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Thread: Translation of a Russian medal found in France

  1. #1
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    Translation of a Russian medal found in France

    Hello somebody in my village in France (Vosges) has found close to a tree, glass filled with ground and inside a medal.
    This medal represents the Virgin Mary with child. It of marked there something on the medal into Cyrillic.
    But I do not know if it is former Russian or ukrainien.
    I board marked on a sheet what had marked above, but that may be that they are not the exact letters because I do not know the Cyrillic one and it is rather difficult to read what marked.
    Here before medal:
    http://img95.imageshack.us/my.php?image=photo0574as.jpg
    And Back:
    http://img95.imageshack.us/my.php?image=photo0585ce.jpg

    I board successful to translate one word МАТИ: Marie or mother, the remainder I do not arrive there. That would help me much if somebody could translate it.

    I wanted to also know if there were a tradition in Russia to bury deaths with glass. I know that 45000 Russian came to France to fight during the First World War. Thus if it is the case that could be perhaps that a Russian soldier was buried here during the First World War.
    Thanks

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    I have problems with translating religious text in English, but it's something like that:

    Wonderfull Virgin Mather, help us, don't leave us without your saint care.

    And on the other side:
    Wonder-working mother...
    and something aboout God, but last word, you wrote, doesn't make sense for me.
    Can you post the picture of this medal? It may help.
    Correct my mistakes, please

  3. #3
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    Re: Translation of a Russian medal found in France

    This is a prayer to the Virgin Mary; probably a good luck/protection charm of sorts.
    The language is not Russian, most likely it's Church Slavonic which is used by the Orthodox Church. Or Ukrainian in pre-1918 writing. Some words are not correct Ukrainian, but it is close. I do not know Church Slavonic.

    it reads smth like (close but not exact, i am not good with religious english terminology): (front): "Oh miraculous Mother of God, help us and do not leave us without your holy protection", (back): "Miraculous Mother of God in Goshow (sp?? probably the place where the original icon painting is located)".

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    Thank you for your very fast answers and which helped me much.
    At the end of this week I would take photographs of the medal at the person which found there and I put it on this forum.

    But I still do not understand why, the medal was put in glass at this place.
    Is that a tradition or other thing in the orthodoxe culture?
    Can there be a soldier of the tsar buried here.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean
    Thank you for your very fast answers and which helped me much.
    At the end of this week I would take photographs of the medal at the person which found there and I put it on this forum.

    But I still do not understand why, the medal was put in glass at this place.
    Is that a tradition or other thing in the orthodoxe culture?
    Can there be a soldier of the tsar buried here.
    I do not know of such a tradition; it looks like the glass with the medal and soil was a charm though. A soldier (unless the piece is particularly valuable, he most likely was a common soldier) would carry something like this on him.
    It wouldn't be normally thrown away, although if the soldier got wounded or something he could probably lose it. He could also be killed, or died otherwise, in which case his comrades would often put the charm in his grave (but I understand that it was not in a grave, right?). Or it might have gotten into someone else's hands, and that person might have buried the thing in a conspicuous spot, thinking that it might be valuable and hoping to return for it later... I doubt anyone will ever know for sure.

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    Yes, there is no grave and no cross but this could well be removed since.
    In the 1910's, there was a forest, now there is a house.
    I do not think that the medal was lost, otherwise how to explain that it fell in glass.
    I think it was put there consciously. But the only means of knowing would be to dig at this place.
    By soldier of the tsar I wanted right statement a common soldier envoy by order of the tsar in France. This is simple people who suffered the most from these terrible wars and not richest.

  7. #7
    FL
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    Photo from
    http://www.grwar.ru/pictures/pictures.html?letter=1916

    1916. Русские войска на борту транспорта в момент прибытия в Марсель.
    1916. Russian troops on board a transport in the moment of their arrival in Marseilles.


    1916. Знамя русских войск на французском фронте.
    1916. Banner of the Russian troops at the French front.


    Цинкография с фото. В издании Д.Я. Маковского "Великая война..." Выпуск XII. 1916
    Источник :
    Керсновский А.А. История русской армии. т.4, М., 1994.

