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paullucas01

Lithuanians sent from Scotland to Russia

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dubs

Well here it is - I was very excited to see this. It definitely belongs to a relative as the signature on the next document I will attach is for Ziurinskas and it was with my great-grannys papers...

post-94643-0-16115800-1377811783_thumb.j

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dubs

..and here is the Permit for Evacuation from Archangel, signed by Private Ziurinskas...

post-94643-0-90684000-1377812090_thumb.j

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frances togneri

Dubs

Very interesting!! I wonder whether there are copies of these documents, along with forms A and B of the Evac paper, somewhere in the National Archives? It's just the sort of thing that gets filed away and stored.

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paullucas01

The correct spelling will be Žiurinskas in Lithuanian - the Ž is pronounced as zh or to English ears as sh.

There are 13 Žiurinskas in the Lithuanian white pages and most of the these live near Vilkaviskis.

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paullucas01

The work of administering the payment of the allowances from the Destitute Aliens Grant has continued, but the Grant has been restricted to certain classes only. After 1919 the Grant was payable only to the dependants of Russians who returned to Russia under the Anglo-Russian Military Service Convention, 1917, and to the British-born dependants of repatriated enemy aliens. Aliens of other nationalities or aliens destitute in consequence of the war but not falling within the two specified classes ceased to be entitled to the grant. At 31st March 1920 the Grant was withdrawn in the case of the dependants of repatriated enemy aliens, and in the case of those Lithuanian women who had been offered repatriation to Lithuania at the expense of the British Government but who had declined to accept such offer. In: the case of women of other "Russian” nationalities to whom it had not been found practicable to offer repatriation, the allowance from the Grant continued to be payable as formerly, and it was also agreed by the Treasury that those Lithuanian women who, having accepted the Government’s offer of repatriation, were merely waiting facilities for transport should also continue to receive the usual allowance. The effect of the cessation of the Grant in the case of those Lithuanians who refused the offer of repatriation was to throw a considerable number of them on the poor rates, and with a view to minimising the financial burden which would otherwise have fallen on certain parishes, the Treasury intimated that they were prepared to repay Parish Councils, in respect of such cases, a sum equivalent to 2/3rds of their expenditure in excess of the produce of a poor rate of one penny. The Parish Councils concerned did not consider this proposal to be acceptable, their view being that as the women in question were destitute in consequence of the action of the British Government in sending their husbands to Russia and afterwards refusing to permit them to return to this country, the cost of maintenance should be a national and not a local burden. Representations were made to the Treasury, who on reconsideration of the matter intimated that while they attached great importance to the maintenance of the principle that Government assistance in these cases should be confined to parishes in which the support of such aliens represented an exceptionally heavy burden, and while they could not therefore contemplate any system of grants applicable to parishes in which the total liability was less than the produce of a penny rate, they were prepared to substitute for their previous proposal an arrangement whereby the Government Grant should be at the rate of 12s. 6d. a week for each woman and 5s. a week for each child, with the proviso that in no case should the Grant be greater than the amount required to reduce the burden falling on the parish to the equivalent of a poor rate of one penny. This arrangement was to remain in force until 31st March 1921, after which the Treasury proposed to reconsider the matter.

Early in the year proposals were initiated by the Home Secretary, with the concurrence of the Foreign Office, for the repatriation to Lithuania of the wives and children of those Lithuanian men who went to Russia under the terms of the Anglo-Russian Military Service Convention, 1917. Repatriation was deemed expedient in consequence of the decision of the Government that, of those men who elected to go to Russia under this Convention, only those who could show that they had served with some unit of the Allied forces could be permitted to return to this country. The effect of this decision was to make it likely that a large number of Lithuanian women and children in this country would, on the cessation of the Government Grant for the relief of destitute aliens, be thrown on the poor rates for many years, and- it was thought desirable to make arrangements so that these dependants could, if they so desired, rejoin their husbands and fathers in Lithuania. We were asked by the Scottish Office whether we would be prepared to make the necessary arrangements for the repatriation of these families, and we agreed to do so. The Treasury undertook to bear the expense of repatriation in these cases. We accordingly made arrangements with the Inspectors of Poor concerned to have parties conveyed to Glasgow, whence they proceeded by rail to the port of embarkation. The United Baltic Corporation, Ltd., undertook to despatch parties at intervals on their steamers to the Baltic from London to Libau, from which port the Lithuanians crossed Latvian territory to Lithuania. During the year we despatched eight parties—six from London, one from Devonport, and one from Southampton. The parties leaving Devonport and Southampton were transported by the Ambulance Transport “Dongola," which was proceeding to Russia to bring back British prisoners of war.

