Vesala, Dahlstrom, Lesnie

May 26, 2015

Frans Viktor Vesala

  • Frans Viktor Vesala, a Finnish seaman, came to Hobart in 1905. He worked in Hobart and Port Adelaide in coastal shipping.
  • Enlisting in the AIF as Carlson he came to Gallipoli with the 19th Battalion and was wounded during the August 1915 battles. Recovering, he continued his service on the Western Front where he was killed at the Somme in November 1916.
  • His relatives in the Finnish village of Koylio were found after the war.

Emil Dahlstrom

  • Emil Dahlstrom, a Finnish seaman, came to Australia on a Norwegian sailing ship from South America when the war broke out.
  • Enlisting in the AIF he fought at Gallipoli and on the Western Front, being wounded at Broodseinde near Ypres in October 1917. He recovered and won a Military Medal at the end of war risking his own life to save the wounded.
  • After the war he settled in Bomaderry near Nowra, marrying a local girl, Winifred Jones, and working as a PMG linesman.

Frank Bernard Hershorn Lesnie

  • Frank Bernard Hershorn Lesnie was born, according to his mother, in Warsaw. When he was a young child his family came to England, where he received good education. In around 1914 he emigrated to Australia, aiming to engage in farming.
  • He was rejected on medical grounds when he tried to enlist, but at the second attempt, after the Gallipoli landing, he succeeded and joined the 19th Battalion, later being transferred to the 17th Battalion. He enlisted under the name of Frank Bernard, a native of London. While serving in Gallipoli and on the Western Front he wrote detailed letters to his family in England, graphically describing his everyday life and horrors of war. In December 1916 he was granted leave and visited his family in London. In March 1917 he was killed during the attack on the German trenches near Bapaume.
  • After the war his mother, who moved to Australia, donated a copy of his war letters to the Australian War Memorial.