Born in Nizhny Novgorod, from the
He began his military service in 1874 as a pupil.
He finished the navigational school
and in subsequent years sailed on the cruiser
"Europe" ( 1880-1881 ),
served in the Kronstadt Naval Observatory (1885-1886 ), was engaged in hydrographic
studies in the port and harbor of Kronstadt (
1887 ), performed hydrographic work on the
schooner "Bakan" off the west coast of Novaya Zemlya (1889).
In 1886 he was promoted to lieutenant of the Naval Navigator
In 1890 he published
in the journal “Notes
notes on the Gribovaya Bay station.
Here is an excerpt
from the memoirs of one of the participants in the round-the-world
voyage of the training cruiser “Kruzenshtern”, held in 2007:
“In Singapore, we had a chance to visit the grave of Lieutenant
There is a park at Fort Canning, and in it, under the shadow of
tall coconut palms, there is a small cemetery.
Among the dozen foreign graves, there is a visible stone cross,
an Orthodox cross entwined with a grape marble sheet.
Beneath it lies the remains of the Russian seaman-researcher.
We read his brief biography the night before.
And at that moment, when we were on this well-groomed evergreen
churchyard, it was thought: “How far from our native shores our
compatriot found eternal peace ... The Cape, named after him, is far
to the north - on the cold, snowy and icy Novaya Zemlya, and the last
refuge he found almost at the equator.
He had a short life.
Only thirty years.
But this life was serving the Fatherland.
And death does not choose a place and time.
For some time we stood at the grave of Lieutenant Astafyev,
worshiped his ashes, and set out on our way”.
But from the memoirs of Yury Tsentalovich about
swimming on “Yu.M.
Singapore and a walk to Fort Canning Park:
Carefully go and see the old Christian cemetery. "Guys, see the
cross!" "No Orthodox"? All rushed to
There are beautiful mimosa and shady ficus, among the frozen
white marble cross entwined with grapevine, the inscription on it
in Russian letters reads - "Navy navigator corps lieutenant Vladimir
On the reverse side of the cross, a brief inscription in English
reported that he was born in 1860, died on October 23, 1890.
This meeting excited us, showed our
participation in the fate of our fellow countryman, the Russian guy,
a naval officer, to that tragic event that happened so far from the
Motherland, from home.
“Who is he , why don't we know?
..... After returning home to Vladivostok
after the flight, I started searching for materials about the
lieutenant Vladimir Astafyev.
He worked in the libraries and archives of the city, in the
Museum of the Red Banner Pacific Fleet,
everywhere the staff of these institutions were attentive to my
searches and helped.
I wrote letters of inquiry to the Central Museum and the State
Archive of the Navy, to the State Archive of the city of Gatchina.
I received letters of answers.
From the materials it turned out that Astafev Vladimir Petrovich
was born July 2, 1860.
Naval service began in 1874
In April 1881
he was promoted to officer in the rank of ensign.
he graduated from the geographical department of the Nikolaev
In 1886 was promoted to lieutenant.
At the same time, V.
Astafyev performs the duties of a junior assistant astronomer at
the Maritime Astronomical and Compass Observatory of the Kronstadt
Port, floating in the Baltic Sea.
is engaged in work requiring high
accuracy, hydrographic shooting
the port and harbor of Kronstadt.
He was attracted by the work of the hydrograph.
An expedition is organized to the Barents Sea to the western
coast of Novaya Zemlya on the vessel “Bakan”.
In the conditions of the north, pitching, measurements were made,
a drawing of the shores of the still unexplored shore was created.
The expedition was successful.
Name of the work
Astafieva was named one of the capes of the island of Novaya
Dry numbers of chronicles, dates , how
wonderful that they are.
In June 1890, V. Astafyev was appointed senior navigator to the
flagship cruiser of the I rank “Admiral Nakhimov” ,
who was part of the Pacific Squadron.
During this period, there is an intensive study of the Russian
sailors of the Far Eastern seas and the coast.
The city of Vladivostok is being built at a stormy pace,
and the port of Vladivostok is being built:
its streets are lit with electricity, a nautical school and a museum
are being opened, it has been decided to build a dry dock.
Here is what the newspaper "Vladivostok" wrote on October 28,
“One who has visited at least a short time off our coast in the
east will understand what is of tremendous importance
building a dock for the state in general and for the local margin
We must stand here with a firm foot, here is our gate”.
For only one navigation 1890
More than 100 Russian and foreign ships visited the port.
Russian ships visit the ports of Japan and Korea;
Russian Consulate is being established in Singapore.
Navigation of the cruiser "Admiral Nakhimov" provided for the
establishment of further contacts with some states.
