For what women in Russia were awarded with medals?
In Russia existed “ ladies` “ the Order of St. Catherine, it was the award very rare and received it, as a rule, not for personal merits. Could not award with other awards of women in Russia therefore for special differences began to hand them medals which were often established especially for them.
The first rather mass case of rewarding of women is connected with Patriotic war of 1812. Then medal “ In memory of patriotic war of 1812 “ widows of the generals and officers who were killed in battles women who worked in infirmaries were awarded and ladies - the oldest in noble childbirth, the brought large donations on warfare looked after wounded, and also.
The following mass rewarding of women, and already fighting medals, is connected with the Crimean war. For participation in defense of Sevastopol in 1854 - 1855 of the medal “ For bravery “ “ For diligence “ and “ For protection of Sevastopol “ not only the caused a stir women, but also children received. So, were awarded by the medals “ For diligence “ on the Vladimir tape: Elizabeth Hlaponina, Lukerya Chechetkina, sisters Kryzhanovsky - Ekaterina, Vaasa and Aleksandra (the last was only 11 years old).
Such cases were not a rarity and during other wars. In 1914 in the north of Russia in Belomorye the first war decoration was handed not to the serviceman, but the girl, the daughter of the lighthouse keeper. In the order on rewarding it was told: “ In requital of excellent valor, tranquility and a rare conscientious attitude to service in difficult circumstances of a wartime, the maiden Maria Bagrentseva is awarded with the silver medal " Of St. George;.
And the case occurred indeed unique. On the cape which is deeply given to the Barents Sea with the unusual name Svyatoy Nos was a beacon opposite to which vessels before pass to the White Sea gathered. The lighthouse keeper, except the fundamental obligations, controlled approach of vessels and reduced them in groups for safe pass of the belomorsky branch, kept in contact with trawlers and warned captains about mine danger, observed the horizon where the German ships, etc. could appear. And all this within a week instead of hard sick father was carried out by the twelve-year-old girl. And staff officers from Arkhangelsk noted that the telephone messages arriving from it reflect a situation fully and do not demand specifications.
For the women who caused a stir in wars began to establish also special medals. So, for women, “ which served in hospitals or during defense of Sevastopol rendered the special services “ the silver medal with the laconic inscription " was founded; The Crimea 1854 - 1855 - 1856 “. The same medal for famous Dasha Sevastopolskaya was rapped out from gold.
The sixteen-year-old girl - the orphan, the daughter of the sailor who died in Sinop battle, in the besieged Sevastopol was respectfully called Darya Aleksandrovna. Eleven months she worked on dressing points and in hospitals, was on the advanced positions more than once, taking out wounded from under the opponent`s fire. The soldiers and sailors rescued by it were estimated in hundreds. After war the empress Aleksandra Fiodorovna sent to the girl a gold cross with the inscription “ Sevastopol “ and the emperor awarded her with a personal medal. But Christ Redeemer`s icon which was brought it by soldiers and sailors became the most expensive gift for Dasha.
During the Crimean war special silver and bronze medals for sisters of mercy of the Krestovozdvizhensky community which was created in 1854 by the grand duchess Elena Pavlovna were founded. The community sent to the Crimea several groups of sisters of mercy, in total about 130 women. Among them there were representatives of the famous surnames: Meshcherskaya, Bakunina, Przhevalskaya, Budberg, Bibikova. Sisters of mercy, according to the surgeon Pirogov, turned Sevastopol " hospital; upside down “ brought order and purity, adjusted treatment and food of wounded. They even managed to subdue dirty not a hand of quartermasters, and supply of hospitals sharply improved. By the way, the manager of the Kherson hospital caught on abuses and brought by them to military court, being afraid of deserved punishment, committed suicide.
From the middle of the 19th century in Russia need of establishment of a special female award was seriously discussed. In 1877 there was a project of the Distinction of the Order of St. Catherine. But the project remained unrealized. Got back to similar idea in 1913 when suggested to found an award in honor of the princess Olga. At the end of 1914 the new award called “ Distinction of Saint Olga “ it was approved as Nicholas II. It was provided to award with it “ only female persons, in attention to merits in various fields of the state and public ministry “ and also to favor it “ to mothers of the heroes who rendered feats, worthy perpetuating in chronicles of the fatherland “.
Vera Nikolaevna Panayeva who lost on World War I of three sons - gentlemen of St. George became the only woman who received a new award. On April 2, 1916 the emperor signed reskript about rewarding it with the Distinction of Saint Olga 2 - y degrees.
World War I gave the mass of examples of rewarding of women with war decorations, including the most honourable - of St. George. But It is necessary to tell about it separately.