Ben Goffin

Ben Goffin
Courtesy of Richard Goffin

Alias Pinchas; Pinie Gochin; Benjamin; Giffin

Born 10.05.1896

Place Tulchin, Podolia, Ukraine

Ethnic origin Jewish

Religion Enlisted as Lutheran

Father Max Goffin / Mendel Gochin

Mother Leah (Dvora) Soskin


Wife Anne Goffin (née Koodak), married 1921; sons Maurice and Steven (b. 1925), daughter Shirley (1928-1937)


Army friend Gregory Kunin

Residence before arrival at Australia Emigrated with family to America in 1912

Arrived at Australia
from America
on 18.02.1916
per Aerian
disembarked at Melbourne

Residence before enlistment Melbourne

Occupation 1916 painter (ships); 1921 plumber; 1923 ironmonger; since the late 1920s farmer

service number 5014
enlisted 18.02.1916
POE Melbourne
unit 22nd Battalion
rank Private
place Western Front, 1916-1918
casualties WIA 1917, 1918 (gassed and wounded)
final fate RTA 16.01.1919
discharged 14.05.1919

Naturalisation 1921

Residence after the war Melbourne, in the 1920s moved to soldiers settlement in Walpole near Albany, WA

Died 5.10.1931, Walpole, Plantagenet, WA


Digitised naturalisation (NAA)

Digitised service records (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM)

Letter about Kunin's death in Kunin's digitised Red Cross wounded and missing file (AWM)

Application for assistance (NAA)

Family tree on

Blog article



Newspaper articles

Victorian news. - Hebrew Standard of Australasia, Sydney, 7 July 1916, p. 11.

Settler killed at Walpole settlement. - Albany Advertiser, 8 October 1931, p. 1.

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

Sometimes the officials dealing with the naturalisation applications were pedantic to the point of absurdity. Ben Goffin had enlisted in the army on the day he landed at Melbourne, and on the Western Front was severely wounded twice and gassed once. Goffin was refused naturalisation because he could not write, even though during the war the army had been happy enough to enlist illiterate Russians who could only sign their papers with a cross. The Returned Sailors' and Soldiers' Imperial League of Australia (RSSILA) appealed on his behalf, but it was another two years before he was naturalised, and only when a policeman had ascertained that he could write.