Diaconescu, Levinski, Dofger, Egoroff, Johnson

July 11, 2015

George Diaconescu

  • George Diaconescu, a Romanian, who lived for a long time in Manchuria, came to Australia in 1914 and worked as a barber in Brisbane, mixing with the Russian community there.
  • He enlisted in the AIF as a Russian subject and served with the 31st Battalion on the Western Front. In July 1916 he was wounded in the leg at the Sugarloaf battle near Fleurs and invalided to Australia.
  • After the war he married an Irish woman, Hannah Farrell, and lived in Cooroy, Charleville, and Mackay in Queensland, working as a barber.

Jules Levinski

  • Jules Levinski, a Jewish man from Windawa (Ventspils) in Latvia, left Russia as a child and worked as a cook with his uncle in Paris. He came to Australia not long before the war and enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne.
  • He served with the 14th Battalion on the Western Front. In April 1917 he was wounded in the right hand and leg at Bullecourt. After recovery he returned to the trenches, was wounded for the second time in August 1917, but remained on duty, and then in September 1918, during the advance south of Peronne, he received a severe gunshot wounds to his right leg, which forced an amputation.
  • He was invalided to Australia, but in 1921, upon his own application, he received free passage to join his uncle in France.

Evan Dofger

  • Evan Dofger from Warsaw came to Western Australia in 1913 and worked as a labourer.
  • He served with the 4th Division Ammunition Column on the Western Front as a driver. In September 1917 he was returned to Australia, as he had become nearly blind from a trachoma infection.
  • After the war he lived in Western Australia, working as a labourer, miner, and a farmer.

Alexander Egoroff

  • Alexander Egoroff from Bestuzhevo near Riazan came via Vladivostok to Australia in 1909 and tried to establish himself as a farmer and a gardener in the Sydney area; he also worked as a motor driver.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served with the 17th Battalion on the Western Front. In November 1916 he was wounded at the Somme, but remained on duty. In May 1917 he was wounded in the left arm at the battle of Bullecourt and returned to Australia as medically unfit.
  • After the discharge from the Army he married an Australian girl, Lillian Hampson, in Sydney, and raised a large family with ten children while working as a gardener at Plumpton. During WWII he had to register as an alien, at the same time as his elder children served in the 2nd AIF. In 2001 his large Australian family reunited with their Russian relatives from Bestuzhevo, with whom they had lost contact after the war. Alexander Egoroff’s life was commemorated with a reserve named after him in Plumpton, where his farm once stood.

Karl Johannes Johnson

  • Karl Johannes Johnson from Nagu in Finland came to Australia in 1905 as a seaman. He worked as a labourer at Mornington Mills in Western Australia.
  • He came to the Western Front with the 51st Battalion and was killed in the battle for Mouquet Farm in September 1916, leaving his fiancée Emily Nelson in Australia.