Nicholas Silantiff

Nicholas Silantiff
Queenslander Pictorial, supplement to The Queenslander, 29 April 1916, p. 23

Alias Silantiev

Russian spelling

Николай Петрович Силантьев

Born 19.10.1887

Place Krasnoe, Simbirsk (Ulianovsk), Russia

Ethnic origin Russian

Religion Roman Catholic (likely wrong, should be Russian Orthodox)

Father Petr Silantiff


Wife Alexandra Silantiff (by 1923 - deceased) and child left in Russia; in 1945 wife Dana A. and son Ivan N. Silantev


Gregory Matrenin, Nicholas Silantiff and Michael Wolkoff arrived, enlisted and served together

Residence before arrival at Australia Served in the Russian Army for 1 month

Arrived at Australia
from Yokohama, Japan
on 27.03.1914
per Kumano Maru
disembarked at Brisbane

Residence before enlistment Guluguba, Miles, Qld

Occupation Labourer

service number 4204
enlisted 21.09.1915
POE Toowoomba, Qld
unit 26th Battalion
rank Private
place Western Front, 1916-1917
casualties WIA 1917
final fate RTA 27.09.1917
discharged 19.12.1917

Naturalisation Served as Russian subject

Residence after the war 1917 Brisbane; 1918, Brisbane, Mount Morgan, Rockhampton, Brisbane, 1919 Brisbane, Helensvale (near Southport), Brisbane, 1920 Brisbane, Samsonvale, Dayboro, Brisbane, 1921 Caboolture, Burpengary, Brisbane; 1923 left for Russia and returned to Krasnoe; 1936 arrested, 1938 arrested and deported to Kazakhstan


Digitised service records (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM)

Alien registration (NAA)

Blog article



Newspaper articles

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, Brisbane, 17 September 1918, p. 7.

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

There were also the three friends, Gregory Matrenin, Nicholas Silantiff and Michael Wolkoff, from the remote village of Krasnoe along the River Volga, about 200 km from the nearest city in Simbirsk province. These men left wives and children at home and came on the Kumano Maru to Australia -- probably to earn some money -- just a few months before the outbreak of the First World War. The three joined up together and served in the 26th (Queensland) Battalion of the AIF. Theirs was a story touched by tragedy [...].

[...] One of those whose wanderings are revealed through the alien registration records was Nicholas Silantiff: of the three friends from Krasnoe village whose stories we have followed through the war, only Silantiff returned to Australia. In February 1917 he had suffered severe wounds to the right arm and both legs, and been left with a bad limp. In late 1917 he was receiving a pension and was lodging at boarding-houses in Brisbane. In August-September 1918 he signed Leo Berk's protest against the bolsheviks. By that time it was obvious his war savings were gone as he went to Mount Morgan and Rockhampton to earn some money on the cane-fields. After two months he returned to Brisbane, where he spent the festive season, before trying his luck in Helensvale, near Southport, in February 1919. He was back in Brisbane for summer 1919-20, and then moved to Samsonvale, near Dayboro, north of the city. By the end of 1920 he had returned to Brisbane yet again for the festive season and, with his money all gone once more, joined a railway gang at Caboolture, north of Brisbane, then returned to Brisbane again before going south to Canungra. By now he must have become fed up with this way of life and applied for permission to return to Russia; it was finally granted in 1923 and he went soon afterwards.