Captured in Siberia

On 6th January 1920, two months after escaping from Omsk, a group of fifteen British soldiers were held up in a queue of trains approaching Krasnoyarsk.  They put the long halt down to the fact that the locals were celebrating Russian Christmas Eve.

Suddenly, the locomotive in front blew its whistle and their train replied, but it did not move forward. Sergeant Joe Rooney struck up on the banjo and sang “Take me back to dear old Blighty”.  Then someone remarked “A Russian officer has just thrown his sword over the bank”.

Several more officers followed his example and all around, they saw White Army soldiers throwing down their rifles and pistols.  They had traveled 900 miles by train, sleigh and on foot through the bitter Siberian winter, but now they realized this was the end of their forlorn flight to freedom and the beginning of their captivity at the hands of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

SledgesSledges Used By British Soldiers on the Retreat From Omsk



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