On 18th March 1920, Captain Brian “Jorrocks” Horrocks and Sergeant Frank “Illy” Illingworth had fully recovered from the epidemic typhus that had laid them low for a month and the British prisoners’ train departed from Krasnoyarsk.
Travelling east, they were led to believe their destination was Vladivostok, which was still in the hands of the Allies. During the first day, however, Illy suffered severe gastric problems and Major Leonard Vining was concerned that he needed specialist medical care. They took him to a hospital during a two-hour halt and Lieutenant Edward Stephens volunteered to remain with him for the duration of his illness. When Vining returned to the station, the train had vanished and he had to hitch a lift for 25 miles before catching up with his compatriots at Ilanskaya.
That evening, he was visited by the Tcheka; the notorious secret police “indulging today in an orgy blood the like of which has never been seen”…
Brian Horrocks with his fellow prisoners-of-war at Krasnoyarsk in March 1918