When he left revolutionary Russia for the very last time at the end of 1917, Herbert Stewart, brother of Major Percy Stewart, crossed the ice to Finland with a Union Jack tied to himself so that he wouldn’t get shot in the back.
His journey back to England seems to have been rather more eventful than his previous trips to and from Russia, and he returned home that year through Finland, Sweden and Denmark, finally arriving in Scotland at the beginning of 1918.
As readers of last week’s Pocklington Post will know, Herbert was the tutor to the children of Tsar Nicholas II’s sister, Grand Duchess Xenia, between 1908 and 1917, and this week’ artefact is a small collection of his personal possessions from that period which are now on display here at the Stewart Museum.
They comprise his purple silk-lined wallet, several Russian imperial paper roubles, a stamp and a couple of calling cards, one of them being of the type he used in Russia in his role as a tutor.
Full feature in next week’s Pocklington Post (27 February).