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Page Corps: Wikis

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19th-Century Hereditary Commander's Badge, Russian Grand Priory

Page Corps (Russian: Пажеский корпус) (French: Corps des Pages) was a privileged military establishment in Imperial Russia, which prepared aristocratic children for military service. (The Imperial School of Jurisprudence prepared boys for civil service). After the Russian Revolution the Page Corps was replaced with the Suvorov Military School.

The Page Corps was founded in 1697 in St.Petersburg as a school for teaching and training pages and chamber pages. In light of the need for properly trained officers for the Guard units, the Page Corps was reorganized in 1802 into an educational establishment similar to cadet schools, which would accept the sons of the hereditary nobility of Russia, and the sons of at least Lieutenant Generals/Vice Admirals or grandsons of full Generals/Admirals. [1]

In 1802, the curriculum of the Corps des Pages was also changed, thereafter based on the ideals of the Order of St John. In 1810, the school was moved to the palace of the Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem, also known as Vorontsov Palace. It continued at this location in St. Petersburg for over one hundred years (until the revolution). [1]

From 1810 until 1917, the Page Corps was located in the Vorontsov Palace. It was designed by Rastrelli circa 1749.

During the period of reforms of military schools in the 1860s, the Page Corps was turned into a seven-grade establishment, first five grades being similar to military gymnasiums, and the other two being modelled after military colleges. Beginning in 1885, the Page Corps had seven general classes, where students were learning the same sciences offered by cadet schools, and two special classes, where they taught them military science and jurisprudence.

The Graduates from the Corps des Pages had the unique privilege of joining any regiment of their own choice regardless of the existing vacancies (however, as a matter of etiquette, the consent of the unit's commander was sought long beforehand). They wore, on the left side of their tunic, the badge of the Corps des Pages, modeled after the cross of the Order of St John. [1] They received the rank of podporuchik (cornet in cavalry). Those who weren’t fit for military service would receive civil ranks of the 10th, 12th, and 14th classes.

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