Akim Petroff

Alias Pitroff; Akem, Akin, Akon
Russian spelling Аким Миронович Петров
Born 25.09.1889
Place Novozybkov, Chernigov, Russia
Ethnic origin Russian
Religion Church of England
Father Miron Levonovich Petroff
Mother Maria Karponar [Karpovna?]

Wife Titania (Tatiana) Petroff, son Howrilah (Gavrila) Petroff, b. 1912 (stayed in Russia); wife Gertrude Anna Petroff (née Levien), married 1919 in Mount Morgan


Enlisted together Malisheff, Akim Petroff, Sholmatoff, Tarasenkoff, Tuagarin, and Yannin

Arrived at Australia from Russia
on 21.07.1912
per Kumano Maru
disembarked at Brisbane
Residence before enlistment Brisbane, Port Pirie, North Qld, Mount Morgan, Qld
Occupation 1915 miner, 1920 bootmaker
Naturalisation 1923
Residence after the war Mount Morgan, Brisbane
Died 19.08.1949, Qld

Service #1

Service number 2817A
Enlisted 14.08.1915
Place of enlistment Rockhampton, Qld
Unit 25th Battalion, 9th Battalion
Rank Private
Place Western Front, 1916
Casualties WIA 1916
Final fate RTA 12.11.1916
Discharged 31.01.1917 (MU, right leg amputated)


Blog article




Elena Govor, 'And now... looking for Private Petroff', - Carillon Chimes, no. 124, 2005, pp. 8-12, ills.

Newspaper articles

Central District volunteers. - Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, 18 August 1915, p. 8.

L. Berk et al., 'Protest by Russian Soldiers'. - Daily Mail, Brisbane, 5 September 1918, p. 8.

L. Berk et al., 'Russian Soldiers' Protest'. - Daily Mail, 17 September 1918, p. 7.

Police court. - Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, 22 June 1920, p. 6.

Had good meal, then smashed window. - Daily Standard, Brisbane, 22 April 1924, p. 1.

Alleged stabbing. - The Brisbane Courier, 1 September 1927, p. 11.

Alleged stabbing. - Telegraph, Brisbane, 1 September 1927, p. 5.

Cut chest and broken rib. - Daily Standard, 12 October 1927, p. 1.

Criminal court. Alleged assault at West End. - Telegraph, 12 October 1927, p. 2.

Supreme court. - The Brisbane Courier, 13 October 1927, p. 16.

Criminal court. Russian found guilty. - The Telegraph, 13 October 1927, p. 7.

£3 Fine for assault. - The Courier-Mail, Brisbane, 29 June 1937, p. 14.

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

The front around Armentières was described as a 'nursery sector' since it was supposedly quiet, but many Australians experienced their baptism by fire almost as soon as they arrived. On 20 April [1916 ...] the farmhouse and outbuildings at Rouge de Bout, where 9th Battalion's C Company was billeted, received a direct hit under heavy shelling, which killed and wounded many men. C Company included many Russians: Akim Petroff, who was severely wounded in the knee and hands, was evacuated to England and had his right leg amputated; Nicholas Sholmatoff and Alexander Sank were also severely wounded. All three were repatriated to Australia. Lavrrenty Rogojnekoff was the only one of this group to escape from this shelling with only minor injuries, but a few weeks later at Sailly he sustained more serious wounds. These were the first Russian Anzac casualties on the Western Front.

Elena Govor, 'And now... looking for Private Petroff'

The spelling of Russian names caused problems for Australian officials. In the attestation and nominal roll for Akim Petroff, his name is spelled as Pitroff and in the embarkation roll as Pehteroff. Only in naturalisation papers is it spelled correctly - Petroff. His first name had a lot of variations too - Akim, Akin, Akon and Akem. This is not surprising, as the only thing he could write in English was his name (even then mixing Russian and English letters).