Richard Gregorenko

Alias Gregorenz (service records); Richard Mitchell Gregorenko
Russian spelling Григорий (Ерофей?) Михайлович Григоренко
Born 4.10.1887
Place Karapyshi, Kiev, Ukraine
Ethnic origin Ukrainian
Religion Russian Orthodox
Father Mitchell (Michael) Pavloff Gregorenko
Mother Polina

Wife Vera Gregorenko (née Scriven), married 1920, Brisbane, children Leonard Richard (1921-1983), George (1923-1997), Olga b. 1925; sons served in the AIF in WWII

Residence before arrival at Australia Lived in China for 3 years and in Japan for 6 months
Arrived at Australia from Japan
on 29.05.1910
per Nikko Maru
disembarked at Brisbane
Residence before enlistment Brisbane
Occupation 1910 clerk, bookbinder; 1915 ambulance bearer, 1923 linesman, 1929 labourer, took cotton growing selection at Callide Valley, Qld
Naturalisation 1936
Residence after the war Brisbane, Newcastle, Lawgi, Qld
Died 7.07.1950, Brisbane

Service #1

Service number 10065
Enlisted 2.11.1915
Place of enlistment Brisbane
Unit 7th Field Ambulance, 14th Field Ambulance
Rank Private
Place Western Front, 1916-1918
Final fate RTA 4.12.1918
Discharged 24.02.1919


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Newspaper articles

Ambulance brigade. - Daily Standard, Brisbane, 29 July 1915, p. 3.

"To end things". - The Brisbane Courier, 25 June 1926, p. 16.

T.B. digger's plight. Jealousy makes him shoot. - Truth, Brisbane, 27 June 1926, p. 15.

Not guilty. Gregorenko discharged. - The Telegraph, Brisbane, 6 July 1926, page 13.

Foreigners fight. - Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, 18 May 1935, p. 3.

Assault case. - Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, 21 November 1936, p. 35

Thangool. - The Central Queensland Herald, Rockhampton, 15 August 1940, p. 32.

Thangool. - The Central Queensland Herald, Rockhampton, 23 January 1941, p. 31.

Treated badly. Wife "knocked about". - Truth, Brisbane, 23 July 1944, p. 19.

Country News. Tangool. - The Central Queensland Herald, Rockhampton, 15 October 1947, p. 31.

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

Richard Gregorenko, who served during 1916-18 with the field ambulance on the Western Front, was another of the men purged from the army 'on account of Russian nationality'. On returning to Australia, he married and settled in Brisbane but the marriage did not last and, in 1929, he took his two young sons, Leonard and George, and moved to Callide Valley to take up a cotton-growing selection at Lawgi. He had to first clear the thick scrub before gradually building a small house from bush timber with cement-rendered bag-walls and a packed earth floor. Scrub wallabies, bush turkey, damper and rice were the main components of their diet. Although life was hard, there was one significant compensation from being there: Callide Valley had become the centre of a community of White Russians who had fled the revolution and now played an important role in pioneering this area. During the early 1930s around 100 Russian families lived in the area, including General Tolstoff and other Cossacks. They established the Russian Club at Tangool with a library and organised Russian concerts and dances, which attracted the interest of many local Australians as well. In the early 1930s Russian children accounted for nearly half of all pupils in local schools. The Gregorenkos became an integral part of this community, and the boys are still remembered by local old-timers.