Michael Theodoroff Borisoff

Karori Cemetery in Wellington, New Zealand
(Image courtesy of Paul FitzGerald)

Alias served as Michael Stevens till 1.02.1917

Russian spelling

Михаил Федорович Борисов

Born 9.01.1889

Place Char-Navolok, Petrozavodsk, Olonetsk, Russia

Ethnic origin Karelian / Russian

Religion Russian Orthodox

Father Theodor Pauloff Borisoff

Arrived at Australia
from Vladivostok
on 1911
per Apolda
disembarked at Melbourne

Residence before enlistment Geraldton, WA

Occupation Labourer

Service 1
service number 2813
enlisted 14.08.1915
POE Geraldton, WA
unit 28th Battalion, 51st Battalion
rank Private
place Western Front, 1916
casualties WIA 1916
final fate RTA 17.03.1917
discharged 12.06.1917 MU

Service 2 (Home service)
enlisted 19.09.1917
POE Karra Ratta, WA
rank Private
discharged 19.10.1917 MU

Naturalisation 1920

Residence after the war Fremantle, WA, 1923 visited Russia, 1923 Melbourne, 1930 Sydney, by 1934 New Zealand, 1934-1936 visit to Britain and, probably, Russia, since 1936 Wellington, Tawatapu, Pukerua, New Zealand

Died 12.02.1939, Wellington, New Zealand


Digitised naturalisation (NAA)

Digitised service records (NAA)

Digitised appication to enlist (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM) (Michael Stevens)

Investigation branch file (NAA)

Alien registration file (NAA)

Assistance and medical file (NAA)

Special allowance for medical treatment (NAA)

Blog article



Newspaper materials

Fatal injury. - Evening Post (Wellington, NZ), 17 February 1939, p.11

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

Most of the stories remain untold of those who attempted to return to Russia either permanently or just for a visit: sometimes all we have are a few unconnected facts, which allow us to surmise what their experiences were there. Michael Borisoff, a Karelian from Russia's northwest, was severely wounded at Mouquet Farm and spent many months hospitalised before being invalided to Australia, where he was in the home service for a while until his discharge from the army in October 1917. In June 1918, despite being discharged, he applied for a year's leave with free passage to Russia in the 'hope of recovery of my health': this was refused. In 1920 he was naturalised and when we next hear of him it is from an application dated October 1923. By now, he is resident at a Salvation Army aged men's retreat in Victoria, and not well. His application was for replacement medals; the reason he gave was that his own medals had been confiscated by Russian authorities 'upon leaving Russian detention barracks' in Chita (southwestern Siberia) in May 1923. One can only wonder what ordeals in Russia this sick man had survived -- how he had managed to escape from there.