European Ancestors – British in Russia (Part 3)

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Russian Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

This post is part of a series of 10 posts about the British Community in Russia. You can read the complete series HERE.

The Bolshevik Revolution later that same year marked the beginning of the end of the British Community. Soon families saw that factories and mines were nationalised with those individuals who were not a worker or a peasant treated as suspicious. Bank accounts frozen, large houses and properties seized, motor vehicles confiscated. Some individuals found work as engineers, governess and managers, but others were forced to sell their belongings to survived.

People began fleeing Russia, crammed onto trains heading to Finland, smuggling out what they could, with jewellery and other valuables sewn into clothing. Those that had significant money invested in the banks or in business had to decide between fleeing or remaining in the hope of positive change.

Meanwhile, British soldiers arrived in the south of Russia and at Murmansk to try and intervene in the Civil War that was developing. Many Britons were arrested with some shot. It was to be the end of 1919 before the British and Russian governments to reach agreement of repatriation of their respective citizens.

Many Britons, in a desperate state were smuggled into Finland, or across the Black Sea to Constantinople, where refugee camps had been established by the Red Cross with the support of government and charities. Here they could settle and recover, gradually dispersing having found work. Although some still had not found work nor the means to move on, and were still reliant on charity provisions.

Post Revolution and Civil War, some Britons returned to Russia to seek opportunities, alas they were treated cautiously and subject to arrest by the KGB. Support from the Consulate was not always possible and the degree of suspicion, on both sides was significant.

You can read the complete series, of the British Community in Russia HERE.

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationary & History; Surnames, European Ancestors, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies, Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies and surname courses.
This entry was posted in British in Russia, European Ancestors, Russia/Soviet Union/USSR. Bookmark the permalink.

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