  8. #8
    FL
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    I have found some links
    "Русские войска во Франции и Македонии (Russian troops in France and Macedonia)":

    http://www.2devochki.ru/33/7012/1.html
    http://bobych.ru/referat/33/7012/1.html
    http://www.newtimes.ru/artical.asp?n=2990&art_id=3686

    "
    7.396 русских воинов (по А. Пети) Особых бригад покоятся по селам и весям Франции. Из них – 5.078 отдельных захоронений на общегородских кладбищах, 2.318 – на военных кладбищах. Кладбища располагаются в департаментах, по которым прошлось огненное колесо Первой Мировой войны – Норд, Па-де-Кале, Сомма, Уаз, Эн, Марна, Мёз, Мёрт-и-Мозель, Вож и в тылу, где умирали вследствие полученных ранений – под Парижем, Лионом, в департаментах Жиронда, Лазурный Берег и т.д.
    "

    "
    Желая увековечить память павших русских офицеров и солдат на поле брани Союз офицеров Экспедиционного Корпуса (основано в 1923 г.) купил летом 1934 г. рядом с военным кладбищем в 3,5 км от города Мурмелон, в Сен-Илер лё Гран (в провинции Шампань), участок земли, на котором при помощи всей русской общественности во Франции в 1937 г. был воздвигнут Храм-памятник во имя Воскресения Христова. Сен-Илер – единственное русское воинское кладбище во Франции (в других местах страны русских военнослужащих хоронили на военных участках местных кладбищах или в отдельных могилах).
    "

    In the articles Vosges (Вож in Russian) is mentioned as one of the places where Russian troops were located.

  9. #9
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    Thanks FL for the links and the pictures.

  10. #10
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    This is the medal



    it is aluminium and the diameter is 2 centimeter
    it is without any doubt the medal of a common soldier

    Can you say some to me more on this medal with the sight of these pictures?

  11. #11
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    Laxxy is basically correct

    This is not Russian, and it is not Church Slavonic, it looks more like Ukrainian. First of all, "Допомогай" is bad Russian, but good Ukranian. Then, "з" instead of "из/с" is also a feature of Ukrainian. "Мати Божа" is Ukranian too.

    Medals like this are widely used among Roman Catholics, but not by the Russian Orthodox. So I guess this medal belonged to an Ukranian, probably an RC or a Uniat. (Don't hold me to it, though)

    Гошов is a village in modern Ukraina, and the 16 century chronicles mention "имение Гошово" (Estate Goshov) in the Kiev province, so I guess laxxy is correct in that point too. It is interesting to note that this village is located near Zhitomir, which used to be a Uniat city in the past. Was there a Uniat church or chapel in Goshov itself? I don't know.

    The text is as follows:

    front: "ЧУДОТВОРНА МАТИ БОЖА В ГОШОВЕ" (Obviously a reference to an icon that was deemed to work miracles).
    back: "О ЧУДЕСНА ДЕВО МАТИ, НАМЪ ДОМОГАЙ, ЗЪ ПРЕСВЯТОЙ ТВОЕЙ ОПЕКИ НАСЪ НЕ ОПУСКАЙ!"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by translations.nm.ru
    Laxxy is basically correct

    This is not Russian, and it is not Church Slavonic, it looks more like Ukrainian. First of all, "Допомогай" is bad Russian, but good Ukranian. Then, "з" instead of "из/с" is also a feature of Ukrainian. "Мати Божа" is Ukranian too.
    OK, so this is settled then. It is not modern correct literary Ukrainian, but it would be strange to expect that.
    Here are a couple links to articles (in Ukrainian) about the icon and the town of Гошів (Hoshiv), I used a Polish transliteration Goshow originally. It is a Unity church:
    http://www.ourlady.ca/translations/Ukra ... hivUkr.htm
    http://www.if.gov.ua/modules.php?name=C ... age&pid=46

    But now the whole thing looks a lot more interesting and surprising! The thing is, Hoshiw (together with much of the Western Ukraine) belonged to the Habsburg Empire before WWI. I am not sure if the Unity Church was even permitted in the Eastern Ukraine (which was a part of Russian Empire then), I think not.
    Is it possible that an Austrian soldier might have found his way all the way to Vosges?
    Also of interest: the troops that are considered the first modern Ukrainian armed forces ("sichovi stril'tsi") were formed in the Western Ukraine during WWI (they were a part of the Austro-Hungarian Army). IIRC all of their fighting was against Russia though (the second link mentions btw that they were fighting near Hoshiv in 1915). But maybe a soldier could be drafted into the regular Habsburg troops and somehow got shipped west? sounds unlikely but I am not a historian...

    Another (probably more likely, imo) possibility is that a soldier in the Russian Army, drafted from somewhere near the border, might have been a secret Unity believer. Or he might have been given the medal by a relative or someone else special, I am sure there were substantial cross-border contacts.

    In any case, hiding the medal makes more sense now.

  13. #13
    FL
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    It seems the name ("Goshov") is widespread in Ukraine.
    At least there are two places which have similar names.

