It cost nearly a thousand lives to restore order, but the lawless elements, top and bottom, were taught a lesson they are not likely to forget. This happened in the middle of the Perm offensive. It did nothing to assist the Bolshevik cause, but it did much to embitter the struggle.
A BOMBSHELL FROM PARIS AND THE EFFECT
The foregoing incidents gave place to more personal matters. About December 28 the Staff of the Canadian contingent under Lieutenant-Colonel Morrisy arrived, and, as one might expect, revolutionary plans in connection with the distribution of my battalion, and other matters, were instantly proposed. Some of them were actually carried out, with the result that a strained feeling became manifest in the British camp at Omsk, which caused me to propose to Brigadier-General Elmsley that my headquarters should be transferred to Vladivostok. Luckily the arrival of the 1/9th Hampshire Territorial Battalion on January 5, 1919, under the Command of Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson, led to an improved condition of things all round us. This officer gripped the situation at once, and took such steps, in conjunction with the High Commissioner, Sir Charles Eliot, that I was prevailed upon to withdraw my request for the removal of my headquarters. Colonel Johnson was a great accession of strength to those who held the purely English point of view, and his battalion, recruited as it was from my home county, helped to make all our relations wonderfully cordial. General Elmsley replied later refusing my request, so that everything fitted in just right.
On January 8 a parade was called to present General Stephanik with the Legion of Honour and Major-General Knox, the Chief of the British Military Mission, and myself with the Croix de Guerre. It was a real Siberian day, “62 below,” and in five minutes ten men had frost-bitten ears. General Ganin, the French Commander-in-Chief of the Allied forces, made the presentations on behalf of the French Republic, uttering a few words to each recipient. I received the hearty congratulations of all our friends, which kept me warm the whole day. I thanked Colonel Pichon, who took over from me the command of the Ussurie front, and with whom I acted for some time, for this great honour. I felt sure that my decoration was the result of his reports upon myself while acting together under very awkward circumstances.