Eliazar Lazar Margolin

Eliazar Lazar Margolin

Alias Eliezer Lazar Margolin

Russian spelling

Лазарь Маркович Марголин

Born 5.02.1875 (or: 26.03.1875)

Place Belgorod, Kursk Province, Russia

Ethnic origin Jewish

Religion Jewish

Father Murdochy (Mordechi) Joseph Margolin

Mother Llata Margolin (née Carlin)


Hilda Myrtle Margolin (née England), married in 1926, Perth


Brother Moisei Markovich Margolin, Russian writer, editor of Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopaedia

Residence before arrival at Australia Finished 6 classes of Classical Gymnasium (gimnazia) in Belgorod, ca 1892 migrated with family to Palestine, lived for about 10 years in Rehovot colony, knew 'intimately the language, habits, and customs of the inhabitants' (from his letter).

Arrived at Australia
from Palestine via Port-Said
on 3.04.1902
per Weimar
disembarked at Fremantle, WA

Residence before enlistment Perth, Coolgardie, Kalgoorlie, Lawlers, Collie, WA

Occupation 1904 greengrocer, 1914 merchant, 1922 motor business proprietor

Service 1
enlisted 19.09.1914
POE Perth
unit 16th Battalion,14th Battalion, 16th Battalion
rank 1.10.1914 Lieutenant, 16.12.1914 Captain, 5.05.1915 Major, 8.06.1917 Lieutenant-Colonel; 1.09.1917 relinquished temporary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, Major
place Egypt, 1915, Gallipoli, 1915; Western Front, 1916-1917
casualties WIA 1915 (twice)
awards Distinguished Service Order (DSO) (LG 3.06.1916); Mentioned in despatches for distinguished and gallant services (LG 13.07.1916)
final fate RTA 1921
discharged 18.03.1918 resigned from the AIF in London in consequence of taking Command of the 42nd (reserve) Battalion Royal Fusiliers Imperial Army.

Service 2
enlisted 1918
POE London
unit 42nd (reserve) Battalion Royal Fusiliers Imperial Army; in March 1918 assumed command of the 39th Battalion; in 1921 - 38th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (1st Judeans), Ludd, Palestine.

Naturalisation 1904

Residence after the war Palestine 1918-1921, Perth since 1921

Died 2.06.1944, Perth


Digitised naturalisation (NAA)

Digitised service records (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM)

Correspondence in the Guide to the papers of General Sir John Monash

Digitised recommendation for award (AWM)

Biographical file (AWM)

Digitised file MARGOLIN E L (Lieutenant Colonel) - 38th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (1st Judeans) (NAA)

Gallipoli Operation Orders No 2 and 3 by Major Margolin (AWM)

Margolin Major Eliazar Lazar (Intelligence records) (NAA)

Australian Imperial Force Depots in the United Kingdom Headquarters (London), E L Margolin (AWM)

Australian Imperial Force Depots in the United Kingdom Headquarters (Salisbury Plain), Central registry files, Officers' Records: Major E L Margolin (AWM)

Lieutenant-Colonel E.L. Margolin, DSO, Perth WA. Request for donation of private records (AWM)

Margolin, Eliazar Lazar. Brief record of service 1DRL/0479 (AWM)

MARGOLIN Eliazar Lazar SERN (Repatriation Department file) (NAA)

Ellis Silas. Private record. 1DRL/0566 (AWM).


Group portrait of the officers of the 16th Battalion (AWM)

Ellis Silas. "Stand to arms!". Drawing. Depicts Major Margolin leading his men in the call to arms in the early light of dawn with mists enshrouding the figures of the men. (AWM)

Ellis Silas. Roll Call. Painting. Probably depicts Major Margolin after the charge on Sunday night, 9 May 1915. (AWM)

Blogs and forums

Марголин, Элиэзер // Википедия

Russian Anzacs blog (Russian)

Russian Anzacs blog (English)

Mike Lucas, Three Russians in the A.I.F., The Orders and Medals Research Society, Autumn 1993, pp. 224-227 Forum Sammler.ru

Lenny Ben-David. American interests in the Holy Land revealed in photographs

When the ANZACs came to Rehovot (ESRA magazine).

Historical papers

Longmore C., The old Sixteenth: being a record of the 16th Battalion, A.I.F., during the Great War, 1914-1918, Perth, 1929, pp. 46-49, 52, 57.

Margolin, Lieut-Col. Eliazar. - Who's Who in Australia, 1938, Melbourne, 1938, p. 348.

Zhabotinsky V. Slovo o polku. Biblioteka 'Alia', 1985. (In Russian)

S. Welborn. Margolin, Eliezer. - Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol.10, Melbourne, MUP, 1986, pp. 408-409.

Rodney Gouttman, An Anzac Zionist hero: the life of Lieutenant-Colonel Eliazar Margolin, London ; Portland, 2006.

Elena Govor, Russian Anzacs and Anzac legends

Elena Govor, Russian roots are hidden in Anzac history. - International New York Times, 18 September 2014, p. S3.

