Zhokhov Alexey Nikolaevich 

Lieutenant, member of the Arctic Ocean hydrographic expedition. 
Born in St. Petersburg in a family that belonged to a poor old noble family, whose roots go back to the time of the Kulikovo battle. His great-grandfather was the famous admiral of the Far East researcher GI. Nevelskoy, Uncle Admiral Zhokhov. 
After graduating from the gymnasium and the Naval Cadet Corps in St. Petersburg, Zhokhov served on various warships for several years, but his soul did not lie in the military commander service. He was more attracted to research. Therefore, in 1912, Zhokhov gladly accepted an appointment for the icebreaker Taimyr, which was part of the
Arctic Ocean Hydrographic Expedition, for the vacant hydrograph post that appeared after he went on vacation to Lieutenant G.L. Brusilov. 
In 1912, the expedition conducted a sea inventory of the coast of Siberia from Kolyma to Lena, as well as the Bear Islands and parts of the Novosibirsk Islands. Zhokhov was engaged in the compilation of nautical charts and the collection of materials on the nature of the Arctic seas under a broad integrated program. Moreover, being a passionate hunter, he did not miss an opportunity to get fresh meat for the team. 
In late October, the polar explorers returned to Vladivostok, the results of the voyage of 1912 were considered successful, but the calm was not successful. The cold winter of 1912 - 1913 threatened to disrupt navigation, therefore, "Taimyr" and "Vaigach" were used for icebreaking work in Vladivostok. Most of the commanding staff was released on leave, and the entire burden fell on the remaining officers, among whom was Zhokhov. 
After the elimination of serious damage resulting from winter ice work, in July 1913, the expedition began its fourth trip to the Arctic. The commander of "Taimyr" became B.A. Vilkitsky. 
As you know, the voyage of 1913 was marked by several geographical discoveries. And the first of them is directly related to Zhokhov. On August 20, he was the first to see the island, later named Vilkitsky Island in honor of the just-dead Chief of the Hydrographic Directorate. 
Zhokhov was not limited to his direct duties as a hydrograph, taking part in various types of research. For example, together with Vilkitsky, he conducted magnetic observations on Transfiguration Island. The islands of Small Taimyr and Starokadomsky, Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, were discovered on this voyage. On September 4, Zhokhov was among those who first entered the newly discovered archipelago, and took part in raising the Russian national flag on it. 
After mapping the 180 miles of the eastern shore of the archipelago, the expedition turned back. On the way back, Zhokhov, together with L.M. Starokadomsky and a group of sailors found E.V. Toll 'scollections on the island of Bennett, and delivered them to the "Taimyr". 
In the winter of 1913 - 1914 Zhokhov undertook an internship at the Aerological Observatory in Pavlovsk to study the methodology of upper-air studies, which were supposed to be widely deployed in the next voyage. 
In the voyage of 1914, he went to the post of senior officer on the "Taimyr". Assessing the business qualities of Zhokhov, the expedition leader made him his closest assistant. However, he was destined to remain in this position for a short time. The fault of the watch service, which allowed the twisting of the anchor ropes, delayed the “Taimyr” exit from Nome in Alaska for a day. Responsibility for this fell on Zhokhov, in charge of which was the whole deck crew. Such an incident in the fleet, and even in the conditions of the outbreak of war, was a very serious offense. After him, Zhokhov’s relations with the commander deteriorated and, apparently, so much so that their joint work became impossible. Vilkitsky decided to replace the senior officer with a calmer person, and Zhokhov was transferred to "Vaigach". 
On August 27, Zhokhov, being the watch officer on the Vaigach, noticed one more previously unknown small island north of Vilkitsky Island in the De Long Islands. The ship managed to get through the ice to it, and the party that had come ashore, which was Zhokhov, hoisted the Russian national flag on it. The island was named after the commander of "Vaigach" P.A. Novopashenniy plowed. 
In September 1914, the sailors of the "Vaigach" mapped the southern coast of Severnaya Zemlya, and then, through heavy ice, made their way to Taimyr near the Oscar peninsula. Under the leadership of Zhokhov, the sailors carried out an eye survey of 20 km of the coast and managed to return to the ship. Soon the southerly winds carried the "Vaigach" away from the coast. 
At the end of September, the ships embarked on a forced wintering at a distance of 30 km from each other. This was the test for which sailors had been preparing since 1910. Everything was done on both vessels so that the wintering was successful. It was found the same power for the sailors, and for the commanding staff. Was eliminated one of the main adverse factors that killed many of the expedition - idleness. Conducted active scientific observations, preparing for the next navigation. In addition, Vilkitsky ordered to organize for the sailors special courses on the study of mathematics, geography, history, foreign languages ​​and many other subjects. Daily walks in the fresh air were obligatory, sports competitions were organized, football was especially popular. Wireless communication through the ship of O. Sverdrup “Eclipse”, wintering 275 km to the west, maintained regular communication with Petrograd, it was possible to exchange telegrams with relatives. The condition of the winterers was good, except for Zhokhov alone. Wintering acted on him oppressively. The role played a number of factors. Here, the features of his unbalanced nature, the incident with the transfer from "Taimyr", the joyful news from home also affected. Zhokhov loved his cousin, the daughter of Admiral Zhokhov Nina. Both those parents and others treated this negatively. For a while, he invigorated, but gradually the blues took their toll. He did not have the spiritual hardness to overcome it. Signs of depression showed up in October, at the very beginning of wintering. 
It was then that he wrote a very beautiful, tragically sad, in fact, visionary, farewell poem to his bride.

