Kalasnikoff, Beroff, Demetric, Dombroski, Rogojnekoff

July 24, 2015

Walter Kalasnikoff

  • Walter Kalasnikoff, a Russian fireman from Ostrov near Pskov, came to Australia in August 1914 when the war had already broke out. He worked, probably as a miner, in Mount Morgan, where he enlisted in the AIF.
  • He came to the Western Front with the 9th Battalion and was nearly blinded by an explosion in June 1916, soon after his arrival. He was returned to Australia and discharged as medically unfit. His brief war experience left him very bitter about the war.
  • Upon his return he married Mary Rudovsky, a Ukrainian woman, and worked in Brisbane as a tramway employee until he succumbed to sickness. He died in December 1920 in hospital in Corinda.

Walter Beroff

  • Walter Beroff, an Ossetian from Humalag village near Vladikavkaz, who identified himself as a Cossak as well, came to Australia in 1912 from the Russian Far East. Like many other Ossetians he worked at first in Port Pirie smelters and in Broken Hill mines, moving later to Queensland.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Rockhampton he served with the 49th Battalion and 31st Battalion on the Western Front. In spite of his hot nature, which brought him once to a court martial, he was a fine servicemen and by March 1917 he attained the rank of a Sergeant. While in hospital in England he met an English girl, Alice Ivy Betts, and they married in March 1917 before he was returned to the trenches. In September 1917 at the Polygon Wood Battle near Ypres he was severely wounded in the chest and head, losing sight in one eye.
  • Returning to Australia with his wife he worked as a French polisher in Brisbane, but in the 1920s he moved to London.

Alix Demetric

  • Alix Demetric was born in Yamburg near St Petersburg. He came to Australia in 1912 as a seaman from Brazil and worked in Queensland.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Rockhampton he sailed to Egypt with the 9th Battalion, but upon arrival he was diagnosed with trachoma and cataracts in both eyes and invalided to Australia.
  • After the war he lived in Sydney, working as labourer.

Tom Dombroski

  • Tom Dombroski, a Pole from Warsaw, served for 4 years in the Russian Army before arriving in Queensland via the Russian Far East in 1913. He worked on the railway construction work at Yamba near Rockhampton and enlisted in the AIF with Beroff and Demetric.
  • He served with the 49th Battalion on the Western Front. In April 1917 at the battle near Noreuil, he was wounded to the thigh and invalided to Australia. The wound made him permanently lame.
  • After the war he lived in Cairns, working on the sugar mills there.

Lavrrenty Rogojnekoff 

  • Lavrrenty Rogojnekoff was born in Viatka Province. He was not a young man and ‘an old gun shot wound’ indicated that he might have fought in the Russo-Japanese war with the Russian Army. He came to Queensland from the Russian Far East in 1912.
  • He served with the 25th Battalion on the Western Front, being wounded first at Armentieres in April 1916 and then, six weeks later, once again at Sally. On the second occasion he was wounded in the thigh and transferred to England. In March 1918 he was discharged as medically unfit in London.
  • He did not come to Australia and most likely he returned to his native places in Russia where he had a wife, Maria, waiting for him.