Joseph Vurhaft

Russian spelling

Иосиф Вургафт

Born 10.02.1893

Place Odessa, Ukraine

Ethnic origin Jewish

Religion Church of England

Mother Fanny Vurhaft (nee Esterlis)

Arrived at Australia
from China
on 29.12.1912
per St Albans
disembarked at Cairns

Residence before enlistment Queensland, Brisbane

Occupation 1916 gardener, farming, 1930 clerk; 1940 picker in Labor unions

service number 6327
enlisted 25.01.1916
POE Rockhampton, Qld
unit 9th Battalion
rank Private
place Western Front, 1916-1917
casualties WIA 1917
final fate RTA 11.02.1918
discharged 2.11.1918 MU, left arm amputated

Naturalisation 1918

Residence after the war Melbourne; 1919 to Hong Kong; 1924 San Francisco, USA

Died 29.12.1969 San Francisco, USA


Digitised naturalisation (NAA)

Digitised service records (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM)

Intelligence section file (NAA)

Personal case file (NAA)

Blog article



From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

For the Russians an added dimension was their feeling of having now earned their right to be sons of Australia -- this place where they had originally landed only by chance. [...] Joseph Vurhaft applied for his naturalisation from hospital in 1918. On being requested to submit his Russian birth-certificate, he exploded: 'I lost everything I had when wounded at the front. ... I gave my service freely for the country, and am suffering from shock to the nervous system besides losing an arm. I fail to see any reason why there should be any delay in this matter, or to be worried any further.'