On 8th March 1919, Winston Churchill wrote a letter…

…to the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George about the Government’s policy on Russia.

The War Secretary confirmed that the Prime Minister had: “decided that Colonel John Ward and the two British battalions at Omsk are to be withdrawn”.  One week later, he sent Major Leonard Vining and Warrant Officer Emerson MacMillan to Siberia on the SS Stentor.

Little did he know that they would be captured by the Red Army and not released from their Moscow prisons until November 1920.

Read about their amazing story in Churchill’s Abandoned Prisoners: The British Soldiers Deceived in the Russian Civil War, available from Waterstones and independent bookshops later this month.



The Ivanovsky monastery in Moscow where the British were imprisoned in July 1920

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