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Monica Frances Sharland (1885–1970)

Miss Monica Sharland, a Sydney girl who lived in Russia for several years before the recent revolutions broke out, has had thrilling experiences during the past year or two. Previous to the revolution and up to the time of its special crisis, she was living with the Imperial Royal family as the friend and companion of Princess Marina, the grown-up daughter of the Grand Duke Pietro Nicholas—a brother of the late Czar. With the handsome young princess and a modest entourage, Miss Sharland travelled all over Europe in the happy days prior to the debacle, and while in Petrograd shared the simple cultured life of the Russian Royal family. When trouble first loomed on the horizon the Grand Duke advised the Sydney girl to get out of Russia as speedily as she could, and she attempted to follow this counsel. Fortunately for her she got away to Tomsk just before the Princess and her parents were made prisoners of war by Germany. Miss Sharland remained for two years a prisoner in Tomsk, where the Red Guard had charge of hundreds of other refugees. They endured considerable hardships and braved many dangers and were practically without means of support. She earned a little money teaching English to the Russian refugees, but even with money it was impossible to buy clothes. The refugees were allowed out at certain hours to do their marketing, and if they ventured at any other time they were liable to be shot, and as the hours were often changed without informing the prisoners many were shot down before the eyes of their fellows. Through the intervention of Mr. J. B. Suttor, New South Wales High Commissioner for the East, who is a cousin of Miss Sharland, the American Consul at Vladivostock was able to secure a rescue party for the Australian girl and a number of Americans, and in October of this year, the former was safely landed in Japan under her cousin's protection. News of her safety was thankfully received by her mother, Mrs. Oberlin Harris, of Pymble, Sydney, who now learns that her daughter is returning to Vladivostock to act as interpreter for the Red Cross Society.

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Citation details

'Sharland, Monica Frances (1885–1970)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


4 May, 1885
New Norfolk, Tasmania, Australia


27 August, 1970 (aged 85)
Randwick, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.