The total number of persons repatriated during the year was 200 women and 489 children.

There are still a large number of Lithuanian women and children remaining in this country who are unwilling to be repatriated, but in most-of these cases the women are unaware where their husbands are.

The necessary arrangements for clothing the families, obtaining passports and visas for them, seeing to their railway transport and subsistence an route, etc., entailed on all concerned a great deal of work. The welfare of the families on arrival in the South of England was kindly supervised by Mr W. J. Gable, O.B.E., Secretary to the Society of Foreigners in Distress, and we wish to place on record our special indebtedness to him for the admirable arrangements made by him. [second annual report of the Scottish Board of Health, 1920]

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paullucas01

Information on

ss DONGOLA

built by Barclay Curle & Company Glasgow,
Yard No 455
Engines by Shipbuilders

Port of Registry: Glasgow
Propulsion: Two quadruple expansion four cylinder steam engines, 8000ihp, twin screws, 15.5 knots.
Launched: Thursday, 14/09/1905
Built: 1905
Ship Type: Passenger Liner
Ship's Role: UK/India and Far East mail services, and trooping
Tonnage: 8038 gross; 4723 net; 8165 dwt
Length: 470ft 0in
Breadth: 56ft 3in
Draught: 27ft 8in
Owner History:
Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company
Status: Sold for Scrapping - 23/06/1926

1919: After the Armistice she repatriated deported Russians to Reval, and brought back refugees, before being refitted.

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paullucas01

In 1917, over 1,000 Lithuanians were removed from Britain. 300 of the Lithuanians were members of the Lithuanian Socialist Federation (L.S.F.) in Britain. There were Lithuanian communities in London, Liverpool, and Manchester, and Glasgow. But the largest population was in Lanarkshire.
Most were peasants from Suvalkija and the Kovno guberniya, who had fled hardship; some who had fled persecution. Scotland had become a choice destination for Lithuanian migrants who could not afford the passage to America. The main industry they worked was mining.

To cut a long story short, as part of a deal done between Russian and Britain, the Lithuanians had to choose whether to join the British army or be deported back to Russia. The deportees were taken by ship to Arkhangelsk, then by rail to Vologda and on to Omsk. By the time the Lithuanian returnees arrived at Omsk, the Provisional Government had fallen and the Bolsheviks were in power. 140 of the group enrolled themselves on the local people's militia. Then, when Germany invaded Russia, 200 formed 2 companies of the the Second International Omsk Partisan detachment. They were first sent through Novonikolaevsk to Chita to fight against the forces of Ataman Semenov, forcing them back to the Manchurian frontier. From here, they went west to Irkutsk, to fight against the Czechoslovak Legion. Here, they were forced to retreat to Blagoveshchensk on the River Amur, where many Lithuanians fell into Japanese hands.

Some of those who were not caught joined Lithuianian companies and joined a Lithuanian Battalion, known as the ‘Vytautas the Great Battalion’, which was formed in Omsk as part of Kolchak’s anti-Bolshevik forces. In November 1919, they were sent to Cherepanov station, which was where the Red partisan group of Ivan Gromov operated. Some of the Lithuanians sent from Britain organised a mutiny, arrested the officers and took charge of the battalion, which they then put at the disposal of Gromov’s partisans. Along with the battalion, Steponaitis and his friends delivered into the hands of the Reds a large quantity of arms, ammunition and supplies, which were then utilised in campaigns against Kolchak. For the rest of the civil war the Lithuanian battalion fought as one of the three regiments comprising the First Soviet Chumysh Division'.