Under a block of ice cold Taimyr, 
Where the barking gloomy scared fox 
Only one speaks of the dull life of the world, 
Will find peace tortured singer. 

Do not throw gold beam of morning Aurora 
On lyre sensitive forgotten singer - 
The grave is deep as the abyss of the Tuscarora, 
As a lovely woman's favorite eyes. 

When he could pray to them again, 
Looking at them even from afar 
Death itself would not be so severe 
And the grave would not have seemed deep.

According to the testimony of E.E. Arngold, Dr. "Vaigach":  “Zhokhov was generally distinguished by many oddities”, but he showed obvious signs of nervous disorder after the transition from “Taimyr”. He began to communicate less with his comrades, he was sick of food at the ship, from the first days of January he almost stopped eating, spent almost all his days in the cabin, and since the end of January he came down completely and refused to be treated. According to the testimony of a member of the expedition V.G. Mizin Zhokhov refused medical care because of a bad relationship with Arngold. On February 27, a message was received at Taimyr: “Lieutenant Zhokhov is seriously ill. Heart weakness, acute nephritis, swelling of both lungs ...".  For consultations, the doctor "Taimyr" L.M. Starokadomsky, but the help was not needed. On February 28, a telegram arrived: "At 11 o'clock in the morning, Lieutenant Zhokhov died from uremia".


Funeral A.N. Zhokhov 

(from the archive of N.I. Evgenov)

Burial of Zhokhov


On March 9, in the presence of all members of the expedition free from watches, Zhokhov was buried on a high steep cape of the Dik Bay on the northern coast of Taimyr. A wooden cross of a fin was placed on the grave, on which they fixed the icon of Christ and the copper plate, with the poem Zhokhov carved on it, enclosed it with anchor chains hanging on four metal pillars and decorated with artificial flowers made of thin copper sheet. 
Nina Zhokhova remained faithful to his memory and never married. 
A month later, near the lieutenant’s grave, the grave of the stoker “Vaigach” - Ivan Yefimovich Ladonichev, who died of peritonitis at the age of 26, appeared. 
On the anniversary of the death of Zhokhov in the Cathedral of St. Spyridonia in the Main Admiralty, a mass was served and a memorial service for the deceased. 
Years passed, the sea washed away the coastal slope and the graves were on the edge of death, the distance from them to the edge of the cliff was only nine meters. 
In the year of the 300th anniversary of the Russian fleet, the Association of Polar Captains initiated the organization of an expedition to transfer the graves of Zhokhov and Ladonichev to the depths of the peninsula. 
The expedition headed by Dmitry Badyukov, Candidate of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences, included employees of the Institute of Cultural and Natural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Russian Academy of Sciences, marine hydrographs of the 30th Northern Hydrographic Expedition of the Northern Fleet. Zhokhov’s nephew Alexei Dmitrievich Zhokhov, an employee of the State Oceanographic Institute, formerly a graduate of the hydrographic faculty of the Leningrad Higher Marine Engineering College named after Admiral S.O. Makarov. The expedition member Alexander Pershin tells about this historical event for all polar explorers. 
“To accomplish the rite of reburial, consecration of the cemetery and gravestones according to the canons of the Russian Orthodox Church with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II, the Synodal Department of the Patriarchate for cooperation with the Armed Forces sent the Bezhetsk District Dean of the Bezhetsk District of the Diocese of Priest Alexander Svittsev to unlock the server in order to change the order. once sailing on ships under the escort of the first atomic icebreaker "Lenin" in the Arctic seas. Father Alexander took with him on the expedition wooden gravestone crosses, made by the parishioners of the Church of the Savior, not made by hands (Bezhetsk), of which he is the abbot". 
On August 13, 1996, an expedition consisting of 12 people went to sea on the atomic icebreaker "Taimyr". The path of the icebreaker lay to the west coast of Taimyr in the  Toll Bay. 
All four days of sailing to the landing site at Cape Mogilny were spent in training camps. Packed products, of which it was taken for two months, taking into account the emergency reserve. Fitted with warm clothes, checked fur sleeping bags and entrenching tools. Not forgotten were the boards, gasoline and solar. Aircraft technicians prepared to fly the deck helicopter Mi-2. 
On the evening of August 17, an icebreaker entered the ice-filled Toll Bay, five miles to the east in the rays of the never-setting low sun, the chenille blue steep shores of Cape Mogilny ...


