and 1918, but was discharged both times as medically unfit.
  • After the war he lived in Sydney working as ganger. During WWII he successfully enlisted in the AIF.