This blog is a companion to the Database of Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Two Moonee Ponds West State School lads at Archangel

The North Russia Intervention in 1918 saw the allies invade land at Archangel and drive the Bolsheviks back. Source: Daily Mail. 
In 1918 Winston Churchill wished to support the White Army against the Bolsheviks, and sent some naval vessels to Archangel in Russia. Leading Seaman Walter Rupert Lawson, RAN, of Ascot Vale was  serving on a British destroyer at the time, and went ashore at Archangel.

The Argus related a story that did the rounds at a 1938 "Back To" Moonee Ponds West State School:

In 1915 [sic] Mr Lawson was serving on a British destroyer and found himself in Archangel. While on shore leave he went to a cafe, and saw a tall, bearded "Cossack," whose face seemed familiar. Lawson spoke to the "Cossack," and to his surprise the "Cossack" answered in English. The "Cossack" was Mr. "Dick" Thompson, who had attended the Moonee Ponds West State school, and who had gone to Russia and settled there. 

Are there descendants of Dick Thompson still living in Archangel, we wonder?

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