John Victor Michelson, a Latvian seaman, came to South Australia in 1912. He settled on Witera Station near Talia, working as a farm hand.
In April 1917 he enlisted in the AIF in Adelaide, and married Mary Irene White, a girl from Milang, a few months later; their first child was born when he was serving in the AIF overseas. He served with the 3rd Light Horse Regiment in Egypt.
After the war he took up farming in Olive Hill and Cungena, West Coast of South Australia, working as a carpenter and contractor. He and his wife raised a large family and two of their children served in the AIF in WWII. John himself enlisted in the AIF and served in a garrison battalion. After the war he was the president of the local sub-branch of the R.S.L. in Milang.