*If* my nephew’s information is correct and Joseph actually did attend the Alekseevkoe (Alexis, as he called it) Military School, then here is information about the school …
Alekseevskoe Military School (Алексеевское военное училище)
This military school, located in Moscow, was considered the third most prestigious after the Pavlovsk and the Alexandrov Military Schools.
It was called the Moscow Infantry Cadet School when it was first founded in 1864 and twenty two years later, the school was split into two streams. The first stream was a one year course for young men with higher education while the second stream catered for those who had only finished their high schools, which took three years to complete.
The General Staff were in charge of the first stream of young men but in 1897, the school changed to a curriculum which took two years to complete, enabling boys to join the military school straight after they graduated from high school without first having to have experience gained from joining volunteer regiments. That same year the school was renamed the Moscow Military Academy.
On February 18, 1906, the Tsarevich was appointed Chief of the school so the name was then changed to Alekseevskoe Military School.
The school’s motto was «For Faith, Tsar and Fatherland» (in Russian: «За Веру, Царя и Отечество»).
The building was originally a palace designed for the Empress Catherine II (Golovinskiy Palace) by Antonio Rinaldi, an Italian architect, on the site of the Annenhof Palace on the left bank of the Yauza.
The school was situated in the Lefortovo area called Red Barracks and was on Krasno Kazarmennaya Ulitsa, which translates as Red Barracks Street.
From 1897 it took the graduates three years to complete their courses before they were admitted as officers in the various infantry companies. At the beginning of World War I the courses were shortened to two years to graduate but by 1917 they were churning out young men as officers after just four months at the school!
All staff and seconded officers to the school who were in the army received a small silver (4″-5″) icon of Our Lady of Kazan, which the Head of the School hung around the neck of the departing officer as a blessing.
I could hardly believe it when I read that! My mother gave me a small icon which I kept on my bedside table for over 30 odd years until our son, Nicolas, joined the Royal Australian Navy. To keep him safe, I gave him that small icon, not realising where it came from. Unfortunately, Nicolas being Nicolas, lost it 🙁
Could it have been issued to Joseph or was it just a coincidence? I’ll never know 🙁
When the cadets first joined the School, they were told that they were free to leave at any time before they all took their oath. However once they did that, they were expected to complete their education and join their regiments as officers.
When it was time for the oath taking, the junkers (cadets) gathered in the outdoor «arena» and although the occasion was very serious and the young officers took the saying of their oath intently, there was a festive atmosphere.
They all prayed fervently, kissed the St Gospel Cross and the School’s Banner and vowed to defend the Faith, Tsar and Fatherland to the death.
The October Revolution in 1917
From October 25-November 3, 1917, the school became the main headquarters and stronghold of the anti-Bolsheviks in their fight against the revolutionaries in Moscow.
The cadets handed out rifles to students and any other volunteers on the Arbat and directed them to the school. More than 1,000 people, included the cadets, officers and the other volunteers erected barricades and fought daily battles with the Bolsheviks but after the school was shelled on November 2, the Tsarists finally surrendered.
I hate to think what the Bolsheviks did to those brave young souls when they put their hands up at the end of all that fighting 🙁
The Alekseevskoe Military School was disbanded by the Bolsheviks after that.
The Imperial Army gained 13,850 officers who graduated from the school during the 52 years of its existence.
[Source: ALEKSEEVSKOE Military School by P A Nechayev]
So now we have a problem 🙁
I cannot find any link to a Saginashvili or Dadiani being a member of that school and yet I had that Our Lady of Kazan icon. Was that icon really from the Alekseevskoe Military School or just something a family member had? 😮
But it’s a fact that my grandparents met in St Petersburg and the Alekseevskoe School was in Moscow so what was he doing there if he went from Moscow to the Salyan Regiment?
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