Otto Taking

Born 5.10.1890

Place Kertel (Kardla), Dago (Hiiumaa), Estonia

Ethnic origin Estonian

Religion Protestant

Father John Taking

Arrived at Australia
from Kaipara, New Zealand
on 8.10.1912
per Ihumata
disembarked at Sydney

Residence before enlistment Melbourne

Occupation Seaman

service number 1881B
enlisted 8.01.1916
POE Melbourne
unit 46th Battalion
rank Private
place Western Front, 1916-1917
casualties WIA 1917
final fate RTA 21.04.1918
discharged 31.08.1918

Naturalisation Served as Russian subject


Alien registration (NAA)

Digitised service records (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM)

Digitised court martial file (NAA)

Personal case file (NAA)

Blog article



From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

In a few cases Russians were indeed guilty of poor behaviour, something that was more common among the unruly seamen so numerous in their midst -- one of whom was Otto Taking, an Estonian. Covered with scars and tattoos, Taking was wounded once while on active service and went absent without leave 12 times, even managing to escape from Longbridge detention barracks in England. On the way back to Australia he missed his ship at one port and the British consul handed him and another reveller, W. Dumont, over to the next troop-ship, whose commander reported back to headquarters: 'They are both foreigners of sorts and the type of men that drag the A.I.F. into disrepute'. It seems that however much such unruly characters might have kept getting into trouble with authority in general, with the men they fought alongside, their comrades and officers, they rarely had problems that resulted from being 'Russians' or 'foreigners'. At one of Taking's courts-martial his commanding officer testified: 'he is a stretcher-bearer ... and has done good work'. Men with such disorderly dispositions were more in the mould of the emerging spirit of Anzac than were the Russian peasants, intellectuals or tradesmen.