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frances togneri

Paul

Don't forget that not all the Scottish Lithuanians were collected by train at Archangel to be transferred to Omsk. This may only have been one group or perhaps the first shiploads of deportees. My grandfather and his cousin did not leave Scotland until October 1917 (more than the one month stated by the government for compliance) which would be among the last of the Lithuanians from Scotland. I have found nothing to indicate they left the Archangel area, thereby being 'on site' to join the Slavo-British Legion in 1918.

I suspect the number of Lithuanians was actually over 1000, as you say above. My impression from reading the article was always that this (or another figure of 1100) was an approximate number from Lanarkshire only. The article was a bit 'wooly' about how this number was arrived at. Did this number include Edinburgh and the Lothians? Ayrshire? Sadly, without the long-hoped-for list we will probably never know.

Good to see another posting! I have not found anything worth sharing.

Frances

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paullucas01

Hi Frances, I am finding bits and pieces. When I was in Kaunas in October. I heard a story about "white" Lithuanians fighting "red" Lithuanians in Siberia. The "red" Lithuanians were from Scotland. I am trying to find more documentation on this when I get back at New Year. There is apparently a memorial in a church about this.

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paullucas01

Extracts from an academic paper - I cannot post the whole abstract due to copyright reasons

Following the official announcement of the plan to repatriate Lithuanian dependents in January 1920, the first party left in mid-February. The repatriation costs were met by the Scottish Board of Health. The largest party left Glasgow on 11 March – on a specially arranged service by Caledonian Railway bound for Southampton. The train had about 240 women and children on board.

Bothwell parish council minutes for May 1920 noted that around 100 women and 263 children from different parishes throughout Scotland had been repatriated up to that point. By September 1920, 63 women and 174 children had left Bothwell parish alone.

Earlier government discussions on whether to allow Lithuanian war veterans who had served in Russia to re-enter Britain had given the notion a guarded welcome. On 31 October 1919, the government Aliens and Nationality Committee debated whether Lithuanian war veterans should be allowed to return to Scotland en masse. William Haldane Porter of the Home Office who chaired the meeting declared that although

the present moment was not a very propitious one for any relaxation of the rule against the readmission of ‘conventionists’ who had not fought in the allied forces he however, referred to the application of 250 Lithuanian miners to be allowed to return to their families in Lanarkshire.

He reported that the local miners’ union had raised no objection to the return of 82 Lithuanians who had served in the Slavo–British Legion and would probably raise none in the case of this larger group, although they had not served in the British Army. The committee resolved to recommend that if the local miners’ union raised no objection, the return of the 250 Lithuanians should be considered.

In autumn 1919, the 82 Lithuanians who had served in the Slavo–British Legion came back to Scotland. This group was found by British military authorities to speak ‘no Russian but only Lithuanian and broad Scotch’.

The return of others could be a long drawn out process and some families waited years to be reunited. John Millar (Jonas Stepsis) has written that it was 1923 before some men were eventually permitted to return.

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paullucas01

Can anyone in Scotland visit the Glasgow City Archives ?

Glasgow City Archives (GCA), Minutes of Bothwell parish council, Bellshill, Lanarkshire, list of applicants for poor relief, 11 September 1919 and May 1918–May 1922, CO1/23/19

This may not give the list of deportees but it may give indication of who was likely to have been deported.

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paullucas01

And these minutes in the National Archives of Scotland may give some clues

National Archives of Scotland Minutes of the Scottish Board of Health, 13 April 1920.

National Archives of Scotland Minutes of the Scottish Board of Health, 13 May 1920, HH75/02.

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paullucas01

“Lithuanian Families in Lanarkshire” (Glasgow Herald, January 23, 1920

“Bound for Lithuania – interesting group leaves Glasgow” (Glasgow Herald, March 12, 1920)

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frances togneri

Paul

I think I am the only one of our small group who lives in Scotland. Have you heard from Sylvestris? He was in Edinburgh but may now have gone home. It may not be possible to arrange anything for Glasgow before Christmas. I don't find the staff quite so efficient as those at Edinburgh, who are excellent. Do you still have my email?

