Patrick Andreas OHLSTROM

Badge Number: S7495, Sub Branch: Burnside
S7495

OHLSTROM, Patrick Andreas

Service Numbers: 416, 5262
Enlisted: 5 July 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 32nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Warooka, South Australia , 16 December 1890
Home Town: Glen Osmond, Burnside, South Australia
Schooling: On his return in 1919, he studied Law
Occupation: Law Clerk
Died: Natural causes ableit likely to be related to survival from gas attack in Fromelles 1916, Adelaide, South Australia, 10 June 1940, aged 49 years
Cemetery: AIF Cemetery, West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide
Light Oval, West Tce.,
Tree Plaque: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Edithburgh WW2 Roll of Honor, Edithburgh War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

5 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 416, Keswick, South Australia
18 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 416, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
18 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 416, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Adelaide
16 Mar 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 32nd Infantry Battalion
1 Dec 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 32nd Infantry Battalion
13 May 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN 416, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Gassed
14 Jun 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 32nd Infantry Battalion
5 Jun 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN 5262, 32nd Infantry Battalion

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Biography

 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 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".1 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.2 

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".3 July saw heavy shelling, exhaustion and the "honors of going over the Top first."4 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 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 49.6 

 

1. Patrick Andreas Ohlstrom, "Diary by CPL P. A. Ohlstrom from the day of Embarkation," p. 13.

2. Ohlstrom, Diary, p. 12.

3. Ohlstrom, Diary, p. 17.

4. Ohlstrom, Diary, p. 19.

5. Ohlstrom, Diary, p. 20.

6. "Obituary - P. A. Ohlstrom," The Advertiser, 11 June 1940.

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Biography contributed by SUZZIE J MAYWALD

Patrick Andreas Ohlstrom was the only son of Pohl and Margaret Ohlstrom, though he had 11 eleven 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 and on his death was a partner in the law firm Ward Jessop Ohlstom Mollison. 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. 

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