Abdul Ganivahoff

AWM memorial panel 88

Russian spelling

Абдул(ла) Ганивахов

Born 1886

Place Kazan, Russia

Ethnic origin Tatar

Religion Lutheran (?)

Arrived at Australia

Residence before enlistment Melbourne

Occupation Sailor

service number 1703
enlisted 18.02.1916
POE Melbourne
unit 2nd Pioneer Battalion; 19th Battalion
rank Private, Corporal
place Western Front, 1916-1917
casualties WIA 1916
final fate KIA 27.02.1917
memorial 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France

Naturalisation Served as Russian subject


Digitised service records (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM)

Roll of Honour (AWM)

Commemoration and blogs

Russian Anzacs blog (Russian)

Russian Anzacs blog (English)

Melbourne Recital Centre commemorative concert in Ganivahoff's memory

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

In 1916 Abdul Ganivahoff, a Tatar man, came to enlist at the Melbourne Town Hall. He could barely speak English, and was enlisted by a young NCO in poor health called Henry Nicholson. This Tatar man was very obviously different, even from Slavonic Russians, let alone from Britishers, but he had been able to slip past the barrier of the White Australia policy because he had arrived in Australia as a Russian sailor. Henry Nicholson discovered that Abdul had 'no living relatives or friends either in Russia or in this country' and asked Abdul if he wanted Nicholson to be recorded as his friend in the 'next of kin' section. In spite of the briefness of their contact Nicholson never forgot his adopted Tatar 'friend'. Upon making enquiries after the war, Nicholson was upset to learn that Abdul Ganivahoff had been killed in action in France, in early 1917.