Michael Alex KOODIAROFF [????- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Michael Alex KOODIAROFF [????- ]

Michael Alex

Philip Cracknell writes that Koodiaroff fought with the HKVDC, but was lucky to be interned in the civilian camp at Stanley:

A number of civilians were unlucky enough to end up in military POW camps and several volunteers and regular soldiers  were lucky enough to end up in Stanley Civilian Internment Camp. One of these was Michael Alex Koodiaroff who had just turned forty and worked as a Hotel Assistant at the Peninsula Hotel. He  was married to  Elizabeth and they had one child, a boy of  seven years.




Henry Ching writes:

Thanks for the info on Koodiaroff’s route from hospital to Stanley.  It includes some aspects that I was not aware of – he was lucky not to have been shot when he was picked up in uniform. The little I knew I got from his son Mike – we were together in the Red Cross camp at St Mary’s, west of Sydney, in late 1945.

Another interned in Stanley as a civilian (who was not in uniform when he reported for internment) was Hutton Potts of the Supply and Transport Section of the HKVDC.

 There were at least 80 Volunteers interned in Stanley (not counting the nurses), more than half of whom were in the Stanley Platoon, and about 15 were in the so-called Hughes Group at the North Point power station.  Generally speaking these tended to be late recruits who joined up during or just prior to the battle and who had no uniforms, which is probably why they were treated as civilians.

I understand his son Michael (DoB 11/12/34) later served in the Royal Australian Navy joining in January 1953.


Hi David

You asked me years ago if I knew the name Koodiaroff and I said I didn't.  It turns out my parents did know the family.

What confuses me is that, in Philip Cracknall's page about Michael Koodiaroff, he says he left Hong Kong in 1945.  The photo I have of my grandmother's students at the Peninsula is dated 1951!

I've been going through my father's diary of our first leave in 1953 and apparently we met with Koodiaroff (no first name unfortunately) and a fellow Russian (I assume from HK days) called Olofinsky in Singapore on April 5 and we all had lunch at the Sea View Hotel surprise

Apparently Koodiaroff asked my parents to get him an icon from an antique dealer near the RO Church in London (which was situated at 188 Buckingham Palace Road in 1953) and we all went there but the guy didn't have any icons available!

Hi Nona,

That's great that you have your father's diary to refer to, and thanks for letting us have this extra information.

About the "leaving Hong Kong in 1945", after liberation many familes left Hong Kong, then after recuperating returned to Hong Kong again. You can see from Henry Ching's note above that his family and the Koodiaroff's both went from Hong Kong to Australia in 1945. Both later returned to Hong Kong.

I found a little bit of information about Mr Olofinsky, and posted it at: https://gwulo.com/node/38054