Talus, Silverman, Martinson, Motorin, Odliff

August 22, 2015

John Hendrick Talus

  • John Hendrick Talus from Uleaborg (Oulu) in Finland came to Western Australia in 1905 as a seaman and worked as a farmer.
  • He served as a gunner of the 24th Howitzer Brigade on the Western Front.
  • After the war he married an Australian girl, Lizzie Ethel Hodge, and was farming at Hayville Farm, Yarloop. Later they moved to Fremantle where John worked as a caretaker.

Abraham Silverman

  • Abraham Silverman, a Jewish man from Radom in Poland, came to Australia in 1914 and worked as a tailor, living in Sydney with his wife Lily.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in August 1915, a few months after his son John was born. With the 20th Battalion he served on the Western Front. In August 1916 he was wounded in the right leg at Pozieres and a year later, after recovery, returned to the trenches. In October 1917 he was killed at Passchendaele.
  • His wife and son moved after the war to England.

August Martinson

  • August Martinson, an Estonian from Piarnu, spent four years in England and came to Australia in 1913, probably as a seaman. He worked as a labourer in Geelong and then moved to Roma in Queensland.
  • He served on the Western Front with the 15th Battalion and the Anzac Salvage Corps.
  • After the war he worked in Canungra district in Queensland; after marrying an Australian girl, Maud Harris Bigger, they settled in Brisbane.

Nicholas Ivanovich Motorin

  • Nicholas Ivanovich Motorin, born in Belyi near Smolensk in Russia, came to Australia as a seaman and enlisted in the AIF upon being discharged from the ship.
  • He served on the Western Front with the 2nd Pioneer Battalion. In November 1916 he was wounded at the battle for Somme. Recovering in England he was discharged from the AIF and temporarily employed by the Russian Embassy there. His AIF file has correspondence between Constantine Nabokov, the uncle of the future writer Vladimir Nabokov, who worked in the Russian embassy in London, and AIF Commander William Birwood in connection with his discharge.
  • After the war he stayed in London, marrying an English girl, Bridie Hogan.

Ivan Odliff

  • Ivan Odliff from Nizhny Novgorod worked in Australia as a boiler maker.
  • He first enlisted in the AIF in February 1915 in Sydney, but was discharged as ‘unlikely to become an efficient soldier’. He reenlisted in August 1915 in Newcastle and served on the Western Front with the 3rd Battalion. In July 1916 he was wounded in the shoulder at the battle for Pozieres, recovered and served to the end of war with numerous AWLs. In 1919 he enlisted in the British Army and served in the North Russian Relief Force.
  • Returning to Australia in 1920, he worked in rural NSW and tragically died in 1926 in Gunnedah of strychnine poisoning.