Vachalar Kovalsky

Alias Vachalaf; Vachelar Kavolsky (disch., death records); Vacheslav (pension), Mechislav (shipping records)

Russian spelling

Вячеслав Ковальский (Ковалевский)

Born 1887

Place Moscow area, Russia

Ethnic origin Russian / Polish

Religion Roman Catholic

Arrived at Australia
from Far East, via Moji
on 2.01.1913
per Empire
disembarked at Brisbane

Residence before enlistment Brisbane

Occupation Labourer

service number 2737A
enlisted 23.07.1915
POE Brisbane or Toowoomba
unit 25th Battalion, 9th Battalion
rank Private
place Western Front, 1916
discharged 25.11.1916 in London, MU

Naturalisation Served as Russian subject

Died 28.12.1916 (poisoned himself) in London


Digitised service records (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM)

Blog article



From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

The tremendous strain of [Pozières] battle had its fall-out afterwards. Some of the men fell ill after returning from the front -- especially tragic was the story of Viacheslav Kovalsky from Moscow. Part of the Russian wave of immigration from the Far East, he came to Australia in 1912 and worked as a labourer. He was determined to join the army and, although rejected once, finally managed to enlist. After Pozières his sight began to go, rapidly; in the end he was taken to London. There, in November [1916], nearly blind, he was discharged. Three days after Christmas he poisoned himself: the police report stated he had 'no known friends in this country'. No friends of his were found in Australia either. He is [...] missing from the Australian Roll of Honour. In any case, the military authorities never bothered to find out how to write his name correctly, recording him one time as Vachalaf Kovalsky and another as Vachelar Kavolsky.