Queenslander Pictorial, supplement to The Queenslander, 29 April 1916, p. 23
Григорий Михайлович Матренин
Place Krasnoe, Simbirsk (Ulianovsk), Russia
Ethnic origin Russian
Religion Russian Orthodox
Father Mikhail Alekseevich Matrenin
Wife Mary Matrenin and children Nyura (Anna) and Mikhail stayed in Krasnoe in Russia;
Wife Alice Ballard (nee Burgess) (1888-1950), de-facto since 1922, married 1928 Marylebone, Middlesex, UK; daughter Vera Matrenin, b. 1922
Arrived at Australia
from Yokohama, Japan
per Kumano Maru
disembarked at Brisbane
Residence before enlistment Guluguba, Miles, Qld
Occupation 1915 labourer, 1949 wool rug maker
Service service number 4166
POE Toowoomba, Qld
unit 26th Battalion
place Western Front, 1916-1917; England 1917-1920
casualties WIA 1917 (multiple gun shot wounds, became blind)
discharged 7.09.1920 MU, in England
Naturalisation Served as Russian subject; 1949 naturalised in the UK
Residence after the war 1918-1921 stayed at Dunstan's Hostel, Regents Park, London; 1922 Alpington, Norfolk, 1951 St Dunstan's, Brighton, UK
Died 6.02.1962, Brighton, Sussex, England
Naturalisation in the UK (National Archives, UK)
The King and Australian St. Dunstaners. - St. Dunstan's Review, September, 1938, p. 2.
Gregory Matrenin. - St. Dunstan's Review, February, 1962, p. 10.
Private Gregory Matrenin. - St. Dunstan's Review, February, 1962, p. 11.
From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:
There were also the three friends, Gregory Matrenin, Nicholas Silantiff and Michael Wolkoff, from the remote village of Krasnoe along the River Volga, about 200 km from the nearest city in Simbirsk province. These men left wives and children at home and came on the Kumano Maru to Australia -- probably to earn some money -- just a few months before the outbreak of the First World War. The three joined up together and served in the 26th (Queensland) Battalion of the AIF. Theirs was a story touched by tragedy [...].
Gregory Matrenin, one of the three from Krasnoe village whose lives we have followed through the war, was demobilised in London [...]. Once he'd recovered from his wounds, sustained at Bullecourt in May 1917 he was placed in St Dunstan's hostel for blind soldiers, where he received training in poultry farming and willow basket-making. He applied for his discharge in May 1920, stating his intention was to try to find his wife and two children in Russia, 'who have not been heard of for some time'. I could not manage to find out whether he succeeded in crossing a Russia gripped in the turmoil of civil war, whether he had reached Krasnoe and was able to tell the families of Silantiff and Wolkoff, his friends, about their fate.