August 22, 2015
John Hendrick Talus
- John Hendrick Talus from Uleaborg (Oulu) in Finland came to Western Australia in 1905 as a seaman and worked as a farmer.
- He served as a gunner of the 24th Howitzer Brigade on the Western Front.
- After the war he married an Australian girl, Lizzie Ethel Hodge, and was farming at Hayville Farm, Yarloop. Later they moved to Fremantle where John worked as a caretaker.
- Abraham Silverman, a Jewish man from Radom in Poland, came to Australia in 1914 and worked as a tailor, living in Sydney with his wife.
- With the 20th Battalion he served on the Western Front. In August 1916 he was wounded in the right leg at Pozieres and a year later, after recovery, returned to the trenches. In October 1917 he was killed at Passchendaele.
- August Martinson, an Estonian from Piarnu, spent four years in England and came to Australia in 1913, probably as a seaman. He worked as a labourer in Geelong and then moved to Roma in Queensland.
- He served on the Western Front with the 15th Battalion and the Anzac Salvage Corps.
- After the war he worked in Canungra district in Queensland; after marrying an Australian girl, Maud Harris Bigger, they settled in Brisbane.
Nicholas Ivanovich Motorin
- Nicholas Ivanovich Motorin, born in Belyi near Smolensk in Russia, came to Australia as a seaman and enlisted in the AIF upon being discharged from the ship.
- He served on the Western Front with the 2nd Pioneer Battalion. In November 1916 he was wounded at the battle for Somme. Recovering in England he was discharged from the AIF and temporarily employed by the Russian Embassy there. His AIF file has correspondence between Constantine Nabokov, the uncle of the future writer Vladimir Nabokov, who worked in the Russian embassy in London, and AIF Commander William Birwood in connection with his discharge.
- After the war he stayed in London, marrying an English girl, Bridie Hogan.
August 19, 2015
- Ivan Odliff from Nizhny Novgorod worked in Australia as a boiler maker.
- He first enlisted in the AIF in February 1915 in Sydney, but was discharged as ‘unlikely to become an efficient soldier’. He reenlisted in August 1915 in Newcastle and served on the Western Front with the 3rd Battalion. In July 1916 he was wounded in the shoulder at the battle for Pozieres, recovered and served to the end of war with numerous AWLs. In 1919 he enlisted in the British Army and served in the North Russian Relief Force.
- Returning to Australia in 1920, he worked in rural NSW and tragically died in 1926 in Gunnedah of strychnine poisoning.
Michael Teodoroff Borisoff
- Michael Teodoroff Borisoff, a Karelian from a village north of St Petersburg, came to Australia in 1911, probably as a seaman, and worked as a labourer in Western Australia.
- He served on the Western Front with the 51st Battalion. In August 1916 he was severely wounded at Mouquet Farm in his leg, hand, and shoulder. After spending months in hospitals, he returned to Australia. He reenlisted for home service there, but was discharged as medically unfit.
- In the early 1920s he set off to Russia to see his family, but was arrested while travelling in Siberia. He survived the ordeal and returned to Australia in 1923, but in the early 1930s he moved to New Zealand and from there travelled to London, probably with the aim of visiting Russia. In 1936 he returned to New Zealand and died in a tragic accident while building Pukerua Road north of Wellington.
Mat Hendrick Peterson
- Mat Hendrick Peterson, born in Wassa, Finland, came to Western Australia in 1912 and worked as as timber worker in the Yarloop area.
- He served with the 51st Battalion on the Western Front and was killed in July 1916.
- His mother was found after the war in Finland and received an Australian pension.
- John Mineeff, born in Perm, in the Ural Mountains, came to Brisbane in 1910 via the Russian Far East. He worked on the railway construction near Blackbutt and then moved to the Ipswich railway works where he could find application for his profession of iron moulder.
- Enlisting in the AIF, he served in the 3rd Artillery Brigade as a gunner and a driver and was returned to Australia in 1918, suffering from shell shock.
- After the war he settled in Sydney, married an Australian girl, Annie Emily Rowbotham, and had a large family. His son Alexis was killed near Amiens while serving in the RAAF in 1944.
- Thomas Pesmany was born in Glukhov in Chernigov Province in Ukraine. He came to Brisbane in 1911 from the Russian Far East and worked as a labourer and cook.
- He served on the Western Front in the Field Ambulance.
- After the war he moved to the USA.
- Martin Johnson, an Estonian seaman from Revel (Tallinn) came to Australia in 1907 and was sailing on local vessels.
- He served with the 53rd Battalion on the Western Front, attaining the rank of Lance Corporal. He was wounded in the neck at the battle for Perrone in September 1918 and evacuated to Australia.
- After the war he continued his work as a seaman.