As most Australian soldiers dreamed of home in the months after the end of World War I, a small number signed on for some more war, in, of all places, Russia.
With communist forces increasingly set to triumph in Russia's brutal civil war, Britain dispatched a modest taskforce to northern Russia, in which Australians played a notable role.
This force arrived in mid-1919 and participated in significant fighting but made no difference to the outcome, total communist victory.
Australia's role is remembered chiefly because just two Victoria Crosses were awarded for heroism, both to Australian soldiers, Sergeant Samuel Pearse and Corporal Arthur Sullivan.
Both VCs are on display in the Australian War Memorial's Hall of Valour, perhaps the greatest memorial to Australia's part in a campaign dubbed by historian Jeffrey Grey as "a pathetic sideshow".
Russia had been in crisis through 1917, which reached a head in the October Revolution. Almost immediately civil war erupted, pitting the Communist Red Army against disparate anti-Bolshevik forces. That would continue until late 1922.
Western powers had no love for the new Communist regime.
For one thing, the Communists had withdrawn Russia from the war, allowing Germany to transfer forces from the western front to France where they launched their March 1918 offensive.
Initial British intervention in Russia in April 1918 was a force of around 500 soldiers, including nine Australians who landed in separate parties at Murmansk and Archangel ports in the country's north.
The idea was to safeguard vast stores of western supplied military equipment and also to train a White Russian force in the hope of opening a new Eastern Front.
Just as Australian advisers found in Afghanistan more recently, those in Russia were in as great a danger from men they were training as from the enemy. One Australian was murdered when his men mutinied and went over to the communists.
In an article on the AWM website, Grey noted that this tiny force proved entirely ineffectual in a conflict far too vast and complex to be resolved by a handful of non-Russian speaking allied soldiers.
In March 1919, it was decided to withdraw this force and to safeguard evacuation. A fresh force of two brigades was to be raised, termed the North Russia Relief Force.
This was to be a British force, but comprised of volunteers from the large number of British and dominion soldiers awaiting repatriation.
Grey said some 400-500 Australians may have indicated a willingness to join but far fewer, around 100-120 actually signed on.
There appear to have been a variety of motivations. Some were reinforcements who arrived too late to see action in France. Some, such as Pearse, were decorated veterans.
Grey said some of the group undoubtedly did not feel able to settle down after their experiences of war, viewing service in Russia as a means of postponing the return to civilian life they viewed with apprehension.
"Interestingly there appears to have been no overt political motivation among those who volunteered," he said.
The force eventually numbered some 8,000 men, comprised mostly of British soldiers, with volunteers from a number of nations, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa.
Although enlisted in the British Army, the Australians wore AIF uniform and formed two mainly Australian companies.
The force landed in Archangel in early June, deploying along the Dvina River to Osinova, where troops started training White Russian forces, launching patrols and conducting small-scale ambushes on Bolshevik forces.
In July 1919, the taskforce commander Major General Edmond Ironside launched an offensive to deal communist forces such a blow that they would not be able to interfere in the evacuation.
This was entirely successful, inflicting substantial casualties and capturing large numbers of prisoners. It featured some significant actions.
During the largest, at Seltso on August 10, Corporal Sullivan braved intense enemy fire to jump into a swamp and rescue four fellow soldiers who had fallen from a crude bridge. For that he was awarded the VC.
During the final attack on August 29, Sergeant Pearse cut his way through barbed wire then alone charged an enemy blockhouse, killing its occupants with bombs. Moments later he was mortally wounded by machine gun fire.
For that, he too was awarded the VC. He was buried at the Oberzerskay Burial Ground on the Archangel Emtsa Railway Line. Pearse left a young widow who he had married shortly before sailing for Russia.
The force finally sailed for home in early October. Overall casualties were modest and though successful, the expedition had gone to an area peripheral to the main theatre of Russia's civil war.
Back home, Australia was recovering from the Great War and in the midst of the Spanish Flu pandemic; there wasn't much interest in events involving a few Australians in northern Russia.
Grey said for those involved it was an interesting even an exciting interlude before returning home, but their presence was unable to alter the fact that external intervention could not affect the outcome.