End of the British Mission to Southern Russia

On 29th June 1920, Brigadier Joss Percy left Sevastopol with the remnants of the British Mission to Southern Russia.  The 150 officers and 450 soldiers had been supporting Generals Deniken and Wrangel in the Crimea. They left behind dozens of British soldiers, airmen and sailors who died in the campaign, including the last British soldier to be killed in action in World War I, Captain William Frecheville of the Royal Engineers.

Percy, who was knighted and promoted for his work in Russia, was born John Samuel Jocelyn Baumgartner, but changed his German sounding surname to Percy at the beginning of the war.  A virulent anti-Bolshevik, he went on to be King Zog’s Inspector General for 12 years and instigated the successful reconstruction of Albania before Mussolini’s invasion in April 1939.

The Royal Navy’s evacuation from Batum was completed on 10th July, leaving the way clear for Brian Horrocks and the British prisoners-of-war in Siberia to be escorted to Moscow four days later.  For further details, see Chapter 14 in Churchill’s Abandoned Prisoners.

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