Theofil Volkofsky

Theofil Volkofsky
Courtesy of Thomas Volkofsky

Alias Theofil Thomas

Russian spelling

Феофил Иванович Волковский

Born 5.11.1885

Place Lipki, Skvira, Kiev, Ukraine

Ethnic origin Polish / Ukrainian

Religion Roman Catholic

Father John (Ivan) Volkofsky

Mother Kornelia Wolkowsky (Volkofsky)


Wife Thelma Volkofsky (née McKean), married 1928, at Cobar; children John b.1929, Anita b. 1931, Thomas b.1933


Brother Cezar Wolkowsky

Arrived at Australia
from Russian Far East via China and Japan
on 21.08.1910
per Nikko Maru
disembarked at Brisbane

Residence before enlistment Brisbane, Sydney, Bourke, NSW

Occupation 1916 farmer, poultry farmer; 1917 Apiary at Mount Boppy, since 1927 grazier

Service (Depot)
service number 34852
enlisted 8.06.1916
POE Dubbo, NSW
unit Dubbo Depot Battalion, Bathurst Depot Battalion, 33rd Battalion
rank Private
discharged 8.12.1916, MU

Naturalisation 1917

Residence after the war 1919 Mount Boppy, 1927 Olino Station, Cobar, NSW

Died 6.06.1972, Hornsby, NSW


Digitised naturalisation (NAA)

Digitised service records (NAA)

Investigation Branch file (NAA)

Application for assistance 1 2 (NAA) (Volkopsky)

Application for admission relatives 1 (digitised) 2 3 (NAA)

Blog article



Newspaper articles (selection)

A red page of life. Persecuted Russian in Sydney. - Sun, Sydney, 16 June 1912, p. 12.

An unhappy Russian. - Sun, Sydney, 20 June 1912, p. 6.

J. Wolkousky. The six-inch mesh. Letter to the editor. - Western Herald, Bourke, 29 April 1916, p. 7.

Narrow escape. - Western Age, Dubbo, 27 January 1922, p. 2.

Entering on enclosed lands. - Western Age, Dubbo, 7 March 1929, p. 2.

T. Volkofsky, The zone system. - Western Age, Dubbo, 2 May 1929, p. 3.

Send-off. - Western Age, Dubbo, 23 August 1929, p. 2.

"A grim battle ahed". - Western Herald, Bourke, 25 September 1953, p. 6.

The emu's enemy is the fox. - Western Herald, Bourke, 18 December 1953, p. 5.

T. Volkofsky, The Bourke-Cobar Road. - Western Herald, Bourke, 4 June 1954, p. 5.

T. Volkofsky, Darling River irrigation. - Western Herald, Bourke, 8 October 1954, p. 5.

T. Volkofsky, Kangaroo menace. - Western Herald, Bourke, 13 September 1957, p. 16.

T. Volkofsky, Improving our Western Country. - Western Herald, Bourke, 8 July 1966, p. 3.

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

Certainly, the suspicions people had were not always without some grounds. There was the case of Theofil Volkofsky, for instance, a former socialist sympathiser who learnt the taste of free enterprise at Bourke; he enlisted in the AIF in June 1916 and while at Bathurst Camp became involved in political discussions. One informant reported him saying that 'he would sooner be under Germans than the present Labor government in Australia. ... He also expressed an opinion that the tales about the atrocities committed by Germans was all inventions.' And this wasn't the only occasion on which he expressed such sentiments, according to another informant. Now, years later, his son remembers, 'Dad did tell me that he upset some people through his political incorrectness and his honesty. They were talking about the Germans and those Australians who were there were very critical, and he said, "German soldiers are just humans like you and I, they are just ordinary men". That was not exactly the thing you say in times like that in certain company. So they looked on him as pro-German and he got into strife. He was not pro-German, he was definitely not. He loved Australia and he would fight against the German government.' The Bathurst Camp commander, to give him his due, treated Volkofsky's case without prejudice: after talking to Volkofsky, he gave him a fatherly warning 'to avoid discussion of politics'; meanwhile, he even assisted Volkofsky with his naturalisation application when he was hospitalised with pulmonary tuberculosis.