John Ouchirenko

Alias Oucharenko, Oucherenko
Russian spelling Иван Григорьевич Овчаренко
Born 26.08.1895
Place Odessa, Ukraine
Ethnic origin Ukrainian
Religion Roman Catholic
Father Gregory Oucharenko
Mother Svetlana

Wife Clara Oucharenko (nee Lane), married in 1917 in England, Ruby born 1919, (wife and child remained in England); wife Doris Ouchirenko (née Robertson), married in 1927 in Australia; sons Ivan, David (1931-1958), Alexander (b. 1934), daughters Stepanita, Ann

Arrived at Australia from USA
on 01.1915
per Boorel
disembarked at Melbourne
Residence before enlistment Melbourne
Occupation 1916 engineer, mechanic, 1919 engineer, 1922 ship's engineer, 1939 engineer, barber
Naturalisation 1920
Residence after the war Melbourne, Ballarat, Queenscliff, Moe, Victoria
Died 21.08.1971, Heidelberg, Victoria

Service #1

Service number 6327
Enlisted 1.05.1916
Place of enlistment Melbourne
Unit 5th Battalion, 39th Battalion
Rank Private
Place Western Front, 1917-1918
Casualties WIA 1917 (twice)
Final fate RTA 20.11.1918
Discharged 4.02.1919, MU

Service #2 – WWII

Service number V82552
Enlisted 5.01.1940
Place of enlistment Ballarat, Victoria
Unit 3 GB, 9 GB, 1 Aust BOD (MT spare parts)
Rank Private
Discharged 16.06.1944


Digitised naturalisation (NAA) (Ouchirenko)

Digitised WWI service records (NAA) (Oucharenko)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM) (Oucharenko)

Digitised court martial file (NAA) (Oucharenko)

Alien registration (NAA) (Oucherenko)

Application for wife's free passage to Australia (NAA) (Ouchirenko)

Digitised WWII service records (NAA) (Ouchirenko)

Family tree on


Russian Anzacs (Russian)

Russian Anzacs (English)

Ann Ziguras, Down through the years: Flags fly for heroes, Sunraysia Daily, 2016

Newspaper articles

Notes and Notices. - The Australasian, Melbourne, 17 January 1920, p. 30

Short shrift to looters. - The Mercury, Hobart, 10 November 1923, p. 9

False declarations. - The Argus, 27 August 1926, p. 9

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

The story of engineer John Ouchirenko, which shows the strain both parties experienced sometimes, emerged from Ouchirenko's evidence at his court-martial, when charged with over-staying his leave in England. 'I was married to an English girl on 5 June 1917, with the consent of the girl's parents. Some time later the girl's parents took exception to me and when I arrived on leave refused to let me know of my wife's whereabouts.' Previously, while in France, Ouchirenko had received letters apparently 'signed by my wife stating that she did not wish to have any more to do with me. These letters affected me so much that I attempted to commit suicide but was stopped by my C.O. who especially gave me leave to come over and investigate matter. ... I was so distracted by the way I was treated by my wife's people ... that I really did not know what I was doing.' He suspected that his Russian origin was the reason for such treatment. He was in hospital when his wife Clara found him herself and it turned out that the letters had been forged by her family. The court, like Ouchirenko's commanding officer in France, was very lenient with him and Ouchirenko just forfeited a fortnight's pay. The story did not have a happy ending, however. Clara had a child but did not return with him to Australia, and later cancelled a free passage to Australia that Ouchirenko had organised through the military authorities. Luckily, he subsequently married an Australian girl, with whom he had a family.