Nicholas d’Orloff was from Riga in Latvia, claimed to be a Count and could speak German, French, Russian and English. Australian police had a list of his aliases and according to their records he was a criminal, convicted for the first time in Adelaide in 1904.
Enlisting in the AIF in Brisbane, he was discharged a few weeks later because of absence without leave. A few days later he was detained at Maryborough for wearing military uniform and was tried by a police magistrate. On suspiction of pro-German sympathies he was jailed and later transferred to a concentration camp for Germans at Liverpool and finally, in 1919, deported from the country