Edward Ottomar Seltin

Edward and Florence Seltin with young Teddy, 1925
Courtesy of Edward R. Seltin

Russian spelling

Эдуард Селтин
Latvian spelling Eduardś Seltin

Born 14.08.1893

Place Rujenê (Rūjiena), Latvia

Ethnic origin Latvian

Religion Lutheran & Church of England

Father Otto Seltin

Mother Beatrice Seltin


Wife Florence Mary Ann Seltin (née Sherwood), married 1923, son Edward Robert, b.1924


Arrived at Australia and enlisted with Oscar Strauberg and Alexander Mentze

Residence before arrival at Australia Served on various ships in England for 2 years

Arrived at Australia
from Cardiff, England
on 18.11.1916
per Gryfevale
disembarked at Port Adelaide, SA (deserted)

Residence before enlistment Adelaide

Occupation 1916 AB seaman, 1926 tram conductor, later tram driver

service number 3625
enlisted 21.11.1916
POE Adelaide
unit 5th Pioneer Battalion
rank Private
place Western Front, 1917-1919
casualties WIA 1918
final fate RTA 23.07.1919
discharged 9.10.1919

Naturalisation 1926

Residence after the war Sydney

Died 8.08.1993


Digitised naturalisation (NAA)

Digitised service records (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry 1 2 (AWM)

Army payfile (NAA)

Personal case file (NAA)

Application for naturalisation (NAA)

Blog article



From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

A new factor in the stories of enlistment -- pressure from the Russian consulate -- emerges from the story of Ted Seltin, a Latvian, as recalled by his son. 'Ted and two of his comrades deserted their ship in Adelaide and they went along to the consul in Adelaide and said, "... we jumped this ship, it's gone, and what are we going to do?" And the consul said, "Well, you blokes are in great big trouble here. You'll be locked up and put in jail, ..." because deserting the ship was a very serious crime. They were suggested that perhaps joining the army might be a way out, being an adventure, being something quite different. So he and Oscar Strauberg, his friend, two of them, joined the army ... I don't think Ted had any great patriotic ideas about fighting dreaded Germans or anything like that. He was just an adventurous young man and, having deserted the ship in a strange country, and the strange language -- joining the army would have been quite all right, it seems, as an adventure and a way out of trouble.'

[...] Not long before his death in 1993 Edward Seltin, the Russian Anzac from Latvia, recalled his feelings at the end of war: 'We were overjoyed that the hideous slaughter had finally ended and we were thankful that we were the lucky ones that had managed somehow to survive. Some months previously I had been wounded by a German sniper's bullet and had rejoined my battalion at the front and I was pleased my good luck had held out till it was all over. Many others weren't lucky. My friends and I celebrated Armistice Day 1918 with a good quantity of French wine, both red and white. We were granted leave within a few days and I arrived in London four days after the armistice and found people were still celebrating and dancing in the streets. It was an unforgettable time.' Seltin died just a few days short of his 100th birthday.