Елена Говор, Белгород - Австралия - Галлиполи: История Лазаря Марголина. - Курская губерния и куряне в первой мировой войне. Курский военно-исторический сборник. Вып. 14, Курск, 2014, с. 43-49.

Newspaper articles (selection)

Captain E.L. Margolin. - The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 June 1915, p. 10

Capt. E. Margolin. - Geraldton Guardian, 3 June 1915, p. 3

Personal Items. - Geraldton Guardian, 22 July 1915, p. 2

From our boys at the front. - South Western Advertiser, 1 October 1915, p. 3

Personal Items. - Geraldton Guardian, 17 February 1916, p. 2

Interesting letter from Chaplain D.I. Freedman. - The Hebrew Standard of Australasia, 3 March 1916, p. 12-13

Major E. Margolin. - Jewish Herald, 28 June 1918, p. 18

First Jewish Military Governor in Palestine. A brave Australian soldier. - Jewish Herald, 22 August 1919, p. 12

14th Battalion command. - The Argus, 6 May 1921, p. 6

Rash statements. - The Daily News, 7 May 1921, p. 9

John Monash, Lieut.-colonel E. Margolin, D.S.O. - The Argus, 7 May 1921, p. 18

Soldiers and Sailors. - Sunday Times, 18 September 1921, p. 5

Col. L.E. Margolin, D.S.O. - Mirror, 22 October 1921, p. 3

New company director. - The Daily News, 1 April 1922, p. 4

Palestine. Zionist movement Defended. - The West Australian, 31 July 1922, p. 8

Soldiers and Sailors. - Sunday Times, 11 April 1926, p. 7

Jewish opinion. - West Australian, 28 August 1929, p.17

Australians abroad. - The Hebrew Standard of Australasia, 18 October 1929, p. 11

Mostly personal. - Western Mail, 19 November 1931, p. 7

The Old 16th: April 25, 1915 and today. - The Daily News, 24 April 1933, p. 4

Ed. Margolin. The Jew in Europe. - The West Australian, 27 May 1933, p. 5

The Old 16th. ... "Margy" in the chair. - Mirror, 24 April 1937, p. 7

Bradley of the 16th. - Western Mail, 1 June 1939, p. 2

Passing by. - News, Adelaide, 27 March 1940, p. 6

Col. Margolin dies. - The Daily News, 2 June 1944, p. 7

Lt.-Col. Margolin dead. - The West Australian, 3 June 1944, p. 4

Farewell "Margy"! - Sunday Times, 4 June 1944, p. 3

Striking tribute to old comrade. - The Daily News, 5 June 1944, p. 4

The late Lieut. Colonel E.L. Margolin, D.S.O.. - The Hebrew Standard of Australasia, 24 August 1944, p. 1

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

[...] Nevertheless, other assimilated Jews, among whom Eliazar Lazar Margolin stands out, maintained a commitment to both heritages -- Russian and Jewish -- which never faded despite, in Margolin's case, having successful careers both as a military officer in the AIF and, later, as a businessman in Western Australia. Margolin was born outside the 'Pale', in Belgorod, and graduated from an élite Russian high school, after which his family moved to Palestine. He remained there for ten years and migrated to Perth in 1902. In the AIF Margolin became the highest-ranking Russian Anzac, as lieutenant-colonel and commander of the 16th Battalion. Margolin championed the idea of a Jewish state without ever disavowing his Russian background. When the October revolution (1917) occurred, he was on the Western Front and immediately applied to AIF headquarters to be sent either to Russia -- 'I am a native of Russia, and both speak and write Russian with fluency' -- or to his former domicile, Palestine.

[...] The 16th (Western Australian) Battalion included at least nine Russians and even had a Russian-born senior officer, Eliazar Margolin, who would subsequently become its commanding officer. Margolin was 17 years old when, in 1892, he and his parents migrated from Russia to Rehovot, the settlement Russian Jews founded in Palestine. Margolin was engaged in guarding the settlement and the Russian Jewish journalist Zhabotinsky, when he was in Palestine, heard many tales of Margolin's daring there. 'He rides his horse like a Bedouin, and shoots like an Englishman', local Arabs said of Margolin. In 1902, during hard times, he migrated to Western Australia, arriving with no knowledge of English. He started off as a navvy and teamster, tried his luck goldmining in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie, and was a greengrocer at Lawlers. Zhabotinsky, who came to know him well during the war, remarks of him: 'he should have been an Englishman with his temperament. He limited himself to ten words a day. He thought like a man who had spent his life far from big cities, in Palestine in the time of the first pioneers and at the back of beyond in the Australian bush; slow, lofty, terse, and deep, with a keenly instinctive understanding of life.' Margolin eventually settled in the mining town of Collie, Western Australia, where he ran a cordial factory, but just being a merchant was not enough for him. His combative nature always wanted action and so he formed the Collie company of the 1st Battalion, Western Australian Infantry Regiment, in 1911. When war broke out, he was among the first to enlist and was commissioned with the rank of lieutenant in the 16th Battalion; by December 1914 he had been promoted to captain.