NORS in China, 1922-1947

After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing Civil War, many Russians left the land of their birth and emigrated abroad. Some moved to Europe, but a great many left Russia through Vladivostok to the east into Manchuria and south into China where groups of Russian Scouts were established in the White Russian communities of Harbin, Tientsin and Shanghai among others. Here they carried on the traditions of Russian Scouting and under the overall leadership of their founder, Colonel Oleg I. Pantuhoff, were recognized as Scouts in Exile by the World Organization of the Scout Movement from 1928 to 1945.

The pictures on this page are from the collection of the Chief Scout of NORS Australia. They mark part of the long journey of these Russian Scouts to freedom.

Russian Scouting in Tientsin, China

An artist’s rendering of the Standard of the National Organization of Russian Scouts, Tientsin Troop, Tientsin, China, 1938


Three brothers, Russian Scouts pose for a photograph with a White Russian officer. All three were also British Scouts and earned the highest rank in British Scouting, King’s Scout. One of the Scouts went on to be the Chief Scout of NORS Australia. One brother survives and lives in Sydney, Australia. Tientsin, China, around 1922.

Tientsin Troop, National Organization of Russian Scouts, 1938

Russian Scouting in Shanghai

The Shanghai (China) Group of the National Organization of Russian Scouts on Saint George’s Day Celebrations on May 11, 1941. Sitting near the front is the Archbishop of Shanghai (and later San Francisco), Archbishop John. He was canonised by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1994.
1st Shanghai Troop, National Organization of Russian Scouts
2nd Shanghai Troop, patrols displaying the shield won at the
International Jamboree, 1929.

Home Page of the National Organization of Russian Scouts. Includes Links to Russian Scouting.
NORS History and Traditions. The journey of NORS as related by the Chief Scout of NORS, Australia. Emblems of NORS. St. George and Russian Scouting.
NORS in Russia, 1909-1922. Some rare pictures of Scouting in Russia before the Revolution, including pictures of the First Chief Russian Scout, Colonel Oleg Pantuhoff.
NORS in the Philippines and France, 1949-1950. With the Communist takeover in China, most Westerners left the country. Many Russians were evacuated to the Philippines and brought Scouting with them. Also, Russian Scouting continued in France, America and other countries with large Russian emigré populations.
NORS in Australia, 1949-1996. A large number of Russians moved to Australia from the Philippines and China. NORS continues active in the Russian community in Australia to the present day.
NORS Australia. Summer Camp, 2001. Photographs from the most recent Camp.

If you are interested in the work of the National Organization of Russian Scouts,
please write to:
Nikita Gileff,Chief Scout of NORS, Australia at:

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Lewis P. Orans

Copyright © Lewis P. Orans, 1996
Last Modified: 10:27 PM on 11-25-96