Budrewicz, Cotton, Fitisoff, Kretovitch, Saario

June 29, 2016

Joseph Budrewicz

  • Joseph Budrewicz, a Pole from Radziwiliszki in Lithuania, was a mechanic by trade. He worked for five years on the railways in Russia and but in 1913 he emigrated to South America. Two years later left Argentina for Australia with a big group of Russians and landed in Darwin in the Northern Territory. From Darwin he made his way to Perth, where he enlisted in the AIF.
  • Three months later he left his 43rd Battalion and was discharged as a deserter.
  • It is most likely that he settled in the USA after the war.

Lewy Cotton

  • Lewy Cotton, a Jewish man born in Odessa, left Russia in his youth and spent several years in France and England, where he was trained as a waiter. Coming to Australia in 1914, he worked as a waiter in Perth and Adelaide.
  • Enlisting in Perth as Cotten, he served with the 16th Battalion on the Western Front. Being transferred to London in February 1918 he served in the Australian Provost Corps.
  • After the war he settled in Adelaide where was married to Ivy Gertrude Jenkins and had a son. He became quite famous as the chief waiter in the South Australian Hotel in Adelaide and his biography appeared in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Michael Fitisoff

  • Michael Fitisoff, a seaman from Russia, was seafaring from the age of 13. In 1915 he came to Australia and worked as an assistant steward on Australian coastal ships.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Perth, he served with the 43rd Battalion on the Western Front. In October 1917 he was wounded in the right hand at the battle for Broodseinde, near Ypres, and repatriated to Australia.
  • It is most likely that after the war he left for the USA.

Bronislaw Kretovitch

  • Bronislaw Kretovitch, a Polish man from Vilna (Vilnius, now Lithuania), came to Australia from Harbin in 1911. He settled in Melbourne, where he worked as an engine fitter.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in June 1916, but was discharged as medically unfit.
  • Although he had some plans to return to Russia after the war, he stayed in Australia, working as an engineer. He was a good chess player and often participated in tournaments at the Melbourne Chess Club.

Oscar Wilhelm Saario

  • Oscar Wilhelm Saario, a Finn from Orjuva, came to Australia in 1909 probably as a seaman and worked as a farm labourer in South Gippsland in Victoria.
  • He served with the 3rd Pioneer Battalion on the Western Front.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, Ellen Elizabeth Winckle, and had a large family, farming in Gippsland.