Also in 1890
A large journey of the royal family to the east was being
prepared: to Egypt, India, Ceylon, Thailand, Singapore, and Japan.
The squadron of the Tsesarevich,
consisting of three frigates “Memory of Azov”, “Vladimir Monomakh”
and “Admiral Kornilov”, was to be joined by
the cruiser “Admiral Nakhimov” in the eastern part of the course of
Vladimir Astafyev , as an experienced
hydrograph and navigator , was assigned to
ensure the safety of navigation of the squadron.
On a chartered English vessel V.
Astafev went to the place of service, further traces of him were
The newspaper "Vladivostok" regularly published reports about the
cruiser "Admiral Nakhimov" and his crew, especially about the newly
From May 6 to August 14, 1890
At one point, the cruiser was on the trainings in the Sea of
Japan, after which he moored at the roadstead of the port of
Vladivostok, but on the lists of newly appointed officers V.
Astafev does not appear.
On August 14, the cruiser at the head of the detachment of ships
went to the shores of Kamchatka.
Returning on September 21 to Vladivostok , the
cruiser prepares for a campaign in Japan, bunches, - the coal from
the barges is loaded and after a few days selects anchors.
In crew lists V.
Astafev still does not appear.
In order 538 on the maritime department ,
signed on December 1, 1890
One, in Gatchina (an extract was sent to
me from the State Archive) it is written - “to exclude from the
lists of personnel of the cruiser Admiral Nakhimov of the corps of
naval navigators of Lieutenant Astaf'eva V.P.
Astafev did not arrive at the new duty station, so what happened
to him on his way to Vladivostok.
What to do, where else to look for information about B.
The end of the year is nearing, on our ship "Y.M. Shokalsky",
repair work has been completed, another flight to the South Seas was
coming, a call to the port of Sinplur was planned.
I immediately had a thought - when parking in Singapore, find an
archive or a solid library and search for a newspaper for 1890
ode, printing chronicles, notices, etc.
This is what happened.
On the last day of parking in Singapore in the second half of our
group, we had the opportunity not to go to the library for a long
time with the reading room, archive, at a school in the same Green
green hill, near the walls of the old cemetery.
Workers in the reading room understood what we wanted and brought
a thick roll of film from the vault containing the pages of the
Straits Time newspaper for 1890
My heart pounded and beat!
Loaded the film in the filmoscope, turned on the light
, look , read.
"Making a copy of the text you need is fast and inexpensive".
- chirped cute little girl.
Slowly moving the film, we look at the
pages of the newspaper with the text about long-past events.
It was going slowly, and even with our fluent English.
It takes an hour and a half, and the bots
are still the same.
The end time of shore leave is inexorably nearing its end.
My companions are nervous.
Boats at the pier I have been waiting for a long time, but we
still have a lot to walk through the tangled, busy streets.
What a shame , I reassure myself that
there may be nothing in this newspaper.
A few months later, on returning home, I wrote a letter about my search and
adventures in Moscow to the magazine "Around the World", hoping for the help of its many
Time passed, and in magazine No. 11 for 1975 I read it -
lieutenant Astafev V.P.
headed for a chartered English vessel on the Pacific squadron at
the place of service, but on the way he fell ill with a tropical
fever and was cast ashore in Singapore.
After two months spent in the hospital ,
Astafiev died and was buried there.
.... In the issue of the Singapore
newspaper "Straits Times" dated October 24, 1890
The year in the section of the chronicle among the reports on the
movement of postal vessels from Singapore to Europe, the conditions
of placement of advertising, etc.
There is a message about the funeral of
They buried a Russian sailor with all the sea honors.
The coffin was draped in the colors of the Russian flag.
The ceremony was attended by the consul, the crew of the English
cruiser Porpoiz, the officers and the orchestra of the 58th English
Infantry Regiment and other officers of the army and navy.
The archives of the Consul General in Singapore A.M.
Vyvodtseva, in one of them he describes in detail how the
monument looks like - a cross made of Carrara
marble, and on his own initiative a
subscription was opened in the fleet for the construction of a
monument to the Russian sailor.
The oceanographer Yuli Mikhailovich
Shokalsky, whose name bears our
scientific research vessel, wrote: “Russians should know and
remember what the glorious past generations have done, take pride in this”...
In the subsequent call at the port of Singapore of the vessel
"Y.M. Shokalsky" crew members
laid flowers at the foot of the monument to V. Astafyev next to
compatriots, also visited here.
Cape on the southern coast of the
Gribovaya Bay on the western coast of the southern island of Novaya
Named in 1889,
officers of the schooner "Bakan".