Photo circa 1880s, pictured wearing a St. George's Cross on his chest, and a St. Vladimir's Cross on his neck.
The general had at least two sons, one of which was our grandfather, Vasily Yakovich. As to be expected in that era, grandfather also joined the Russian Cavalry. A seventeen year old cadet in 1913, he received a commendation personally from Czar Nicholas II commemorating the 300th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty.
Grandfather rose to the rank of Captain of Engineers during World War I. He was awarded a St. George's Cross during the war for heroism in battle.
Grandfather eventually joined the officer corps of Baron Wrangel's White Army, based in the Crimea in southern Russia, part of the White Movement fighting the Bolsheviks.
(He's wearing his St. George's Cross on his chest)
During one of Baron Wrangel's campaigns, grandfather was wounded in battle and entered a White Army hospital. There he met a nurse that he came to fancy:
As they say, the rest is history. Grandfather married grandmother. They had a couple of kids: our aunt Vera, and our father, Vasily Vasilyevich.
When Baron Wrangel's White Army collapsed in 1920, Vasily and Maria, along with our newborn aunt Vera, fled from the Crimea to what was then still called Constantinople, using French Letters of Transit.