    1) Ukraine/Zhytomyr/Goshev
    see here about the place in English (map)
    http://www.travelpost.com/EU/Ukraine/Zh ... ev/2401329

    http://www.ukrindex.otrok.ru/06/17u.html
    Житомирська область - Житомирская область
    Овруцький район - Овруцкий район
    Гошів - Гошов

    2) Ukraine/Ivano-Frankivsk/Goshev

    http://pages.prodigy.net/euroscope/other_places.html

    quote
    "
    HOSHIV
    [GOSHIV, GOSHEV]
    The place blessed by Our Lady, where in the 16th century a monastery was founded. A popular place of Christian pilgrimage.
    An outing from Lviv (100 km one way), Ivano-Frankivsk (80 km); or en route Lviv - Ivano-Frankivsk (at the expense of Rohatyn, Halych and Krylos), Lviv - Yaremche, Lviv - Uzhgorod. Can be combined with the visit to Stariy Uhryniv.
    "

    It is easy to get some information about this place in Google using "hoshiv monastery" query.

    ==================================
    Cело Гошив Ивано-Франковской области

    http://www.facts.kiev.ua/Oct2001/2610/10.htm#6

    quote
    "
    Десятки тысяч паломников со всей Украины приняли участие в торжественной церемонии передачи Гошивской чудотворной иконы Божьей Матери Украинской греко-католической церкви Чина св. Василия Великого старинного монастыря св. Преображения Господнего в селе Гошив Ивано-Франковской области. После полувекового исчезновения икона, с образом которой связаны удивительные легенды, возвратилась, наконец, в родные стены...
    "
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Number (2) (A popular place of Christian pilgrimage) seems more proper but I am not sure the place pertained to the Austro-Hungary Dual Monarchy before WWI.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by FL
    It seems the name ("Goshov") is widespread in Ukraine.
    At least there are two places which have similar names.
    It must be the latter as that's where the icon is located.
    (from http://www.if.gov.ua/modules.php?name=C ... age&pid=46 ):

    Quote Originally Posted by Івано-Франківська обласна державна адміністрація
    Поряд з Болеховом розташоване село Гошів, славне своїм монастирем і чудотворною іконою Матері Божої.

    Quote Originally Posted by FL
    Number (2) (A popular place of Christian pilgrimage) seems more proper but I am not sure the place pertained to the Austro-Hungary Dual Monarchy before WWI.
    It was:

    Quote Originally Posted by Івано-Франківська обласна державна адміністрація
    1603 року місту (Bolechiw --L) було надано маґдебурзьке право. З 1772 року місто входило до складу Австрії, а в 1919-1939 роках -- Польщі.

  15. #15
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    Thank for all, you helped me much
    You are completely right .This is the same one picture as on the medal


    German and the Austrians never arrived to my village during the WWI. The zone of war was 20 Kilometers in the east. My village was a back base where there was French, Indians, Russian,... then English and American.
    But perhaps that one of these soldiers killed a soldier of the other camps and rob what it carried.
    He perhaps brought back the medal in my village during his rest period and not seeing any the utility he buried it.

    Quote Originally Posted by laxxy
    Also of interest: the troops that are considered the first modern Ukrainian armed forces ("sichovi stril'tsi") were formed in the Western Ukraine during WWI (they were a part of the Austro-Hungarian Army). IIRC all of their fighting was against Russia though (the second link mentions btw that they were fighting near Hoshiv in 1915). But maybe a soldier could be drafted into the regular Habsburg troops and somehow got shipped west? sounds unlikely but I am not a historian...

    Another (probably more likely, imo) possibility is that a soldier in the Russian Army, drafted from somewhere near the border, might have been a secret Unity believer. Or he might have been given the medal by a relative or someone else special, I am sure there were substantial cross-border contacts.
    In any case, hiding the medal makes more sense now.
    yes the 2 possibilities can be right especially the second.

  16. #16
    FL
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    I found out on the map where Goshov was located.
    All sources talk that Goshov is between Болехов (Bolekhov) and Долина (Dolina). You can find these towns on the map.



    It is really in deep of Galicia (Галиция or Галичина) region. Galicia is Ukrainian region which was part of Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy before WWI.
    But very early in WWI in August 1914 this region was taken by Russian Army. And Russian Army held the region in 1914-1915. Russia had plan to join this territory to the Russian Impire and made Russian administrative division of the territory. May be Russia drafted people of the region in Russian Army.

    (
    books about WWI with maps:
    http://www.grwar.ru/library/index.html

    maps
    http://www.grwar.ru/library/Strateg_Ess ... 01_04.html
    http://www.grwar.ru/library/Bonch-Bruevich1/GC_06.html
    )

    Old name of Ivano-Frankovsk city is Stanislavov (The city was renamed in 1962 when the city celebrated 300th anniversary of its foundation.)
    Map of front line in 1915 (you can see front line, Lvov and Stanislavov(Ivano-Frankovsk) as reference points)
    http://www.grwar.ru/library/Bonch-Bruev ... le0001.jpg

    Thus in 1914-1916 Galicia was very important front of WWI and very many Russian soldiers (millions) were there.
    So many Russian soldiers were there long time. And it is very really if Russian soldier was given the medal by a relative or someone else special.


