Nicholas de Orloff

Alias Felix Richardson; Kumswaigenberg; Derner; Eric Werner; Swazenbach
Russian spelling граф Николай Орлов
Born 18.06.1881
Place Riga, Latvia
Ethnic origin Russian
Religion Church of England
Arrived at Australia from Buenos Aires, Argentina (?)
on 1900
per Loch Elive
Residence before enlistment Brisbane
Occupation Seaman
Naturalisation Served as Russian subject
Residence after the war 10.1915 convicted at Maryborough, 3 months imprisonment at Brisbane Goal; 1916-1919 interned at concentration camps as German suspect, 27.05.1919 deported from Australia by 'M Mocho'

Service #1 – Depot

Enlisted 14.08.1915
Place of enlistment Brisbane
Unit 1st Depot Battalion
Rank Private
Discharged 30.09.1915 not likely to become an efficient soldier


Digitised service records (NAA)

Correspondence regarding internee Nicholas D'Orloff alias Felix Richardson, Kumswaigenberg, Derner, Eric Werner, Swazenbach (digitised file) (NAA)

Album of identification photographs of enemy aliens (digitised file) (NAA)

Gaol Inmates/Prisoners Photos Index 1870-1930 (NSW SA)

Blog article



Newspaper articles

Breach of defence act. - Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser, 11 October 1915, p. 6

The d'Orloff case. - Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser, 12 October 1915, p. 5

German escapees. Trial at Holdsworthy. Prisoners' stories. - The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 August 1916, p. 8

Is he a Russian? - The Advertiser, Adelaide, 16 August 1916, p. 7

Question of nationality. - The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 August 1916, p. 13

Hauled off to Parramatta. - The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, Parramatta, 16 September 1916, p. 6

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

The misadventures of Count Nicholas D'Orloff were more serious. A few weeks after his enlistment, in Brisbane in August 1915, he was discharged from the army because of his absence without leave (he himself argued that he had applied for leave, to marry a girl who was waiting for him). But this was only the beginning. A matter of days after his discharge he was detained at Maryborough for wearing military uniform and tried by a police magistrate. 'The offender claims to be a Russian ... but judging by the acquaintances he desires to make and associate with, his feelings would appear to be pro-German'; further damning evidence was given that, besides Russian and English, he also spoke German and French (if he really was a Russian count, that would have been quite natural!). As a result, he received three months' imprisonment with hard labour at Brisbane gaol. While he was in prison, the Intelligence section decided that he was actually a well-known criminal named Felix Richardson, so he was transferred to a concentration camp for Germans at Liverpool and finally, in 1919, deported from the country.