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5 – Jack’s Brothers

As mentioned earlier, two of Jack’s younger brothers also emigrated to South Australia.

Johann Ferdinand Hermann Kakoschke

Hermann Kakoschke

First to arrive was Johann Ferdinand Hermann, on the ship Corona in 1880. He was listed in the passenger manifest under “Single Men”.

Life was pretty tough in those times and, unfortunately for Hermann, in 1886 he took the words of Waltzing Matilda a little too literally and was nabbed having a bit of a jumbuck barbeque. From the South Australian Register newspaper comes the following snippet:


MORGAN. September 4 1886

H. Kakoschke, who had been rabbiting at Gandy’s Range, near Morgan, was tried before Messrs. John Symons and Hermann von Rieben, J.P.’s, to-day for sheepstealing. Two of the North-West Bend boundary riders assert that they caught him cooking part of a sheep, with a skin hanging near with the Bend registered brand on it; also that they found a sheep belonging to the station tied near his camp. The prisoner was committed for trial at the next Criminal Sittings.

At the subsequent trial, due to certain circumstantial evidence, the jury didn’t buy his story about a good Samaritan having given him the sheep and Hermann was sentenced to two years imprisonment. He served his term at Yatla prison.


Thursday, December 9.

[Before His Honor Mr. Justice Boncaut and Juries.]


Hermann Kakoschke (25) was charged with stealing a sheep, the property of Alfred Harris, at Gandy’s Range on September 3, and pleaded not guilty. Mr. W. V. Smith defended. Kakoschke, who was rabbiting on the North-West Bend Station, was seen on the morning of the day in question cooking fresh mutton. A fresh sheepskin bearing the station mark was found about 20 yards from the camp. He accounted from this by saying that he had taken it for a dead sheep he found in the paddock. On the same afternoon a sheep was found tied up about half a mile from the camp. Around it were tracks of hobnailed boots, one of which had an iron plate, the other none. These tracks corresponded with defendant’s boots. A statement was made by the prisoner that he had got the skin, and a leg of mutton had been given him that morning by a stranger with a spotted dog whom he had met that morning cutting up the sheep, which the dog had killed. For the defence a witness was called to the character of the defendant. The Jury returned a verdict of guilty, and prisoner was sentenced to imprisonment with hard labour for two years.

Desiring to make a fresh start, in April 1900 Hermann sailed to Fremantle WA on the steamer Rockton, eventually making his way to Southern Cross where he was employed by a Mr J Webb. Years later in 1932 when he applied for Naturalization, a local Justice of the Peace make the following remarks in support of his application:

I believe he made application for naturalization many years ago, but could not then speak English. He has ever since led a very respectable life. We have known him for a good number of years here and have always found him very honourable.

Hermann lived the rest of his life in Western Australia. Evidently he never married and his final years were spent at the Old Men’s Home at Point Resolution, Claremont, where he passed away about 1935.

Johann Georg Adolph Reinhold a.k.a. Gustav Kakoschke

The actual name of the other of Jack’s brothers to emigrate is a bit puzzling. In his early years in South Australia he was referred to as John George Adolph Reinhold Kakoschke, but in later years he referred to himself as Gus or Gustav Kakoschke. So, from here-on in I’ll refer to him as Gustav.

Gustav and his wife Joannah Auguste nee Kluge arrived in SA on the 15th of September 1889 aboard the ship Hohensollern. Their daughter Auguste Adelaide Kakoschke was born in Adelaide on the 13th of May the following year. Hermann Kakoschke was a witness at her baptism which was held at St Stephen’s Lutheran church in Adelaide. Her birth certificate lists her father’s name as John George Adolph Reinhold Kakoschke.

The family moved to Renmark not long after, where it seems Gustav (Adolph) too had a bit of a run-in with the law:

“South Australian Register – Monday 5 September 1892

[From our own Correspondent.] Renmark. September 2.

At the Police Court yesterday, before Messrs. R. Robertson and D. Sinclair, five cases for illicit sale of intoxicants were heard. A. Kakoski (sic), charged with stealing one bottle of beer, was fined £10 and costs. Another case against the same defendant was withdrawn.”

A few years later during the summer of 1898, the family was struck by tragedy, losing their only child. Several newspapers of the time ran the following story:

January 6 1898


A sad drowning fatality was reported from Renmark to-day. Three little girls named Florrie Crabb, aged 10 years, Hilda Evans, 11 years, and Adelaide Kokoschke (sic), 8 years, were swimming in a shallow arm of the river, when they were carried away into the river proper by the current. Florrie Crabb was recovered, and animation restored. Hilda Evans’s dead body was not found until two hours later, while the other body was not discovered till four hours after the accident occurred.

Gus continued living in Renmark until 1903, then moved to Mildura where he worked for Chaffey Bros. In 1918 he moved to the small settlement of Colignan in Victoria, working as a fisherman. He lived there until his death in 1929.

The “Unknown” Relative

Confusingly, there also exists a record of another probable relative, who also happened to be called Gustav Kakoschke (Kakoski). His death was registered in South Australia on the 28th of March 1897. He died whilst a patient at Adelaide Hospital with the cause of death being given as “Bright’s Disease with gangrene of right leg.

The record indicates that he was 38 years of age and was also a resident of Renmark. Unfortunately no relatives’ names were recorded.

A likely explanation is that this record was actually for the death of Gus’ wife Johanna. Perhaps there was some confusion with the paperwork and the details of the informant and the deceased were transposed. This being the case it would mean that Gus was already a widower when his daughter drowned. A very sad state of affairs.

Alexander Kakoschke

Correspondence with some German families from about 1975 onwards suggested that their ancestor, Alexander Kakoschke, may have also been a brother of Jack’s. This seems fairly unlikely though as Alexander was born in Rowno in the Ukraine in 1871, yet Jack’s mother was still living in Groß Blumberg in 1880 when her father Gottfried Redlich passed away (she was the one who registered his death).

There is some evidence that there were actually two Gottfried Kakoschke’s, of a similar age, living in Groß Blumberg in the mid 1800’s, so perhaps Alexander was the son of the other Gottfried. In any event, even though Alexander may not have been a brother of Jack’s, there probably still a family connection, just a few generations earlier though.



Back to Part 4 – Life on the Land

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