Hynms from the Lower Depths

About a hour after midnight on July 18, 95 years ago, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Elizabeth, 53, knelt down to pray at the edge of a remote mineshaft in the Ural Mountains. Her prayer reportedly included the same words (in Russian) she had placed on a monument in the Kremlin on the very spot where her husband, Grand Duke Serge of Russia had been killed by an assassin’s bomb in 1905: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”–spoken in English.

Hugo Mager writes in his biography of Elizabeth, Grand Duchess of Russia, that next, “The butt of a rifle struck the left side of her head. Four hands grasped her unconscious body and flung her, still breathing, into sixty feet of darkness.”