White Russians arrived in huge numbers to Constantinople in the dying days of the Russian Civil War (1917-22) and the military detachments were mostly transferred to the Gallipoli peninsula awaiting transport to friendly nations. Constantinople at the time was under joint Allied occupation and the British were instrumental in saving around 150,000 lives of trapped White Russians in the Crimea on 14 November 1920 and these authorities did try to manage a chaotic situation also in Constantinople. Here a sewing workshop is shown at the outskirts of the city at San Stefano.
What looks like a religious service for White Russian refugees on the island of Lemnos by the capital Mudros. Conditions were tough for the 18,000 who landed here who were termed Kuban Cossacks, many dying of starvation and disease before the remainders evacuated to Western countries after a year.
Tableau of the Russian ‘Shumen’ high school in Constantinople, 1926. The heading states ‘the graduation of the 5th gymnasium’, probably equating to the 5th group intake, signalling the school was opened in 1921, at the height of the White Russian in Constantinople that numbered over 100,000, or around a 5th of the city’s population. Nothing is known of the history of this school but presumably it ceased functioning within a few years as the vast majority of the Russian population of the city moved to 3rd countries.