Lominoga, Stepanoff, Mikkonen, Kekoff, Nelson

October 7, 2016

Matthew George Lominoga

  • Matthew George Lominoga, a Russian from Astrakhan, arrived in Brisbane from the Russian Far East with his parents and worked as a motorcar driver. In 1915 he married an Australian girl, Phyllis Ignatius, and had a son born in 1916.
  • Nevertheless he enlisted in the AIF and served with a transport company on the Western Front as a driver.
  • Returning after the war to his family, he worked as a motorcar proprietor, but later changed his profession, becoming a dancing master and the head of a dancing school.

Nicholas Stepanoff

  • Nicholas Michael Stepanoff also came to Australia with his parents and siblings in 1911 from the Russian Far East. They settled in Brisbane, where his parents ran a boarding house for Russians; the family was at the core of the Russian community in Brisbane. Like Lominoga, Stepanoff became a driver and a mechanic.
  • Enlisting in the AIF together with Lominoga, Stepanoff also served in the transport units on the Western Front as a driver. In September 1917 he was gassed, but continued to serve to the end of the war.
  • He was still in Europe when the house of his parents in Brisbane became the center of a pogrom unleashed by returned servicemen after the Russian participation in the Red Flag Riots in Brisbane. In 1921 his family returned to Soviet Russia, but Nicholas stayed in Harbin, where he married and worked as a bookkeeper. His naturalisation was revoked in 1930 and he managed to return to Australia only in the 1940s, when he reapplied for naturalisation.

Johan Mikkonen

  • Johan Mikkonen, a Finnish seaman from Uleaborg, enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne.
  • He served in the 37th Battalion, but deserted in 1917 and disappears from the records.

Michael Kekoff

  • Michael Kekoff, an Ossetian from Khristanovskoe in the Northern Caucasus, worked in Grafton as a labourer.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he served with the 45th Battalion on the Western Front. In June 1917 he was killed at Messines in Belgium.
  • His family in Ossetia was never found.

Hugo Nelson

  • Hugo Nelson, a Finn from Hango, was a blacksmith by trade, but came to Australia most likely as a seaman.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney, he served with the 3rd Pioneer Battalion on the Western Front. In May 1918 he was gassed and in September 1918 was wounded in the elbow.
  • Returning to Australia, he continued working as a seaman.