Frances

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paullucas01

Frances, no rush, I have been researching for 11 years, started with one photograph and lots of verbal history, Paul

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Derek Black

A friend of mine has a great grandfather who came to Scotland from Lithuania. he was called Joseph Stadalnikus, it was possibly just after the war as their son was born in 1925is , the family later adjusted the surname to Stead.

I think they lived in Bellshill for a time.

I hope this is of interest.

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frances togneri

Paul

I am on the track of the Glasgow archive, and hopefully I can speak to a person soon. I will keep trying the number. The document has been transferred out of Glasgow, but this should make it easier to visit from home.

Derek

Welcome to this forum. We are still hunting for information relating to the men who were sent to Russia in 1917. I hope you found it interesting so far. I am not familiar with your friend's name. Do you think he may have been sent to Russia?

By the time I was at school in Bellshill, it was rare to hear a Lithuanian name. I don't remember anyone named Stead in my classes although this would be a generation or two down the line. If you are seeking further information on his family, I can recommend you try the Little Lithuania forum.

Frances

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frances togneri

Paul

The document is in Motherwell with a Family History group. I have spoken with someone and explained what I am looking for. She had a look at the reference number. It may not contain what was discussed, just a reference, but there are supplementary documents that might be more useful. Only two problems - due to the Data Protection Act, I may not be able to see the names (which defeats the purpose) and they usually only allow document access for academic reasons. However, she will speak to her line manager and get back to me. Fingers crossed!

Frances

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paullucas01

From the records there are lots of Stadalnikus or other variants of the name in Bellshill eg. Stadalnikas.

Frances, thank you ever so much for your help.

I am now trying to trace Leon Lukosevicius and his family who served in the British Army and was buried in Bothwell Park Cemetery aged 46.

Edited by paul lucas

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frances togneri

Paul

I have had word back from Motherwell. Wiebke, a very nice German/Latvian woman, has checked and confirmed there are names in the minute books and - I can go and look through the names! She has a good understanding of what we are looking for. There are copies of the Bellshill Speaker which could have some information, depending on dates.

She has still to check whether I can access the General Register of Poor for Bothwell Parish. I think that's the book with information about the families, particularly names of children.

Do you want me to go to the cemetery sometime? I am in France January to March so it might have to wait a bit.

Frances

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paullucas01

Thank you very much Frances. This sounds promising but we have been there before with expectations.

I have a picture of Leon's grave (found on the Scottish War Memorials website) and I am trying to trace his family. They stayed at the same addresses as my family in Bellshill in the 1920s and 1930s.

The strange things is that none of my relatives have any recollection of this family.

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frances togneri

Paul

Perhaps there was a falling out at some time and the two families stopped seeing each other? I am assured there were relatives in the Gorbals, believed to be on my Grandmother's side, and one sister says she stayed with them many times. Somehow they lost touch, no-one living knows why or what their name was. I think their name might be Kulbokas but that's little more than a guess.

However, your Bothwell records: I will be allowed to see all the records they have and can make notes but some data will have to be anonymised. I hope to get there just after New Year, once life becomes less hectic. Edinburgh is a bit trickier but I will arrange something.

Have a good Christmas.

Frances

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paullucas01

Thank you. Why will the data have to be anonymised ? Is it because the information is not over 100 years old - for example the last Census released is 1911?

Paul

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frances togneri

Yes. There is still a chance some people could be alive. The concern is for the names of children. Until I see what there is, I can't really get a feel for how we 'anonymise' it. At least it is available. Turns out my friend who introduced me to genealogy knows some of the staff and says they are very helpful and they work well with the family history people in the local libraries. (my friend is one) Sounds good. I will fix a date in the first week of January, if possible.

All the best

Frances

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paullucas01

Thank you for the update. Merry Christmas and New Year. I will be in Lithuania for New Year.

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