Michael Ankudinow

Michael Ankudinow (left, back row) with his family in Vladivostok, ca 1911
Courtesy of Jan Rees

Michael Ankudinow, 1940
WWII service records (NAA)

Alias George Wilson, alias Callahan

Russian spelling

Михаил Георгиевич Анкудинов

Born 1.05.1886 (other variants 1879, 1880, 1885, 1896, 1901)

Place Odessa, Ukraine; also stated St Petersburg and Vladivostok

Ethnic origin Russian

Religion Roman Catholic (?)

Father Zverkov; Stepfather George (Georgy Evseevich) Ankudinov

Mother Aleksandra Petrovna Popova


wife Maggie Ankudinow (nee Callaghan), married 1918 in Edinburgh; wife Lillian Ankudinow (nee Crough), married 1940, Victoria

Residence before arrival at Australia Served 4 years in Russian Army, after leaving Russia lived in China (Shanghai) 2 years, Japan 4 years, USA (Seattle) 4 years

Arrived at Australia
from USA
on 10.1912
per Killmany
disembarked at Port Adelaide

Residence before enlistment Melbourne, Port Adelaide, SA

Occupation AB seaman, labourer

Service 1
service number 2280
enlisted 20.05.1916
POE Adelaide
unit 50th Battalion, 43rd Battalion, Australian Provost Corps
rank Private
place Western Front, 1916-1918
casualties WIA 1917, 1918
awards 9.04.1917 MID
final fate RTA 1920
discharged 8.05.1919 in London

Service 2 (WWII)
service number V82372
enlisted 23.12.1939
POE South Melbourne, Vic.
unit 12 Garrison Battalion
rank Private
discharged 26.02.1940

Service 3 (WWII)
service number VX30403
enlisted 5.06.1940
POE Royal Park, Vic.
unit 2/5 Field Ambulance; 2/7 Training Battalion
discharged 21.12.1940 disch. MU

Service 4 (WWII)
enlisted 26.06.1942
POE Melbourne
unit Civil Constructional Corps
discharged 8.09.1942

Naturalisation 1941

Residence after the war Adelaide, Baroota, Port Pirie, SA; Kalgoorlie, Greenbushes, Albany, Chidlow's Well, WA; Prospect, SA, Yalata labour prison, SA; Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne

Died 1951 Heidelberg, Victoria


Naturalisation (NAA)

Digitised WWI service records (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM) (Aukudinow)

South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau file

Army pay file (NAA)

Digitised army records (NAA)

WWII service records 1 2 (NAA)

WWII security investigation dossier (NAA)

Digitised Civil Constructional Corps file (NAA)

Personal case file 1 2(NAA)

Blog article



Newspaper articles

A daring robbery. - The Express and Telegraph, Adelaide, 25 March 1920, p. 1.

Stolen trunks. - The Register Adelaide, 31 March 1920, p. 4.

Nine months imprisonment for stealing trunks. - Daily Herald, Adelaide, 5 May 1920, p. 3.

Police court. Adelaide. - The Express and Telegraph, Adelaide, 26 November 1920, p. 1.

Advised to leave Port Pirie. - Barrier Miner, Broken Hill, 27 April 1921, p. 3.

Theft of clothing. - Albany Advertiser, 17 May 1924, p. 3.

Information wanted. - Sunday Times , Perth, 17 August 1924, p. 7.

False pretenses and vagrancy. - The West Australian, Perth, 4 October 1924, p. 8.

Couple from the country. - The Daily News, Perth, 4 October 1924, p. 1.

Bogus constable. - The Daily News, Perth, 15 July 1925, p. 8.

Disorderliness. - The West Australian, Perth, 16 August 1928, p. 12.

Razor slashing. Man wounded in Perth. - The West Australian, Perth, 7 August 1929, p. 18.

Slashed with razor. - The Advertiser, Adelaide, 10 August 1929, p. 13.

Slashed with razor. - Mirror, Perth, 10 August 1929, p.1, portr.

Alleged razor-slashing. - The West Australian, Perth, 21 August 1929, p. 8.

Razor slash... - Mirror, Perth, 31 August 1929, p. 1, portr.

"Twas the woman did it!". - Truth, Perth, 8 September 1929, p. 3.

Maggie again. - Truth, Perth, 8 September 1929, p. 2.

From Hospital to Gaol. - The Advertiser, Adelaide, 16 October 1934, p. 6.

Charge against Russian Finn dismissed. - The Advertiser, Adelaide, 11 September 1935, p. 9.

Seaman assaulted at port. - The Advertiser, Adelaide, 11 January 1936, p. 19.

Assault charges against seaman dismissed. - The Advertiser, Adelaide, 14 February 1936, p. 13.

Arrested twice in few hours. - The Mail, Adelaide, 20 March 1943, p. 12.

Timoshenko's nephew, says man in court. - News, Adelaide, 20 March 1943, p. 3.

Marshal Timoshenko's 'nephew'. - The Age, Melbourne, 22 March 1943, p. 5.

From Falling stars: The story of Anzacs from Ukraine:

According to family tales, 'one winter, when he was 16 or 17, Michael became restless and, finding life very restrictive, ran away to sea by joining a tramp ship in Vladivostok Harbour. He was later found to be settled in Australia'.

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

The men who dared to take up the challenge of the land were usually those with families. Others, many of them labourers and seamen, were unable to settle down; some remained vagabonds until they died -- these men were unlikely to write their memoirs. The only glimpses of their lives we get are from their occasional, brief communications with the military authorities over such matters as lost badges or discharge certificates -- like Michael Ankudinow writing in 1938 for a replacement copy of his discharge certificate: 'Loss occured on Track shivting camps from one to another state traveling cary a swag looking another camp and jobs'. Before this moment and after it stretched Ankudinow's whole life, about which we know very little. There seemed to be nothing fixed or permanent about it: not his name (he was also known as George Wilson, alias Callahan), nor his place of birth (he freely chose between Vladivostok, St Petersburg and Helsinki), not even his date of birth (I found six different dates between 1879 and 1901!). He served in the Russian army and then went seafaring, spending time in China, Japan and the United States until he landed in South Australia in 1912. Enlisting in the AIF in May 1916, he went to the Western Front in November, and his courage was soon noted, leading to a mention in dispatches. He was wounded at Ypres and then, in April 1918, gassed and invalided to England. Two months later we find him in Edinburgh, marrying an Irish girl called Maggie Callaghan. During his remaining time in the army he was regarded as sufficiently trustworthy to serve in the provost corps but, when the war ended, he wanted to return to Russia, not Australia. 'I am bread and born in Russia', he wrote, 'and I am a Russian subject I am very stranger in Australia. War is over and I want you discharge me in England and sent me back to Russia Vladivostok.'

He didn't get his wish; the Ankudinows ended up in Australia and here Michael's life began to fall apart. His police record has a long list of his crimes, from drunkenness to robbery, and his wife had her problems with the police, too. She returned to Britain and he became a rolling stone -- 'shifting', as he said, from camp to camp, from State to State. In 1940 he was living in the Old Men's House, Mount Royal Park, Victoria, and applied to be naturalised; his police report stated, 'He is somewhat of a wanderer, neglects himself and consequently suffers from lack of suitable food'. Nevertheless, his faultless military service outweighed other considerations and he was naturalised in 1941; by then he had managed to join the 2nd AIF twice -- he probably wanted to repeat the best years of his life, his time in the army.