Ivan Beshoff, the last survivor of the 1905 mutiny on the Russian battleship Potemkin, a harbinger of the Russian Revolution, died Sunday, his family said today. His birth certificate said he was 102 years old, but he contended he was 104.
Born near the Black Sea port of Odessa, Mr. Beshoff abandoned chemistry studies and joined the navy, serving in the engine room of the Potemkin.
The mutiny over poor food was the first mass expression of discontent in Czar Nicholas II’s military and later came to be seen as a prelude to the 1917 Russian Revolution.
The mutineers killed the captain and several officers. The entire Black Sea fleet was ordered to suppress the rebellion, but crews refused to fire on the battleship, and it sailed for 11 days before surrendering.
Mr. Beshoff had said he fled through Turkey to London, where he met Lenin. He settled in Ireland in 1913, saying he had tired of the sea.
Mr. Beshoff worked for a Soviet oil distribution company and was twice arrested as a Soviet spy, but became a beloved figure in the Irish community.
After World War II, he opened a fish and chips shop in Dublin. His sons opened branches elsewhere in the city.
Weirdly (to my mind) Beshoff’s don’t mention this on their website… although we do have this historical tidbit:
Grandfather Ivan Beshoff came to Ireland from Russia in 1913 and lived to 104 years. His father lived to 108 and his grandfather to 115 – enough said about the goodness of fish.