Saturday, 30 September 2017

Passport Portraits of Yesteryear no. 29

Continuing the series of passport portraits from my collection.
Peruse and wonder.
In 1919 it is civil war within Russia and the country is being besieged from without. In the Far East Admiral Koltchak and the Japanese are attacking the 'Bolsheviks'; Germany is attacking in the Ukraine; British soldiers are marching with Russians towards Petrograd in the north; France and Britain are assisting General Denikin in the south. And in all this chaos, thousands of civil refugees are fleeing the country, fleeing the effects of the Revolution and the civil war.

In Egypt, Mohammed Aly El Serouni, a 26 year old seaman, has signed on as a fireman on the S.S. Bruenn. This is his photograph on the seamans passport issued to him by the Egyptian Sultanate at the port of Suez on 19th May 1919.
Does he know that the S.S. Bruenn has been converted into an ambulance ship auxiliary and that shortly he will be standing off the coast of Russia with a British naval fleet, embarking wounded civilians to transport to Constantinople?

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