Sutchkoff, Gross, Woronsoff, Willgren

November 28, 2016

Simon Sutchkoff

  • Simon Sutchkoff, a well-educated Belarusian school teacher, was sentenced to Siberia as a political prisoner. He escaped to Australia in 1912, and worked as a labourer all over Queensland for three years before settling in Edith Creek in north-west Tasmania, where he engaged in farming.
  • With the 47th Battalion he arrived on the Western Front, but was taken prisoner of war a month later, at the battle for Dernancourt in April 1918.
  • After the war he was repatriated to Australia. He continued farming, often contributing letters to the editor of the local newspaper on social and political issues.

Charles Gross

  • Charles Gross, a Finnish seaman, came to Newcastle in 1896 and lived on the Central NSW coast, working as a labourer and timber cutter.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Macksville, NSW, he served in the Field Ambulance on the Western Front.
  • After the war he married Mary Sherriff and farmed in Congarinni, NSW.

John Woronsoff

  • John Woronsoff, a sailor from Nizhni Tagil in Russia, came to Melbourne in 1907 and settled at Waurn Ponds in Victoria. He worked as a teamster and later started farming.
  • He served with the 21st Battalion on the Western Front. A month after his arrival on the front, in September 1917, he was killed at the battle for Menin Road.
  • His family in Russia was never found, but his Australian friends commemorated his death in the newspaper for several years.

Ivar Willgren

  • Ivar Willgren, a Finnish fireman from Vyborg, came to Australia in early 1916 and enlisted in the AIF in Dubbo.
  • He came to England with the 3rd Battalion, but fell ill and was returned to Australia as medically unfit.
  • After the war he lived in Orange and got into trouble with the Australian security forces as an enemy alien during WWII.