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Remembered Today:

Gunner Vasiliy Nikitenko 129340 RGA


eltoro1960
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Whilst researching the London Gazette I came across a MM for this man , giving his place of residence as Newtongrange. I later found in the LG that in 1918 he appears in a list of dead soldiers and his worldy goods were listed as unclaimed by next of kin, this appeared for several years thereafter and his money ,all £14 14/ 5d ,still lay unclaimed.

It appears that Vasiliy was a Lithuanian immigrant to Newtongrange and had no traceable next of kin, he was killed in action / died in May 1918, this from CWGC

Name: NIKITENKO, VASILIY

Initials: V

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Gunner

Regiment/Service: Royal Garrison Artillery

Unit Text: 160th Siege Bty.

Date of Death: 28/05/1918

Service No: 129340

Awards: M M

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. C. 22.

Cemetery: FRANVILLERS COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION

Having no next of kin he was not put forward for inclusion on the War Memorial when the names were added a few years back. I intend contacting Midlothian Council to have his name added to the Roll of Honour and hopefully have enough evidence to persuade them to do so.

If anybody else has any other information on Vasiliy I would , as always, be grateful.

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Good luck, John.

Bernard

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John

It would be interesting if you could establish how long he had been in Britain and whether he was a refugee from Stolypin's 'neck tie'.

I find those lists in the LG of unclaimed soldiers' pay pitiful in the true sense of the word but also far more eloquent that all of the citations for valour awards.

Regards

Mel

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I am not very keen on after the fact additions of names to war memorials but I think that Gunner Nikitenko is a worthy exception.

Good luck John

Andy

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Hello John,

I'm sure you already have this, but Nikitenko's citation is in the January 1918 edition of the London Gazette. [LG 28 January, 1918. p. 1394. Gazette Issue 25-1-1918 @ p. 20]. Good luck with the town council.

Cheers,

Dave

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Thanks for the good wishes, SDGW gives his POB as Boltava, Little Russia, which I suspect is Poltava in current day Ukraine. Large numbers of Lithuanians,& Latvians or Russian Poles as they were known locally, immigrated here around the turn of the 19th/20th Century to work in the pits. Given that Ukraine and Lithuania are fairly close neighbours he may have moved to Scotland via there. He is certainly the fist Ukranian in the village I am aware of.

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Nothing on the 1901 census for any Nikitenko, John. Nothing in the NA re naturalisaton either.

Keith

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I am not very keen on after the fact additions of names to war memorials but I think that Gunner Nikitenko is a worthy exception.

Good luck John

Andy

So much for "Their Name Liveth Forever More"

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John,

He is on the SNWM so that may help your case.

Details

Surname NIKITENKO

Firstname Vasily

Service Number 129340

Date Death 28/05/1918

Decoration M.M.

Place of birth Boltava Little Russia

Other

SNWM roll ROYAL GARRISON ARTILLERY

Rank Gnr

Theatre of death F.& F.

Aye

Malcolm

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Only a comment - the Ukraine isn't near Lithuania is it?

Bernard

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"Only a comment - the Ukraine isn't near Lithuania is it?"

Agreed not really now ,as Belarus lies between Lithuania and Ukraine, but in WW1 Belarus did not exist and the borders did not lie in their current places ,as all were part of the Russian Empire, Russia in effect ,and movement was fairly common between the 'countries'. Communication by sea to Britain was by Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. A bit more problematical now certainly. :ph34r:

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It's possibly closer than you think Bernard, both in terms of cultural and past history, including conflict, and in terms of accessibility and distance. I've been looking at the Eurolines Baltic site, and it takes approximately the same time from Vilnius to Kiev as it would from Leeds to Paris by coach. Poltava, to the south east, would take that little bit longer. The prices look reasonable too.

http://www.eurolines.lt/english/lentele1_e...e=ukr_kiev_toks

http://bildt.blogspot.com/2006/05/old-link...w-meanings.html

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europ...rains-BR-1.html

Regards,

Dave

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So much for "Their Name Liveth Forever More"

Peter

As has been discussed on this forum many times there are a myriad of reasons that names were not put forward for inclusion on war memorials, who are we to 2nd guess. CWGC is there to ensure that "Their name liveth forever more".