Cape Grave

A few minutes later a helicopter driven by class 1 pilot Oleg Varnavsky was already in the air. The first flight was an exploration - a place was chosen for the installation of the camp (proximity of the graves, water, landing safety). The hilly tundra in the area of ​​the cape was covered with fresh snow, which covered the recently blossoming polar poppies with a lush carpet. 
In the next three hours later, the helicopter made 12 more flights, carrying 4.5 tons of cargo and all the participants of the expedition. Day spent on the deployment of the camp, the installation of tents and radio antennas, harvesting fin and recreation. 
On August 19, the detachment set to work: the graves and crosses were measured, an astronomical center was found, a fallen pole with a sign of the Taimyr hydrographic expedition of 1932, conducted on the same icebreaker - Taimyr (the Taimyr hydrographic expedition of 1932 was headed by co-sailor A. Zhokhov on the "Taimyr" in 1912-1915 Alexey Lavrov). 
800 meters to the south of the graves a place was chosen for a new burial, which was located at the very end of the cape and was very flat. The processes of destruction here have long been completed and, on the contrary, there was a process of accumulation of material transported from the north from the destroyed coast of the cape. This was confirmed by the Ladonichev sand spit, which went from the edge of the cape into the bay by a wide crescent strip. 
After the solemn liturgy conducted by Father Alexander on the graves, the detachment proceeded to excavate them. The layer of thawing earth was only 25 cm, and then there was permafrost. Frozen clay mixed with ice lenses did not respond well to penetration. In just a few hours it was only about a meter deep. Already late in the evening, when the low, dull sun had sunk to the horizon, the ax, welded to the scrap, struck the coffin of the stoker I.Ye. Ladonicheva. At this work decided to stop until the next morning. 
On August 20, in the morning, or rather in the afternoon, the work plan was changed. After a short “gauging” at the excavation site, they decided to simultaneously dig up one old grave and dig a new one, since the day before both of the excavated graves were filled with a dirty, thawed mass of water and clay. 
After covering the future burial site, the detachment was divided into two groups. Five people dug up the coffin of the stoker, while the other five began to dig a new grave under the mournful cries of gulls that frantically hovering over the edge of the cape and the scythe. Father Alexander and A.D. Zhokhov was on duty in the camp, keeping in touch with the groups with the help of a radio station. 
After thirteen hours of hard work, the work at the new place was finished. The grave was literally knocked out with broken pieces in the frozen clay. Having dug it up, the group under the direction of the deputy head of the expedition, Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences Alexei Radovich Kotelnikov, rushed to the aid of his comrades who worked on the fireman’s grave. 
Already late at night, with the help of two huge vagas, three wedges and ten human forces, the coffin of I.E. Ladonicheva was cut off from the frozen ground and pulled out of the grave. 
The next day, the sleigh was made of iron sheet, which was prudently brought from the icebreaker. The main “foreman” of the expedition, Captain 2nd Rank Vladimir Ivanovich Mamin, who had 28 field seasons in the Arctic, tied a “harness” for ten people from a kapron file. After the solemn prayer, the members of the expedition, putting the coffin on the improvised sleigh, “harnessed” to them. 
Exactly one hour lasted the transition to a new burial site. The day was sunny and even seemed to be hot, although the thermometer showed only 11 ° C. During this time, two hills and a large depression between them were overcome. In the fast-running stream, the coffin was washed off, so the brass cross made by the sailors of the Vaigach from a thin copper plate played brightly in the sun. 
At the new grave, the coffin lid, deformed during excavations, was removed. Ivan Efimovich Ladonichev lay in a coffin filled with ice, as if in a crystal sarcophagus ... Through the clear ice he looked through the shroud with which he was covered. After the burial service of the deceased (in 1915 there was no priest aboard the Vaigach and Taimyr), the coffin was lowered into the grave and a few minutes later an eight-pointed Orthodox cross was placed above it. 
The gun salute commemorated the Russian sailor Ivan Yefimovich Ladonichev, who found his last peace 81 years ago. 
