Memorial plaque established at the station where Nicholas II and his family went into exile in 1917

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On 14th August,  a memorial plaque in memory of Emperor Nicholas II and his family was unveiled in the railway station of the village of Alexandrovskaya. It was exactly 101 years ago, on 14th August 1917, that Russia’s last imperial family were sent into exile to Tobolsk from the Aleksandrovskaya Station near Tsarskoye Selo.

Nicholas II and his family were sent into exile to Tobolsk in Siberia, by the decision of the Provisional Government, which feared for their lives. On 14 August 1917, early in the morning, the imperial family and their enormous retinue under the sign “Japanese Red Cross Mission” departed from Tsarskoye Selo.

It took two trains to accommodate the travelers, their baggage, government representatives, the jailers and soldiers. Forty-six court attendants voluntarily accompanied the family into exile, making, in all, a party of fifty-three persons, which according to Robert K. Massie included “ladies and gentlemen of Nicholas and Alexandra’s suite, two valets, six chambermaids, ten footmen, three cooks, four assistant cooks, a butler, a wine steward, a nurse, a clerk, a barber, and two pet spaniels.”

Colonel Eugene Kobylinsky (1875-1927) rode in the Tsar’s train, while most of his 330 soldiers followed on the second train. On 14 March [O.S. 1 March], Kobylinsky had been appointed commandant of the Alexander Palace. He served as the commander of the special detachment at Tsarskoye Selo and later in Tobolsk in 1917-18, where he oversaw the imprisonment of Emperor Nicholas II. 

The unveiling of the memorial plaque included a liturgy, performed by Archpriest Boris Leonidovich Kupriyanov, from the Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, on the former site of the Chapel of the Ascension, in the village of Alexandrovsky. The attendees laid flowers at the place where the chapel once stood. The chapel was demolished by the Soviet in 1949, however, a memorial to Nicholas II and his family was erected on the site in 2011.

The memorial plaque is the result of joint efforts of the members of the Public Council of Alexandrovskaya and the administration of the Pushkin Oblast of St. Petersburg. 

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© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 16 August 2018