Astafev Vladimir Petrovich

(02.07.1860 - 23.10.1890)

Poruchik hull naval navigators.

Born in Nizhny Novgorod, from the burghers.

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 Corps. In 1890 he published in the journalNotes on Hydrography notes on the Gribovaya Bay station.

Buried in Singapore.

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 Astafyev. 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 onYu.M. Shokalsky, entering 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 him. There are beautiful mimosa and shady ficus, among the frozen obelisks beautiful white marble cross entwined with grapevine, the inscription on it in Russian letters reads - "Navy navigator corps lieutenant Vladimir Astafiev.".

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 by pupil. In April 1881 he was promoted to officer in the rank of ensign. In 1884 he graduated from the geographical department of the Nikolaev Maritime Academy. 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.
In 1887  is engaged in work requiring high accuracy, hydrographic shooting the port and harbor of Kronstadt. He was attracted by the work of the hydrograph.
In 1889   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 Zemlya. 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, 1890   “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 in particular. 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 the squadron. 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 lost.
The newspaper "Vladivostok" regularly published reports about the cruiser "Admiral Nakhimov" and his crew, especially about the newly arrived officers. 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. as dead".  
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. Astafyev? 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 Hila - 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   year.
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 possibilities, correspondents.
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 Vladimir Astafyev. 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 our flowers compatriots, also visited here.  

Cape on the southern coast of the Gribovaya Bay on the western coast of the southern island of Novaya Zemlya. Named in 1889, by the officers of the schooner "Bakan".


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