Henry Matson from Finland came to Australia in the 1890s and worked in country Victoria as a wood-cutter, labourer, and miner. In 1899 he married Christina Gregg, a widow with children, and they had a son and a daughter. In 1917 their son Henry John, who was born in 1900, enlisted in the AIF by raising his age.
Henry, enlisting in the AIF in Melbourne, sailed with the 21st Battalion to the Western Front, but upon reaching England got sick and was returned to Australia.
In 1918 he died in a Melbourne hospital of cancer. His son returned from the war safely.
Max Tortsan, a Jewish man, was probably from Nesvizh in Belarus, although he also claimed to be born in Capetown and just ‘Russia’. His family emigrated to Capetown when he was young and he served in the Capetown Highlanders regiment, participating in warfare.
He came to Sydney in August 1915 and enlisted in the AIF a week later. His first service was not a success: over a few months he had 4 AWLs and was discharged in December 1915 as ‘undesirable’. Five months later he enlisted once again and sailed with the reinforcements to the 1st Battalion to the Western Front. For most of his service he was sick or had AWLs and was court-martialed twice.
Returning to Australia he lived in Sydney, working as a steward and salesman. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF and served in a garrison battalion.
Michael Ankudinow was born in Odessa and as a child moved with his mother and stepfather to Vladivostok. His stepfather was a prominent personality in the economic and cultural life of the young city and his children received a good education. Michael nevertheless left home and became a seaman. In 1912 he landed in South Australia.
Enlisting in the AIF in Adelaide, he served with the 43rd Battalion on the Western Front. In October 1917 he was wounded at Broodseinde and then gassed in April 1918. In April 1917 Ankudinow was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery and was trusted to serve in the Australian Provost Corps at the end of the war.
While in the UK, he married an Irish girl, Maggie Callaghan. They came to Australia in 1920 and, while staying in South and Western Australia, they were involved in the numerous cases of petty crime aggravated by alcoholism. When Maggie left ten years later Michael’s life somehow improved and he enlisted twice in the 2nd AIF during WWII.
Bernard Remez, a Jewish man from Mogilev in Belarus, participated in the Russo-Japanese war. He came to Australia in 1909 from Argentina, where lived for several years. In Australia he worked as an optician living in Melbourne; in 1915 he married Rebecca Major.
In May 1916 he enlisted in the AIF, but was discharged a month later as medically unfit. He reenlisted for Home service and served for another five months.
After that he settled in Wagga Wagga, visiting many country towns of New South Wales and offering his services as an optician. He moved to South Australia in 1922, but after that he disappears from the records.