Arthur Ransome Wiki

The Shelepina family was from Gatchina, an imperial town about 25 miles south-west of Petrograd, Russia where Evegina was born. The Shelepina family of Pyotr Ivanovich and his third wife Maria Alexeevna had six children, daughters Evgenia (the eldest), Iroida, and Serafina; and sons Viktor, Roman and Gleb; plus a half-sister Elena (TLE p186).

Both Evegina grandparents were peasants, and her father Pyotr Ivanovich rose from a serf to the minor nobility. He was trained as a scribe at the City Hospital in Citebsk, served in the army and in the St Petersburg Police Department. By 1885 he was assistant manager at the Imperial Hospital in Gatchina, and was "Office Clerk of the First Class" which was the lowest tier of the bureaucratic ranks. He died in 1912, leaving Maria Alexeevna with a small state pension (TLE p186).

Evegina and her sister Iroida (or Iraida, Irka) were friends with Mara the daughter of the local chief of police who was secretary of the Gatchina branch of the Bolshevik party, and via Karl Radek’s wife Rosa whi knew Trotsky the family were able to get work in the Bolshevik party or administration; their mother Maria Alexeevna as a "linen keeper" in the Lux Hotel in Moscow, Iroida as a secretary, Roman as a courier and Serefina as a journalist with the Press Bureau. One brother, Roman fought with the Bolsheviks. Only Victor joined the Whites and fought in Siberia for some months in 1920; he was exiled to Siberia but became an engineer. (TLE pp180-1,187, LAR p198).

Irioda went to Tashkent and Afghanistan as a diplomatic representative. They adjusted to the ascendance of Stalin and Trotsky's exile. Irioda became deputy director of the Moscow Region Forced Labour Camp (Gulag)(TLE pp301,341).

Evegina later visited her sisters Iroida and Serefina in Moscow twice (one visit was in 1972); and found she had forgotten most of her Russian. Iroida also visited England. Their brother Gleb had been killed during the siege of Leningrad.(TLE pp161-4, LAR p434).