Ian Rosing

Alias Rozitis (original name)
Born 26.06.1887
Place Omsk, Siberia (naturalisation) or Latvia (information from the family)
Ethnic origin Latvian
Religion Roman Catholic (WWI enlistment); Russian Orthodox (WWII enlistment)
Father Ian (Ianis) Rosing (Rozitis)
Mother Elizabeth nee Eiklon

Wife Jeanne-Marie Rosing (née Chiffre), married 1918; son Ian Frank Rosing, b. 1920, Jack Charles Rosing b. 1926


Cousins John Amolin and John Robert Krauklys

Residence before arrival at Australia Ex-imperial Russian cavalry officer; knew Russian, modern Greek, German and English
Arrived at Australia from Japan
on 6.12.1915
per Aki Maru
disembarked at Melbourne
Residence before enlistment Melbourne
Occupation 1915 farmer, 1919 clerk, 1928 attorney, merchant, 1941 importer
Naturalisation 1919
Residence after the war Melbourne, Sydney
Died 23.01.1964, Sydney

Service #1

Service number 393
Enlisted 9.12.1915
Place of enlistment Melbourne
Unit 37th Battalion
Rank Sergeant, Company/Sergeant/Major (Warrant Officer Cl.II)
Place Western Front, 1916-1918
Casualties WIA 1917 (twice), 1918
Awards DCM, gallantry at the battle of Messines (LG 25.08.17)
Final fate RTA 4.01.1919
Discharged 30.09.1919 MU

Service #2 – WWII

Enlisted 1941
Unit E.C. HQ
Rank Clerk, Sergeant
Discharged 1946


Digitised naturalisation (NAA)

Digitised WWI service records (NAA) (includes photo)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM)

Digitised recommendation for award (AWM)

[Australian Imperial Force Headquarters (London) Administrative Registry - Medical personnel administration files]: ... [/36] 393 Company Sergeant Major I Rosing; ... ](http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/AutoSearch.asp?O=I&Number=8727548) (AWM)

American troops visiting A Company Headquarters, of the 37th Battalion. E02695 E02695K (AWM)

Personal case file (NAA)

Application for free passage for wife of J.A.W. Rosing (digitised file) (NAA)

ROSING J Russian Trade Representative (NAA)

Appointment of Mr. J. Rosing as Russian Trade Representative in Australia (NAA)

Applications for admission friends 1 2 (NAA)

International Oil and Trading Co Australasia Ltd - Jan Rosing (NAA)

WWII service records (NAA)

Stranded Australian Mrs Jean Marie Rosing (NAA)

World War II security investigation dossier (NAA)

Blog article



Newspaper articles

A fishmonger's scales. - The Prahran Telegraph, 16 July 1921, p. 3.


Ineta Didrihsone-Tomaševska, Latvia's consuls in Australia before World War II. - In: Aldis L. Putniņš, ed., Early Latvian Settlers in Australia, Melbourne: Sterling Star, 2010, pp. 157-164

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

Nevertheless, among the Baltic peoples, as much as elsewhere in the Russian Empire, some seem genuinely to have taken on a dual ethnic identity. Ian Rosing certainly seemed to be one: a Latvian (though in his naturalisation papers he claimed Omsk in Siberia was his birthplace) who had had three years' service in the Russian army, he felt strong connections with both sides, and after the war made attempts to represent on an official basis both Latvian and Russian interests in Australia. His son Jack Rosing told me that his real Latvian name was Rozitis and described how, 'He was very fond of Russia and Latvia. I remember my dad meeting some Russian people and some Latvian people and Latvians said, "Your dad speaks perfect Latvian, he has no foreign accent", and I have heard the same from Russian people that my dad spoke perfect Russian.' His linguistic skills stretched beyond that to also include modern Greek and fluent German and English.

[...] Sergeant Ian Rosing (37th Battalion), a Latvian who had joined the AIF in December 1915, three days after arriving in Australia, showed 'conspicuous gallantry' here [Messines, June 1917], for which he was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal. At a critical moment, when his officers 'had become casualties', he took command 'capturing the objective and re-organising his men against possible attacks'.

[...] A Russian away from his unit was likely to arouse the suspicion of those he came into contact with because of his 'foreign accent'. Ian Rosing's son tells about one time during the war when his father got lost in the trenches at night. 'He was detained by British soldiers ... and they asked him from where he was and he said "I am Australian, I am in the Australian army". Then this fellow says, "You are wearing the Australian uniform, but you've got a Russian accent". And they got somebody who could speak Russian and my dad spoke perfect Russian to them, and he got suspicious, and then my dad got in touch with his commanding officer and this commanding officer said to the British commanding officer, "Please, release that man, he is one of my best men, let him go", and my dad abused them.'

From Ineta Didrihsone-Tomaševska, 'Latvia's consuls in Australia before World War II':

Regarding Alksne's suggested [Latvian] consular successor, it should be mentioned that Rosing corresponded with Latvia's consulate-general from at least the beginning of 1922. This mainly comprised of reports about Australia's economic situation, among which he added: 'I have variously struggled to turn the attention of government and individuals, especially traders, toward Latvia.' Locally he was a businessman and managing director of I. Rosing Proprietary Limited. Importers, Exporters and Commission Agents. However, his regular dispatches failed to have the desired effect.