Zacharias Pieven came from a Cossack family in the township of Saltykova Divitsa in Chernigov Province. He worked as fitter and mechanic in Odessa, Nizhni Novgorod, and Harbin, where he married Klavdia Kroloiski. Pieven sailed to Australia in 1911 and his wife and newborn daughter soon joined him. They settled in Sydney, where their son was born in 1913, but a year later Klavdia tragically lost her life.
Zacharias, working as a fitter at the NSW Government Railway Workshops, enlisted in the AIF in November 1916, but was discharged as medically unfit on the same day. Five months later he died.
An Australian family brought up his children, who preserved the Zacharias family archive.