Over the next two days, the reburial procedure was repeated. One group dug a new grave, the other worked on the old one. And also late at night the coffin with the body of Lieutenant A.N. Zhokhova was taken out of the grave. The guys who worked on the old grave had to work much more, since the grave was almost filled to the brim with a liquid dirty mass from the melted excavated soil on August 19th. Dirt scooped buckets and a large bowl. Crooked in crampedness, the permafrost under the bottom of the coffin was cut off with axes. A heavy larch cross, even when it was installed in 1915, crushed the oak coffin and, taken out of the grave, the coffin was flattened, but the copper cross was not touched. 
On August 23, after the prayer, members of the expedition, having harnessed themselves in a sleigh, transported the coffin with the body of AN. Zhokhov, repeating the same path as two days ago. The funeral procession was reminiscent of barge haulers, dragging barge along the Volga in ancient times. 
Surely, little Alexey at the end of the 19th century saw in his native Kostroma real barge haulers walking along the shores of the great Russian river with a song. 
This time there were no songs, but there was a prayer. At the head of the funeral procession was Father Alexander, with a censer in his hands and a prayer on his lips. At the site of the new burial, it was decided to repair the coffin lid. To this end, it was taken down with great caution and trembling, opening the coffin ... 
Thirty-year-old lieutenant of the Russian Imperial Fleet, Alexey Nikolaevich Zhokhov, was lying in his coffin in a parade uniform embroidered with gold with his arms crossed over his chest. On the left cuff of a white shirt, a mother-of-pearl cufflink in silver glittered brightly in the rays of the midday sun. Four days after the opening of the grave, the ice inside the coffin melted and A.N. Zhokhov, the way his friends and officers of the Vaigach and Taimyr spent his last journey. 
Covering the dead man with a large St. Andrew’s flag, Father Alexander served a memorial service for Alexei, after which the coffin was lowered into the grave to the sounds of a rifle and rifle salute. After a quarter of an hour, the second pine cross stood next to the cross on the grave of I.E. Ladonichev. 
Here, near the graves in a small lowland near the fire, members of the expedition commemorated the Russian pioneering sailors. 
The next two days were stormy with hurricane winds, reaching 30 m / s. The detachment was engaged in strengthening the tents, collecting the fin, and most importantly fighting the cold, continuously sinking stoves in the tents. But the heat kept weak, because through the cracks it was quickly blown out. On the second day in the evening the wind subsided ... 
August 26–27 was spent on beautification of graves. Tombstones filled with soil were made of thick planks delivered by helicopter. They were laid turf with moss and delicate polar flowers (forget-me-nots, poppies). Chains of the fence were transferred from old graves and re-installed on new metal racks. Two small Admiralty anchors donated by the Taimyr sailors decorated the graves. V.I. Mamin bumped into the crosses new icons brought by Alexei Zhokhov, as well as signs from old crosses. At the head of the graves was installed a mast on the braces of the kapron halyard. At the base of it, a meter-long Gury was folded into which they inserted a bottle with a note stating that the graves had been transferred by those and then-and-such, and also indicated a request to keep them in order. 
After finishing accomplishment, Father Alexander conducted a service completing the reburial ritual. The expedition leader, Dmitry Badiukov, raised a St. Andrew's flag, which was left there, at a solemn salute. 
Alexey Dmitrievich Zhokhov was the last to leave the graves, there were tears in his eyes, the deed was done - the graves were transferred ... 
On the gravestone AN Zhokhova is the same as 81 years ago there was a brass plate with his dying poems ... ".


Zhokhov Island. 2014  year

(photo E. Bruy)

Island Zhokhov. Abandoned polar station. 2011 year

(photo by N. M. Stolbov)

Island Zhokhov. On the horizon "Mikhail Somov". 2012 year

(photo by N. M. Stolbov)

An island in the De Long Islands group. The Arctic Ocean Hydrographic Expedition opened on August 27, 1914 and named the island Novopashenny after the commander of the "Vaigach" icebreaker P.A. Novopashenny plowed. In January 1926, by a decree of the Central Election Commission of the USSR, the island was renamed in honor of Zhokhov, who was the first to see this island. 
Lake on the Taimyr near the shore of Dick Bay.


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