Platonoff, Swanson, Peterson, Rudovsky, Lumberg

November 24, 2015

George Platonoff

  • George Platonoff was born in Novoukrainka township in Ukraine. In 1911 he came to Queensland via the Russian Far East with his parents and elder brother Thomas. After working on railway construction, his family bought a sugarcane farm in Booyal.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, George served with the 25th Battalion on the Western Front. In October 1917 he was gassed at Passchendaele and stayed for a while in the English hospitals but recovered and finished the war at the front.
  • After the war he worked as cane cutter and sawmill worker in the Childers and Innisfail areas. During WWII he enlisted again in the AIF and served in the garrison battalions.

Franse Frederick Swanson

  • Franse Frederick Swanson was born in Finland as Saarinen, but when he came to Australia in 1899 as a seaman he preferred to Anglicise his name. He settled in South Australia, working as a ship’s carpenter, and married Australian woman Ruby Dorothy Bright.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in spite of the fact that he had two young children and fought with the 50th Battalion on the Western Front. In April 1917 he was taken prisoner of war during the battle for Noreuil, was kept in Dulmen and Limburg internment camps, and was repatriated to Australia after the war.
  • After the war he lived with his family in Adelaide. All three of his sons served in the AIF during WWII.

Larry Peterson

  • Larry Peterson, from Wasa in Finland, worked as a boiler maker. He came to Australia in 1913 as a seaman and worked as labourer in Western Australia.
  • Enlisting in the AIF he soon asked to be discharged ‘on account of my nationality, as I cannot live on good terms with the other men’. He was discharged in June 1916 as medically unfit.
  • It was impossible to trace his life after the war. Most likely he left Australia.

Joseph Rudovsky

  • Joseph Rudovsky jumped ship in South Australia in 1912, when he was just 18, and enlisted in the AIF as a native of Russia born in Odessa. It was only in the 1930s that he revealed that he was a Croat from Yugoslavia born in Susek. Upon his arrival he worked in different places, but finally settled in Sydney working as a barman.
  • At the outbreak of war he made the first attempt to enlist, but was rejected because of eyesight. Later he was accepted and sailed to the Western Front with the Mining Company; later he served in the 1st Tunneling Company. In March 1918 he was gassed with other tunnelers; he survived the ordeal but was disabled for life.
  • After the war he lived in Sydney, where he married and educated himself. In 1937 he was appointed honorary consul for Yugoslavia under his true name Joseph Mikulicic-Rodd.

John Lumberg

  • John Lumberg from Feborak (?) in Finland came to Western Australia in 1890, probably as a seaman. He worked as a labourer and sleeper cutter in the south-western areas of the state.
  • Enlisting in the AIF, he served in the artillery batteries on the Western Front. In October 1918 he was wounded in the thigh, being one of the last casualties among Russian born Anzacs during the war.
  • After the war he continued working as sleeper hewer in the Manjimup area in Western Australia.