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Museum Collection

St.George Cross

Authentic Georgian Crosses of the III and IV degrees are kept in the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov.

The St.George Cross was established in 1807 to honour the lower ranks of soldiers and non-commissioned officers exclusively for military achievements. In establishing, the award did not have degrees, there was no restriction on the number of awards for a person. On March, 19, 1856, by the Tsar’s Order, the sign of honour “Military Order of St.George” was divided into four degrees.

In the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” by M.A.Sholokhov many Cossacks were awarded the St.George Cross.

There is a talk between the old folks: “…In the war the George Cross or a medal was awarded for great deeds, for heroism, and who was awarded? The most courageous soldiers, daredevils! Not many risky heads dared to gain the Crosses. No wonder the saying goes: “Either go home with the Cross or lie flat!” (Book 4, part 7, chapter 12).

In the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” the oldest person was Old Grishaka. Sholokhov portrays him: “Old Grishaka stomped the ground sixty-nine years. He participated in the Turkish campaign of 1877, served as orderly to General Gurko, fell out of favour and was sent back to the regiment. For the combat service under Plevna and Roshich he was awarded two Georges and St.George medal. Living with his son, being respected by the villagers for his clear mind till the old age, incorruptible honesty and hospitality he spent the remains of his life on memories.” (Book 1, chapter 19).

Grigory Melekhov, the protagonist of the epic novel, was the first Cossack in Tatarsky Village, who was awarded this order in the First World War. The extract from the order given in the text goes: “For saving the life of Colonel Gustav Grozberg, the commander of the 19th dragoons’ regiment, the Cossack of the 12th Don Cossack regiment, Melekhov Grigory, is awarded St.George Cross of the IV degree”.

On November, 10(23), 1917, St.George Cross was abolished, but the respect to it by the older generation remained the same.

The St.George Cross was reestablished in the Russian Federation by the Order of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation of March, 2, 1992, №2424-I, “About the State Awards of the Russian Federation”.

 

Lyudmila Kochetova