Patrick Andreas Ohlstrom
Patrick Andreas Ohlstrom enlisted in the Australian Imperial force on 5 July 1915 at the age of twenty-four and a half. Born at Warooka on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, Ohlstrom was working as a law clerk at the time of his enlistment, a profession to which he returned on his discharge in 1919.
Serving with the 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion, Ohlstrom was promoted to corporal in August of 1915. Embarking for the Middle East in November, Ohlstrom spent his first Christmas at war in the trenches, guarding the eastern side of the Suez Canal from Ottoman advances. The next few months were spent in similar duties, with occasional diversions such as dysentry and camel riding, which Ohlstrom thought "weird". The 32nd also had the opportunity of sightseeing at their post at Tel el Kebir, complete with "gruesome sights" and bones from the battle of 1882, when the British and Indian armies under the command of General Wolseley subjugated Egypt for the Empire.
In June, they shipped out to France and witnessed their first air raid on 29 June, the day after a surprise visit from General Birdwood described by Ohlstrom in his diary as the "Soul of Anzac". July saw heavy shelling, exhaustion and the "honors of going over the Top first." After 19 and 20 July, the horror of European trench warfare hit home to Ohlstrom.
Have passed through a night of Hell on earth. It was awful the noise and the sights of dead & dying men. The boys took three lines of German trenches, easily but after hanging on all night were compelled to let go and fall back on our own line. Every devilish invention was used against us including liquid fire and gas. I never want to go through another dose of it. Our casualties were very heavy but no worse than theirs.5
An infection saw Ohlstrom out of commission and hospitalised in England from August until the end of the year, although that seemed to do little to stop him from thoroughly enjoying himself. He returned to serve at the No. 2 Officers Cadet battalion at Cambridge in August 1917 before being hospitalised again in November.
In January 1918, Ohlstrom finally returned to the 32nd battalion to be severely wounded in a gas attack in 14 May 1918. Two days later he was promoted to second lieutenant. He returned to hospital, where he spent the remainder of the conflict before rejoining his unit at the end of November 1918 and returning to Australia in February 1919, having been promoted to full lieutenant on 25 June 1918.
Once back home, Ohlstrom returned to law, first clerking and later becoming a partner in the firm Jessop, Ward and Ohlstrom. Also remembered as a prominent baseball player and cricketer, Patrick Andreas Ohlstrom died in 1940 at the age of 49 from natural causes ableit likely to be related to his survival from the gas attack in Fromelles 1916.
Patrick Andreas Ohlstrom was the only son of Pohl and Margaret Ohlstrom, though he had 11 sisters. He married Doctor Leonora Hines, though together they had no children, and thus the family line of Ohlstrom did not continue albeit he has many relatives on the Southern Yorke Peninsula in South Australia.
When he returned in 1919 he studied Law at the University of Adelaide and completed his Final Certificate of Law in 1924.
He was elected to the bar of the supreme court and served as a councillor on the Burnside council.
He was a very good sportsman in part due to the intense rehabilitation needed to recover from the gas attack which he survived in Fromelles in 1918. Patrick excelled at Cricket for University (v Kensington 5/15) and Baseball (The Ohlstrom Cup still exists in his memory).
His wife, Doctor Leonora Ohlstrom donated a perpetual prize for Wiemar German at the University of Adelaide, which still exists.Biographical SourceTaken from Virtual War Memorial Australia - https://vwma.org.au/explore/people/218858 - Accessed 19 February 2021