Paul Tapken

AWM memorial panel 114

Alias Tapkin

Russian spelling

Павел Федорович Тапкен

Born 1890

Place Baku, Azerbaijan, the Caucasus

Ethnic origin Russian / German

Religion Church of England

Father Theodore Tapken, St Petersburg

Mother Clara Tapken


Cousin Waldemar Franz von Kroeber

Arrived at Australia
from Bremen
on 20.04.1914
per Greisenau
disembarked at Fremantle, WA

Residence before enlistment Wilga, Perth, WA

Occupation 1914 clerk, 1915 labourer

service number 3940
enlisted 25.11.1915
POE Perth
unit 28th Battalion
rank Private
place Western Front, 1916
final fate KIA 29.07.1916
memorial 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France

Naturalisation Served as Russian subject


Digitised service records (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM)

Digitised Red Cross wounded and missing file (AWM)

Digitised Roll of Honour circular (AWM)

Australian war pensions payable in USSR (NAA)

Blog article

Russian Anzacs (Russian)

Russian Anzacs (English)

Юлия Свинцова. День Анзака

Newspaper articles

Bunbury's volunteers for Australian expeditionary force. - Southern Times, Bunbury, 13 August 1914, p. 5.

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

Paul Tapken, another bomber, [...] was reported missing during this attack [Somme]. Enlisting as a labourer from Perth, he had originally come from the Transcaucasian city of Baku, probably from a family of Russian German merchants engaged in the oil trade. And, as so often happens with the Russian Anzacs, the thoughtlessness of the authorities -- epitomised by Kovalsky's lonely death, thrown overboard when no longer wanted by the war machine -- is offset here by the careful concern of Tapken's comrade L/cpl Lucien McBride. In his letter to the court of enquiry McBride began, 'I shall be lengthy in this letter as through brevity, some small matter may be missed which may be of interest to his people in Russia'. He described the night attack: 'At midnight we commenced to attack exchanging compliments of good luck and all appeared in high hope as to success. Halfways, about 200 yards, we began to separate owing to pitch darkness. ... It was just here that I saw the last of Tapkin.' In conclusion, probably out of the same concern he felt for the Russian's distant family, he gave a word-picture of Tapken: 'He was slow in his speech, a trait in his character, and he never became excited or lost his temper'. From other soldiers we learn that his nickname was 'Tap'.