The French Connection

France was if anything closer to Imperial Russia than the United Kingdom during the First World War and continued to support the fight against the Bolsheviks after the British Army withdrew in summer 1920.

In Moscow, Madame Charpentier ran the French Red Cross mission after all the other countries evacuated their teams.  Accompanied by her two daughters, she brought food twice a week to the British prisoners-of-war in Ivanovsky and these supplements prevented Brian Horrocks and his compatriots from starving.  Potatoes were most welcome, but the real treat was when they were given an egg, or a portion of sugar.  They were also grateful for the occasional bone for Teddy their dog.

When the British prisoners were moved to Andronovsky, they met the son and brother of Madame Charpentier, who were languishing in a nearby cell.   This gallant family was released in October and when they left Russia, Mrs Margueritte Harrison took over the job of bringing food to the foreigners in the Russian prisons, until she too was arrested and sent to Novinsky Prison for Women.


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