Gustav Thaler, born in Warsaw, was of German-Polish origin. He came to Queensland in 1891 as a child with his family. He lived in Charters Towers, Blackall and Brisbane, working as a labourer and a cook.
Enlisting in the AIF, he came with the 31st Battalion to Egypt, but got a hernia and was returned to Australia as medically unfit.
After the war he married an Australian girl, Eva Scriven, and was farming at Beerburrum, and later moved to Ipswich.
George (Girsh) Breitman, a young Jewish man from Chechelnik in Podolsk Province in Ukraine, probably came to Australia from England, where his relatives lived.
He served with the 3rd Battalion on the Western Front. In April 1917 he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field, saving his officer’s life and assisting in the capture of four enemies. In October 1917 he was wounded in the hand at Broodseinde near Ypres. In August 1918 he was gassed, but rejoined his battalion after recovery and was in the field on the day of the armistice.
In April 1919 he contracted pneumonia, was transferred to a hospital in England, and died a week later.
Phillip Jaffe, a Jewish man from Kovno (Kaunas) in Lithuania, first migrated to South Africa and served in the South African Army. In June 1915 he came to Australia working his passage, and enlisted in the AIF two months later.
He service did not go well; he was absent without leave several times and deserted in December 1915. Being apprehended, he was court martialled and sentenced to 60 days of imprisonment.
Yur Kivovitch, born in Odessa, came from a large Jewish family, which migrated to Palestine soon after 1905. From there Yur, who knew a number of languages, went to China, India and Hong Kong. He came to Townsville in 1913 and worked as a collector of customs and refreshment room keeper there.
Enlisting in the AIF, he served in Egypt in the Camel Transport Corps as a Quartermaster Sergeant and later in the Censor’s office of the Australian HQ in Cairo.
After the war he worked in South Australia as a commercial traveller, and later as a merchant and manufacturer. In 1931 he left for Canada. Twenty years later he returned to Australia and lived in Sydney, working as a restaurant proprietor.