Pankoff, Sterletsky, Gordon, Rohdy

August 18, 2016

John August Pankoff

  • John August Pankoff from Libava (Liepaja) in Latvia left Russia in his youth as a sailor travelling all over the world. He came to Australia on a sailing ship in 1913 and continued working in Australian waters.
  • With the 8th and 5th Machine Gun companies he served on the Western Front where he was affected by gas poisoning.
  • After his discharge from the Army he worked on the ships on the north-east coast of the USA, returning to Australia in 1925. He married an Australian girl, Jane Christine Jorgenson, and lived with his family in Ipswich working as a millwright assistant. During WWII he served in the Volunteer Defence Corps.

Peter Sterletsky

  • Peter Sterletsky, a Russian from Tobolsk in Siberia, came to Brisbane in 1912 and worked as a labourer on the construction of railways.
  • He served with the 26th Battalion on the Western Front, being gassed in November 1917, at Passchendaele.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, Isabella Esther Stephens, and worked as a railway ganger.

Leo Gordon

  • Leo Gordon, a Jewish man from Girtagola (Girkalnis) in Lithuania, came to Adelaide in South Australia in 1908 and worked in Broken Hill as a storekeeper and hotel useful. In 1911 he married a Jewish girl, Annie Griff, but she died in 1915.
  • He served with the 18th Battalion on the Western Front, being severely wounded in the back and arm in May 1917, at Bullecourt. Recovering, he continued his service until he was wounded in the leg in October 1918 during the final attack on the Hindenburg Line.
  • After the war he lived in Sydney, marrying Rebecca Symonds. In the 1930s they moved to Broken Hill, where Leo worked as a salesman.

John Rohdy

  • John Rohdy was born in Russia, but did not provide the place of his birth. He studied in a school in America, coming to Australia in 1906, and lived in Newcastle and Brisbane, working as a wharf labourer. He married an Australian girl, Cecelia Cox, and had a daughter.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in Sydney as an American citizen, he served with the 1st Battalion on the Western Front. In May 1917 he was wounded in the right arm at Bullecourt and returned to Australia.
  • After the war he lived with his family in Brisbane working as a labourer, later moving to Sydney and then to Narrabeen, where he worked as a watchman.