The Mysterious Hector J Boon

The train with Rex Carthew that arrived in Irkutsk to collect the British prisoners and refugees at the beginning of April also brought an American, named Hector Boon.  It seems strange that at a time when everyone sought to escape from Bolshevik Russia, this mysterious man arrived and rented a lavish apartment in the middle of Irkutsk.

Was he an American spy like Margueritte Harrison in Moscow, or merely an enterprising, but naive, businessman who didn’t understand that the Soviet system banned all capitalist trade?

Whatever his ulterior purpose, he was most generous to Brian Horrocks and the abandoned British prisoners by giving them food and money to buy clothes.  I haven’t found any subsequent trace of him other than his signature on the back of a photograph later in 1920, when he gives his address as 46 Upper Park Road, a large house in a leafy suburb of North London!

 

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