James Theodor Gretchinsky

James Theodor Gretchinsky
Queenslander Pictorial, supplement to The Queenslander, 23 January 1915, p. 25

Russian spelling

Яков Федорович Гречинский

Born 23.10.1886

Place Gorodnia, Chernigov, Ukraine

Ethnic origin Russian / Ukrainian

Religion Russian Orthodox

Father Feodor Gretchinsky

Mother Mary Nicanorovna Gretchinsky


1915 married Helen Whitfield; later married Violet Mary (nee McMurdy) Gretchinsky

Residence before arrival at Australia Was sub-lieutenant in the Russian army and fought in the Russo-Japanese war

Arrived at Australia
from Vladivostok
on 25.04.1913
per Yawata Maru
disembarked at Brisbane

Residence before enlistment Bingera plantation, Brisbane

Occupation 1914, 1916, 1949, 1954 electrical engineer; 1917 watchman, greaser on 'Borda', 1933-43 engineer

Service 1
service number 1353
enlisted 24.12.1914
POE Longreach, Qld
unit 9th Battalion
rank Private
place Egypt, 1915
final fate RTA 10.06.1915
discharged 13.08.1915 MU

Service 2 (Depot)
enlisted 13.03.1916
POE Brisbane
rank Private
discharged 3.05.1916 MU

Naturalisation 1920

Residence after the war 1916-1919 Sydney, Perth, Kalgoorlie, Sydney, Newcastle, Sydney, Cobar, Uralla, Egypt, 1919 Sydney

Died 24.09.1956, Brisbane


Digitised naturalisation (NAA)

Digitised service records (NAA)

Application to enlist in AIF (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM)

Investigation Branch file 1 2 (NAA)

Alien registration 1 2 (NAA)

Blog article




Елена Говор, Белорусские Анзаки, Białoruskie Zeszyty Historyczne, 2013, no. 40, c. 53-108. То же: Белорусские Анзаки, Неман, № 4, с. 152-167, № 5, с. 156-173.

Newspaper articles

Advertising. - Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, 21 August 1913, p. 2.

Local and general news. Longreach. - The Capricornian, Rockhampton, 2 January 1915, p. 8.

Moree Land Board. - Moree Gwydir Examiner and General Advertiser, 11 September 1917, p. 1.

Six months imprisonment. - Western Argus, Kalgoorlie, WA, 31 December 1917.

Stuart Town. - Wellington Times, NSW, 14 March 1940, p. 5.

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

For some the process of Russianisation resulted in the loss or suppression of their original culture, which they grew up with; but many others developed, and maintained double (sometimes even triple) ethnic identities.[...] James Theodor Gretchinsky [...] was born in Gorodnia, in Ukraine (where it borders both modern-day Belarus and Russia). He applied to become an interpreter in the military censor's office, stating that he spoke 'Russian, Polish, and Courland, and one or two Russian dialects, also French and Japanese' -- by 'Russian dialects', he obviously means the Ukrainian and Byelorussian which would been spoken around him as he was growing up.