Alexander HILTUNEN

HILTUNEN, Alexander

Service Number: 652
Enlisted: 2 September 1914
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 12th Infantry Battalion
Born: Vyborg, Finland , 6 April 1890
Home Town: Freeling, Light, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Fireman
Died: Tuberculosis , Port Elliot, South Australia , 5 January 1917, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Port Elliot - Middleton Cemetery, S.A.
Memorials: Freeling Boer War, Boxer Rebellion and WW1 Memorial Panel, Freeling WW1 Pictorial Honour Roll, Freeling War Memorial, Port Elliot War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

2 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 652, 12th Infantry Battalion
17 Sep 1914: Involvement Private, 652, 12th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Geelong embarkation_ship_number: A2 public_note: ''
17 Sep 1914: Embarked Private, 652, 12th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Melbourne

Alexander Hiltunen

Name: Alex Hiltunen
Service Number: 652
Place of Birth: Finland
Date of Birth: June 1892
Place of Enlistment: Adelaide
Date of Enlistment: 2 September 1914
Age at Enlistment: 22 years 3 months
Next of Kin: Sister – Mrs. Tramen,
St.Petersburg, Russia
Occupation: Fireman
Religion: Lutheran
Rank: Private 12th Battalion
Alex fought at Gallipoli where on 2 May he sustained a shrapnel wound to the
right foot, but was able to rejoin his unit on 20 June after having spent six
weeks at Alexandria Hospital. On 25 June dysentery led to a week’s
hospitalisation at Mudros followed by treatment for pleurisy.
Alex embarked from Hobart on board the A2 Geelong on 20 October 1914. He
was admitted to hospital at Malta on 14 July 1915 and at St. George’s a
fortnight where he was diagnosed to be suffering from pulmonary
tuberculosis and received treatment until 23 September. Prior to this illness
Alex served at Mena Camp in Egypt. Due to the seriousness of his tubercular
condition, Alex was invalided to Australia on the Runic on 7 November 1915
and was classified as permanently unfit on 3 May 1916.
Alex died on 5 January 1917. The Register Adelaide, on Monday 8 January,
1917 carried the following death notice: “On the 5th of January at Port Elliot
Pte. Alex Hiltunen, late 12th Battalion in his 25th year. A soldier and a man.”
The Mail of 7 July 1917 reported that “ The late soldier, although not a native
of Australia, had lived here [Port Elliot] since he was a lad and he was most
highly respected and loved by all who knew him. After his death, which
occurred from consumption and dropsy last January, the people of the
surrounding district decided to erect a headstone in his memory.”
1. R. Kleinig A Guide Behind the Lines Part 1.

Showing 1 of 1 story

Biography contributed by Robert Kearney



January 9 1917.

The death occurred on Saturday at Port Elliot of Pte. Alexander Hiltunen, a member of the Returned Soldiers' Association.

The interest shown by the public of Port Elliot and Victor Harbor was evidenced by the number of conveyances at the funeral on Sunday. Pte Hiltunen was a Russian Finn, and judging by correspondence in his possession was of no mean birth. He arrived as a sailor at Port Adelaide about seven years ago, and leaving his ship made his way to Port Elliot. He was unable to speak the English language, but by making signs to Mrs. Trigg, of Cliff House, conveyed the fact that he was very hungry. He seemed young and fresh, and the good lady's heart went out to the lad, with the result that she treated him as a son, teaching him the English tongue, and giving him some experience at a trade. Subsequently he enlisted for the front, and after a bad attack of pneumonia and pleurisy was returned to Australia with consumption and other diseases contracted in his low state of health. He did not care to make his home with his friends on account of his complaint, and secured a position at Port Pirie as a watchman until all his money gave out in doctors' expenses. He then returned to Adelaide to obtain more assistance, but this was refused him, as he was receiving a pension. The boy had to give in and acquaint his former friends with his condition. He was sent for immediately and nursed by Mrs Trigg until a few days before his death, when a nurse who happened to be on holidays heard of the strain which that good lady was undergoing, and volunteered to assist her.

At the funeral four returned soldiers — Messrs McCoy, Stidson, Smith, and Tripp —acted as pallbearers. The Rev. Mr. Boyer read the burial service, in which he spoke of the manliness of the deceased.

Another mark of appreciation was shown by the public, when Mr. Bull (manager of the Y.M.C.A. concert party) organized a concert at Port Victor on Sunday afternoon for a collection to place a headstone on the grave. Members of the Returned Soldiers' Association have expressed deep appreciation of the sacrifice and motherly interest displayed by Mrs Trigg to the unfortunate soldier.

COUNTRY NEWS. (1917, January 11). Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954), p. 3.


He evidently was well connected in his own country, his brother-in-law being Lieutenant-Colonel Parlone, of the Russian army.

THE LATE PRIVATE A. HILTUNEN. (1917, January 13). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 45