    В результате Горлицкого прорыва германских войск к середине лета 1915 г. русские армии оставили Галицию. Вместе с уходящими войсками на восток двинулись сотни тысяч русских беженцев. С тех пор и надолго слово "беженец" стало одним из употребляемых в России.


    Also there were hundred thousand ethnic Russian refugees from Galicia to Russia after retreat Russian Army in summer 1915 (then in 1916 there was again Russian offensive “Брусиловcкий прорыв”). So these refugees could be drafted in Russian Army too.

    Russian troops was dispatched to France in 1916.
    In this way some Russian soldier could be in Galicia in 1914-1915 (was given the medal) and then he was dispatched to France in 1916.

    A soldier from Galicia could be drafted into the regular Habsburg troops and then he was captured by Russian (number of Austro-Hungarian captives was very big).
    In Russia speacial Czechoslovak corps was raised of Austro-Hungarian captives.


    http://www.srpska.ru/article.php?nid=21 ... 279&crypt=

    Уже в августе 1914 (в первый месяц Мировой войны) началось формирование чешских частей в составе русской армии. В сентябре 1914 из перебежчиков и пленных была создана Чешская дружина, ее штат составлял 34 офицера (из них 8 чехов) и 921 унтер-офицеров и солдат. <и т.д.>
    Бригада была развернута в дивизию, а осенью 1917 был создан 1-й Чехословацкий корпус (две дивизии) в составе 39 тысяч солдат и офицеров. Планировалось создание и 2-го корпуса…


    It seems real if Austro-Hungarian captives who were from Galicia also were drafted in Russian Army.

    About “Someone might have been a secret Unity believer” in Russia.
    This variant also has a base:


    К началу разделов Польши на Правобережной Украине остается всего несколько сотен православных приходов. Но после этих разделов царское правительство, проводя на вновь присоединенных землях Подолья и Волыни политику поддержки государственной религии, сумело в короткий срок восстановить позиции православия. Формально признав греко-католическую церковь в конце XVIII в., оно продолжало ее разнообразные преследования, так что к началу революции эта церковь в Восточной Украине оказалась практически искорененной.


    http://www.rusoir.ru/print/01/41/index.html


    В годы революции 1905–1907 гг. российская общественность впервые смогла публично выразить мнение о политике государства в отношении униатов, о методах, с помощью которых происходило их «присоединение» к государственной Православной церкви в 1875 г.

    Характерное свидетельство об этом времени оставил в своих воспоминаниях митрополит Евлогий (Георгиевский). «При воссоединении, — писал он, — допущено было много ошибок. Не посчитались с народной душой. Вмешалась администрация: губернаторы, полиция… стали народ загонять в православие. Многие приходы переходили фиктивно; появились, так называемые »упорствующие« — лишь на бумаге православные люди, а по существу те же униаты. В условиях фиктивного воссоединения с православной церковью они лишь дичали, тянулись к католическому зарубежью, а с местными православными духовными властями ладили путем хитрых уловок. Иногда из Галиции перебегали к ним униатские священники и тайно, по ночам, их »окормляли«.


    IMHO, most likely some Russian soldier (originally called up from west-north part of Ukraine where many people kept respect to Uniat Church) could be in Galicia in 1914-1915 (was given the medal) and then he was dispatched to France in 1916.

  17. #17
    FL
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    Российская Империя (европейская часть)
    Russian Empire (European part).
    Before WWI.



    ЛЕМБЕРГ официальное название (немецкое) г. Львов на Украине в 1772-1918.

    Lvov on the map has german name Lemberg (official name in 1772-191.

  18. #18
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    thanks, it is very interesting.
    I found a map more precise. We can see HOSHIV (Гошeв)


    and google earth:

  19. #19
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    http://soldat.ru/doc/casualties/book/chapter2.html

    "
    На русско-австрийском фронте силы противников были более или менее равны, но австро-германская армия была все же слабее оснащена технически, чем германская, и имела много солдат из национальных меньшинств, ненадежных для австрийской монархии. В этих условиях русская армия, потерпев вначале ряд крупных неудач, выиграла в целом Галицийское сражение (август-сентябрь 1914г.), заняла Восточную Галицию и оттеснила австрийцев к Карпатам (см. схему IV).
    "
    Galicia in 1914.

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