Nicolas Korotcoff, a Russian from Samara, spent two years in Manchuria deserting from the Russian Army. In 1912 he landed in Cairns and worked as cane cutter in Port Douglas in North Queensland.
Enlisting in the AIF in Cairns he joined a group of Russians in the 5th reinforcements of the 9th Battalion. In June 1915 they landed at Gallipoli. In 1916 Korotcoff was transferred to the 11th Field Artillery Brigade, serving as a driver on the Western Front. He was wounded at the battle for Passchendaele in October 1917. When, after the Russian revolution of 1917 Russia withdrew from the war, a group of Russians which included Korotcoff applied for discharge and were returned to Australia ‘on account of Russian nationality’.
Korotcoff returned to Northern Queensland working as a cane cutter and night watchman. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF again, serving in the Volunteer Defence Corps.
Yan Soolcovsky, born in Mlava, Poland, came to Townsville from the Russian Far East in 1914. Later he lived in Gympie, working as a butcher.
He enlisted in the AIF with the Russian Romanovsky and sailed to the front with a group of Russians in the 9th Battalion’s 5th reinforcements. He served at Gallipoli and on the Western Front where he was wounded at Mouquet Farm in 1916 and at Polygon Wood in 1917. As a result of the second casualty, his left hand was amputated.
In 1920 his health failed and he died in Brisbane with his fiancée at his side.
Nicholas Romanovsky was born in Achinsk in Siberia and worked on the railway as a construction engineer and probably came to Australia from the Far East.
He enlisted in the AIF together with Soolkovsky and fought at Gallipoli and on the Western Front. He was wounded together with his mate at Mouquet Farm and at Polygon Wood. Two days after the last casualty he died of his wounds.