Author Topic: Can anyone help me to identifiy this uniform? Known to be BEFORE 1915. Tks!  (Read 12526 times)

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Offline ErikVUS

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Here is a picture of my great grand father, Nicolaļ Aounine, dead in France in 1915, as he was a volonteer... He was from Magri, near Sotchi...
Can anyone can tell me more about his uniform? Any help would be very much appreciated  :)

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/ai6ag7m2zk50yne/AADHmBAAbM1-jj9ZlqA5DrqWa
Many thanks!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 06:52:09 PM by ErikVUS »

Offline Mike

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The photo shows a one-year volunteer [вольноопределяющийся] of one of the cavalry Life Guard regiments stationed in St.-Petersburg, most probably the Horse Guards [Лейб-Гвардии Конный полк]. This means that the soldier was exempted from a regular conscription due to his secondary or higher education, and that his family was well-off enough to pay for his expensive upkeep in this aristocratic regiment.

Offline Kalafrana

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To add to this, some one-year volunteers were potential officers, who went directly into a regiment rather than through one of the military schools.

Ann

Offline ErikVUS

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Many thanks Mike & Kalafrana :)

This matches what I Already know about my great grand father. (That he was certainly from a wealthy aritoscratic family).
My grand dad told my mother that Olga Konstantinova Romanova was used to stop by their home when she traveled from Greece to Russia; So I was deducting that they must have been  ideed in some way members of the high society...

Any way to tell the rank, despite the photo is not a high res one ?

Thanks again, your help is priceless! :)

Offline Mike

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Volunteer was both a status and a rank, equivalent to private. Since they only served one to two years, volunteers were almost never promoted to NCOs. However, they enjoyed some privileges similar to those of military schools' cadets. For example, they were allowed to hire cabs, visit public gardens and travel first class by rail and steamships.

Offline Kalafrana

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Looking closely at the shoulder straps, they are edged with 'volunteer braid' - a chequered pattern.

Peakless caps were worn by non-commissioned personnel in some orders of dress, and the coloured cap suggests a pre-war photograph. The Horse guards wore white-topped caps with red bands.

Regards

Ann

Offline ErikVUS

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Thanks both Mike & Ann for those details, priceless as I already said. This allow me to orient further search...

My grand father had in his papers an " internal rusian passeport", attributed to "Princess Goussakoff".
Unfortunately, this document is now lost, but has been seen by my mother'sister when she was a child...
We don't know who this princess was, and are wondering if she could possibly have been my grand-father's mother.
Any information on that name, Gussakoff ? Grand dad was Boris Aounine, from Magri near Sotchi...

Thanks for any lead you may possibly share!

Best regards,

Erik von Ungern-Sternberg

Offline Mike

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There was no princely family named Gusakov or like that. The only known prominent person of that name (but certainly not a prince!) was Lieutenant General Epifanii Gusakov (1850 - 1916).

Offline ErikVUS

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Tks Mike, that's also what I have found on my side so far.

Those tracks of search are mainly based on memories  transmited from mouth to ear, from my grand-dad to my mother. Grandpa was 7 years old when they escape Russia with his oncle and went to USA, and my Mum was also a child when he told her bout his life in Russia. So this can be imprecise for sure.

Many tks, for your interest to my post anyway. You seem to be one of the most skilled about Russian military History here, a very impressive knowledge!

I have 2 others posts with nice pics on this forum, about my Ungern-Sternberg ancestors (on my father side). Both were in imperial Cavalry, one as a Kapitan, the other on as a General.
I ever you happen to know anything about them, I'll be glad to hear :)

Best regards,
Erik.

Offline Mike

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You're welcome, Erik. The Ungern-Sternberg family has left many traces in Russian military and general history. If you give me a couple of full names, I could try finding some info on the Russian web.

Offline ErikVUS

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Hi Mike,

It's very kind of you to offer a possible assistance with search on russian web, I don't know how to thank you...
I'm specifically interested by 2 persons:

1rst, my third great grand father, Baron Leonard Karl Armin von ungern Sternberg (see http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=16865.msg532333#msg532333),
and https://www.geni.com/people/Leonhard-von-Ungern-Sternberg/6000000007436435343

2nd: His son, Baron Adolf Karl Robert von Ungern-Sternberg kapitan of Cavalry. (see http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=17821.msg532335#msg532335)

I already know a few about Leonard, almost nothing about Adolf, except the genealogy stuff, but not much about his military career, that's what interest me...

If you are interested, I'd be more than happy to share what I know about baron Leonard, the General.

All my best,

Erik.

PS: I speak a fluent french, (just in case you do too), basic english, and unfortunately only a few russian words, far not enough to write :( , however I usually manage to translate russian with the help of google.

Offline Kalafrana

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Thinking about Nicolai Aounine, as well as the categories Mike has already mentioned, only sons were exempt from conscription.

I'm not sure how the Russian army trained its reserve officers, but Mike will doubtless be able to tell you more. In Germany, all healthy males were liable for military service from 17 to 45. A proportion were called up at 20 for full-time service and thereafter formed the first-line reserve. Those who were not called up formed the Ersatz Reserve (Replacement Reserve) and could be called up in time of war.  Holders of the Abitur, equivalent to his school graduation but very academically exacting, could opt to serve as One-Year Volunteers, at the end of which they received reserve commissions. To be a reserve officer was a source of great pride, so the great majority of those eligible did. I can't remember where I read it, but a visitor to Berlin under the Kaiser wrote of his surprise at attending an army exercise where not only did all the ministers turn up in their uniforms, but they took part in a mock cavalry charge as well!

Ann