One hundred years and ten days ago, my great, great uncle Olaf Milford Johanson enlisted for service abroad with the Australian Imperial Force.
He enlisted at Claremont in the state of Tasmania, which is 26km from the town of Cambridge, where he lived. Both towns are now suburbs of Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.
He was 21 (and 1/2, by his own hand) on the date of enlistment and, thanks to the records I have, I know he was 5’9″/1m75cm tall, weighed 193lbs/86kgs and had brown hair and light brown eyes (like me!).
Under “Distinctive Marks”, the following is written: “Tattoo Heart cross and anchor on right forearm. Anchor & ribbon on front of left forearm. Anchor on back of left wrist.” It comes as no surprise that next to “Profession or Calling” he has written “Sailor”.
Olaf was assigned the service number 3483 and initially served in the 11th Reinforcements of the 12th Batallion. (The 12th Batallion were originally raised within weeks of war being declared and were the first ashore at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915).
I have Olaf’s entire personnel records and, as the months go by plan on blogging about his movements and the movements of his batallion(s).