Tsar NikolasII visited the front during the the World War I, accompanied by the Tsarevitch, his son Aleksey. It was considered that Aleksey’s presence would have a favourable effect on the moral of the troops, and that he would gain an insight into military matters which would have a definite educative value in his training as the future Tsar.

Pierre Gilliard, a gentle and affectionate Swiss. not lacking in shrewd observation, tutor to the Tsarevitch, and loyally devoted to the Imperial Family. In 1917 he bravely accompanied the family to Tobolsk, and was separated from them at Ekaterinburg by the Bolsheviks. His book is one of the best which has been written on the last days of the Romanovs, and contains photographs of extraordinary interest. His kindly nature made him a general favourite.

In his way to Rovno, the Tsar Nikolas II crossed Stavka, Moguilev, he also visited Berdichev. Every day he sent a message (letter or telegram) by courier to the Tsaritsa, his wife Alexandra.

Telegram. Berditchev. 12 October, 1915.We are going for several hours to Rovno with General Ivanov. We wish you a happy journey with all our heart.We embrace you closely.NICKY. ALEXEY.

NOTES: This was the first visit of the Tsarevitch to the front. General Ivanov joined the train at Berdichev, and General Broussilov joined the party at Rovno. After inspecting the troops, the Tsar and his son paid a surprise visit to a dressing-station after nightfall. It was a little building, faintly lit by torches. The wounded men could hardly believe that the Tsar was among them, and one of them raised his hand and touched his coat as he passed, to assure himself that it was no dream. Alexey was “profoundly moved” (Gilliard, p. 126).