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Sybil Lady Middleton

Sybil Middleton, USSR Social and Red Cross worker.

Background

  • Middleton, Sybil was born in 1882 in Northumberland.

  • Career

    • The eldest daughter of the 4th Earl Grey, once Governor-general of Canada. With no professional qualifications, aged 33, accepted an invitation from Sir George Buchanan, the English Ambassador in St. Petersburg to go there and organize an Anglo-Russian hospital and 2 or 3 field hospitals to treat wounded Russian soldiers, and to be in charge of English doctors, nurses and other medical staff. Took charge of the Anglo-Russian Hospital in November 1915, and worked through a very harsh winter.

      Suppressed a near mutiny of the medical and nursing staff, and sacked the hospital commandant. Severely wounded in the face at Voropaevo by a fragment of shrapnel. Went back to England for medical treatment, but returned to Russia 3 months later.

      Her hospital received a blessing from the Tsarina, and her photograph with the Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna appeared in the London Sketch. She accepted both the Reds and the Whites to her hospital which was housed in a palace lent by the Grand Duke Dimitrii Pavlovich. On the night of Rasputin’s murder the Grand Duke gave Sybil the key to a door which led from the hospital to his private flat, where Prince Yusupov was hiding from the police.

      Watched the February Revolution 1917 from the hospital windows. Became a close friend of both the Tsar and the Tsarina until the family’s arrest, 1917. At the end of July 1917, returned to England.

      Her work and life in Russia has been described in full detail in The Forgotten Hospital by Michael Harmer, London, 1982.

    Religion

    Every religion forces people to rely on outside authority, thus depriving them to become self-sufficient.

    Views

    Every Soviet citizen has rights to express his or her opinion, but it should be in accordance with the general interests of the society.

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    Born 1882
    Died 1966
    (aged 84)
    Nationality