Michael Osipoff

Russian spelling Михаил Иннокентьевич Осипов
Born 20.09.1893
Place Irkutsk, Russia
Ethnic origin Russian
Religion True Christian [i.e. Russian Orthodox]
Father Enokenty Efimoff Osipoff
Mother Mary or Evdokciya

Wife Phyllis Mary Osipoff (née Turtle), married 1932, Sydney, died 1937; their son Robert (?) died in 1934; wife Lucy Osipoff (née Shears), married 1937

Arrived at Australia from Far East
on 10.07.1913
per St Albans
disembarked at Brisbane
Residence before enlistment Rockhampton
Occupation 1916 railway labourer, 1919 labourer, 1939 warf labourer
Naturalisation 1940
Residence after the war Port Pirie, SA (?), Rockhampton, Sydney
Died 19.08.1952, Sydney

Service #1

Service number 5636
Enlisted 2.09.1916
Place of enlistment Rockhampton, Qld
Unit 25th Battalion
Rank Private
Place Western Front, 1916-1918
Casualties WIA 1918
Final fate RTA 4.12.1918
Discharged 24.02.1919 on account of Russian nationality


Blog article



Newspaper articles

Oscar and Michael. - Evening News, Rockhampton, 18 March 1925, p. 5.

Celebrating the Day. - Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, 19 March 1925, p. 8.

Police court. - Daily Mercury, Mackay, 3 March 1927, p. 5.

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

Permakoff's wasn't the only such case [deserter]. Michael Osipoff, from Irkutsk in Siberia, was living through his own tragedy at the same time. In Australia he had worked as a railway labourer and his enlistment was probably driven by hunger. After several months at the front he tried to escape but was brought back. Then, on 2 July 1918, he shot himself in the foot with his rifle (recorded as 'negligently self inflicted injury') but he was returned to his 25th Battalion. Two months later he was wounded at Péronne, and thus finally earned his freedom.

[...] At the end of August [1918] Smagin was transferred to England, without trial, for return to Australia. His case set the ball rolling: a month later four other Russians, from 4th Division artillery units, were also sent back to Australia 'on account of Russian nationality'. They were followed by another five men from different units, sent back under the same rubric; though sometimes it was recorded as 'other reasons' or 'family reasons'. There are some familiar names among them: John Wagin (who had just been sentenced to six months' imprisonment with hard labour), Michael Osipoff (who had earlier wounded himself), Alexis Kazakoff (who some months previously refused to serve as a gunner), and Justin Glowacki.