In April 1912, newspapers around the world reported on the terrible tragedy that happened to the Titanic, a giant steamer that collided with an iceberg during a voyage from the English port of Southampton to the shores of America.
More than 1, 500 people fell victim to the disaster. One of them was the Russian nobleman Mikhail Mikhailovich Zhadovsky, who served as a cashier on the Titanic. How did a citizen of the Russian state end up on this ship?
Mikhail Zhadovsky was a hereditary nobleman of Nizhny Novgorod. His grandfather Nikita Ivanovich Zhadovsky was a major general of the Russian army, participated in the Patriotic War of 1812. The grandson of Nikita Ivanovich also chose a military career.
Mikhail studied at the Nizhny Novgorod Cadet Corps, and then at the Konstantinovsky Military School. In 1877, Ensign Zhadovsky took part in the Russian-Turkish war, for which he received his first military award - the Order of St. Anna, 4th degree.
After 14 years of service, Zhadovsky retired with the rank of captain and went home to the Nizhny Novgorod province. But a quiet life at home did not work out: the financial affairs of the retired captain did not matter, and in old age Mikhail Mikhailovich was forced to look for a job.
Leaving his wife Anastasia Ilyinichna in a noble orphanage in Nizhny Novgorod, Zhadovsky went to a foreign land.
It is impossible to say exactly how he ended up on the Titanic as a cashier, perhaps some old connections helped: a random person, and even a foreigner, would not have been entrusted with the ship's cashier. But, one way or another, on April 10, he went on the "Titanic" to foreign shores.
During the tragedy, the cashier could safely leave the sinking ship: according to his position, he was supposed to save money and documents. But the Russian nobleman acted differently. He refused to board a lifeboat, handing the cashier and documents to the boatswain.
Zhadovsky said: "I am already 68 years old, I have not long to live, and the money will be delivered without me." He gave up his place in the boat to an unknown woman, placing a note in her hand with the address of one of his sons. The cashier remained on the sinking ship, the life of the Russian hero ended here.
Soon, a letter from France came to the name of Zhadovsky's son, who lived in St. Petersburg. A certain Josephine de la Tour told him about the last minutes of her father's life and that it was to her that he gave up his place in the lifeboat.