Russian Awards to a British Officer

#1
I've just attended a Remembrance Service at Hayda Paşa Cemetery, near Istanbul and found this very interesting headstone:
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Clearly a very interesting background - the CWGC turned up this: Order of St. Anne, 2nd Class (Russia). Son of Nina Sumpter, of 5, Portsdown Avenue, Golders Green, London, and the late Thomas George Sumpter. Proceeded to France with 7th Div., October, 1914. Wounded 1st Battle of Ypres and the Battle of the Somme. A member of British Military Mission to Russia, 1919.

A cursory Google search didn't reveal anything more - anyone else have any information?
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Up until 1917 (I.e the revolution) the order was an Imperial on. It was awarded for outstanding service in the civil service or for outstanding valour.

The second class award for valour was a neck order of a cross with swords and a crown.
 
#4
Yes, I understand the history of the mission, but this chap was clearly a bit of a hero. There are several Russian officers buried in the same cemetery. A year of two later, 120,000 White Russians were evacuated from Crimea and brought to Constantinople by the French, and they seemed intent on seizing the City from the British Occupation forces (c 30,000). General Harrington handled the situation rather well, and shipped them off to abandoned forts on the Dardanelles.

By the way, 47 Sqn's pennant colours are drawn form this particular conflict, where they operated in an SF-type way. No change there, then.
 
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#7
Thanks. 29 Div was one of the formations that made up the Army of Occupation; perhaps because he was in Constantinople he was recruited to be part of the Mission to (White) Russia. Certainly a bit of an 'ero.
Was he part of the mission that went in with Lt General Sir Brian Horrocks, who was then a Captain. They raised and trained White Russians before getting caught and banged up and then repatriated.
 
#8
Was he part of the mission that went in with Lt General Sir Brian Horrocks, who was then a Captain. They raised and trained White Russians before getting caught and banged up and then repatriated.
There were, as far as I can make out, a number of Missions, as well as standing forces (eg British Army of the Black Sea, British Army of the (Trans) Caucusus). Given he was given two awards for valour by the White Russians, it can be assumed that his mission was a bit more than being a MATT. It is interesting that the CWGC doesn't list his Order of St Vladimir in their records, but it is given on (their) headstone. As pointed out above, he may have died elsewhere but his remains were brought back to the rather charming cemetery overlooking the Marmara Sea, at the southern entrance to the Bosporus (now known as the Istanbul Strait - thanks, Turkey). Would the RA Museum perhaps have more details on this young officer's interesting career?

Capt Sumpter seems to have been the sort of chap who would be useful to have around and, I suspect, would not be out of place on an OMLT in Afghanistan in recent times, either. I wish I had a flair for creative writing - there could be a good 'ripping yarn' emerging from his young death.
 
#10
Prior to the Revolution, the Imperial Russian Government handed out quite a few gongs to the British. My grandfather, who commanded a destroyer at Jutland in 1916, picked up the Order of St Anne, as did a surprisingly large number of participants, both officers and other ranks. Lots of French decorations given for that battle too.
 
#11
Prior to the Revolution, the Imperial Russian Government handed out quite a few gongs to the British. My grandfather, who commanded a destroyer at Jutland in 1916, picked up the Order of St Anne, as did a surprisingly large number of participants, both officers and other ranks. Lots of French decorations given for that battle too.
AH OK, so this Captain could have received these honours for his service on the Western Front?
 
#12
Not sure, Crash. There were a few French and Russian ships attached to the British fleet at Jutland, so it may be that both of those countries felt the need to confer awards. I don't know whether we reciprocated!
 
#13
I definitely want to find out more about this chap; he had an interesting war and served in a little-known (and quickly/embarrassingly forgotten) campaign, clearly with distinction. I've got his parents' details and last known address. I'll move on from here and keep people posted.
 
#15
We mustn't forget one Officer of the Order of the British Empire who was also a Hero of the Soviet Union

 
#18
I definitely want to find out more about this chap; he had an interesting war and served in a little-known (and quickly/embarrassingly forgotten) campaign, clearly with distinction. I've got his parents' details and last known address. I'll move on from here and keep people posted.
Crash he certainly had a busy war, the DSO and MC didn't come cheaply! Will do some digging my end but agree he is well worth while finding out more about.
 
#20
From the Royal Artillery Commemoration Book, pg 342-3:

Major G Sumpter DSO, MC, RFA was a senior liaison officer to the Armies of New Russia (HQ Kieff). There were also LOs to the Russian corps in each army (ie Caucasian, Don and Volunteer as well as New Russia).

"Major G Sumpter, while en route to join his group at Kieff during the retreat in December, 1919 found himself cut off from them, and, joining General Borbovitch's Cavalry Brigade, fought for several weeks with their Lewis gun detachment, gaining great distinction."
 

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