Andy

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I am not very keen on after the fact additions of names to war memorials but I think that Gunner Nikitenko is a worthy exception.

Good luck John

Andy

Without trying to cause any arguments or heated debates, can I ask why you feel this man is a 'worthy exception'?

Barrie

P.S. Best of luck John

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I didn't have you down for an establishment man, Andy, and I hardly think it's second guessing if all the evidence is put to the CWGC and subsequently accepted. I also think that some soldiers are meant [and want] to be found, and that now is the right time for Vasily Nikitenko. I'm sure you would agree, that all things being equal, Nikitenko deserves the right to be recognised and remembered as such.

Kind Regards,

Dave

PS: Sorry, Barrie, I missed your post in the crossover. My sentiments exactly.

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Without trying to cause any arguments or heated debates, can I ask why you feel this man is a 'worthy exception'?

Because it seems that there were no next of kin around to say yes or no to the inclusion of his name on the memorial. Exclusion by lack of family hardly seems fair.

Andy

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I didn't have you down for an establishment man, Andy, and I hardly think it's second guessing if all the evidence is put to the CWGC and subsequently accepted. I also think that some soldiers are meant [and want] to be found, and that now is the right time for Vasily Nikitenko. I'm sure you would agree, that all things being equal, Nikitenko deserves the right to be recognised and remembered as such.

Kind Regards,

Dave

PS: Sorry, Barrie, I missed your post in the crossover. My sentiments exactly.

see post 4 :) I am actually agreeing that the man should be commemorated.

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I think its fair to assume that the next of kin of this soldier were never asked if they wanted to include him on a memorial. The Borough Engineer at Swansea simply placed an ad in the local press inviting people to put forward the names of 'local' men who deserved remembrance. Very unlikely that - had he served with the Swansea Battalion - his parents would have taken the South Wales Daily Post!

Bernard

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In this soldiers case there was probably no-one to ensure that his name was included on the memorial so, why not add him now?

In the case of Birkenhead, Cheshire, quite a lot of men are missing from the memorial. I believe that people had to return a form to the Town Hall in order for names to be added, and many people did not get, or did not return the form.

In the case of my great uncle I suspect that my great grandfather didn't want his son on the memorial, so made sure uncle Joe was left off of it. When Joe Bull volunteered for the army his father called him a "bloody fool" and knocked him across the room. I suspect that the father, as a time expired Colour Sergeant, India, Afghanistan, South Africa, knew more than most about what the war would become.

But what about all the other missing names from the Birkenhead Memorial? Ten local men killed on 14th October 1918, and only one on the town memorial.

See post 17 in this thread:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...p;hl=birkenhead

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Nikitenko is a Ukrainian name.

Chris C

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The Newtongrange memorial was common in that it bears the insciption 'Their name liveth for ever more', however from the 1920's until 2000 there were no names on the memorial, much to the annoyance of many people. The main reason I am going to ask for Nikitenko's name to be added is that there was no possibility of him being added in 2000 as he had no next of kin in the area, and never had so it would seem. If the council say no, I will accept their decision, the saving grace for me is that the CWGC are aware of him. The eastern european connection has been largely forgotten in my area and it would be nice to have people remember the men. It just a pity I knew nothing of him in 2000, it would have been so much easier, however we will see.

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John,

I wish you all the best in your endeavours but you'll excuse the wry simile <_<

Whilst the Memorial was unnamed he was remembered but in the strive to have names added he was forgotten.

Surely a salutory lesson on how not to interfere with the past and possibly the Burghers of Newtongrange in the 1920's were more astute than their counterparts in 2000.

George

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Have you managed to track down where he lived in Newtongrange, John?

As you are aware the only connection with the village with some of the men is that they enlisted there. I would agree with you that a resident ought to be commemorated in his town.

Keith

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