National Hero Gen. Sebouh Reinterred at Yerablur

A ceremony marked the transfer of General Sebouh's ashes to the Yerablur military cemetery in Armenia. (Photo: Photolur)


YEREVAN—The remains of General Sebouh, a prominent leader of the Armenian liberation movement in the late 19th to early 20th centuries, were ceremonially buried in Yerevan’s military cemetery at Yerablur on Thursday.

General Sepuh (Arshak Nersesian) (1987-1940) was a renowned commander and leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) and fought against the Turkish Republic in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide. As the leader of the ARF and the head of the Dashnaktsakan formation, he took part in the decisive battle of Sardarabad and later went on to help the Armenians besieged in Baku. In 1919, General Sebouh was elected to the Parliament in the short-lived First Republic of Armenia (1918-20).

General Sebouh was also known for driving the Bolsheviks out of Armenia (May, 1920), albeit temporarily, and crushing the Alexandropol Soviet. Sebouh left Armenia when the Bolsheviks eventually took the country. He later emigrated to the United States. General Sebouh’s last wish was to be cremated and buried in Armenia whenever that would become possible.

Attending the ceremony at the Pantheon in Yerevan was also Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian. Sebouh’s ashes were repatriated due to the efforts of the Ministry as well as members of the Nersesian family. The burial took place as part of events dedicated to the approaching centennial of the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

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3 Comments

  1. Perouz said:

    My father, Misak Seferian, fought under Sebouh’s command in many battles and documented them daily in his diaries. He was with Sebouh in the desperate defense of Erzerum. Sebouh, Mourad of Sepastia, and my father were the last to leave the besieged city. Following are a few short segments of documentation taken from different battles, none are complete; there is a great deal of narrative about each of these battles, but the following will give you an idea of Sebouh’s commitment to the Cause.

    This very short segment is taken from the last day in the defense of Erzerum. Sentences and paragraphs are incomplete.

    Advancing through the grave-like city, we reached the streets of Dash Mughaza and Nazig Charshoun. We turned right at the Armenian Church and went toward Golbashin Street. Here we saw many Armenians running toward the Kars gate, carrying what they could.
    I ran to my father’s lodging. My father and his brother, Setrag, were waiting for me in front of the door. “People have started escaping from the city,” said Setrag. “Antranig and his staff left last night. Torkom has already left.”
    “Has Mourad left yet?” I asked.
    “Mourad and Sebouh are waiting in front of Chashga Chay with their cavalry. They won’t leave until the remaining Armenian population has fled from the city,” replied Setrag.
    I ran to Chashga Chay where Mourad was waiting with about fifty horsemen. When Hovnan saw me, he rode his horse to my side and said, “There are no Armenians left in the city. We are also leaving. Running, I went to the Kars gate. There was no one in the streets. I reached the gate at the same time as Mourad and Sebouh did. Their cavalry held position on both sides of the gate.

    Here are other short, incomplete segments of other battles.

    By October 5, 1920, we had control over three-fourths of the province of Ardahan. From our elevated positions, we could now see the forested mountains of Ardvin and Artanugh. Our leaders would not allow us to go beyond this point, as the Turks had already gone a considerable distance in the direction of Olti and Sarikamish. Sebouh’s Eighth Regiment, which had remained fifty miles away from us, was fighting on the front of Demir Kapu.

    Our forces at Ardahan and Demir Kapu did not number more than 2500. Of these, there were five hundred cavalry headed by Colonels Ghorzanian, Pilos of Khnus, and Mourad of Tsronk. The remaining two thousand foot soldiers formed Sebouh’s Seventh and Eighth Regiments, headed by Colonels Iskahanian, Baghdasarian, Roupen Toytoyian, and Yeghishé Zakarian.

    Yeghishé Zakarian’s 250 bayonets were holding both sides of the valley’s pass. In order to reach that pass, the enemy would have to go in front of the hills where Sebouh’s Seventh and Eighth Regiments, armed with ten Maxim machine guns, were hiding. They were very close when Sebouh gave the order to fire. Machine guns screamed like storks. Two thousand rifles roared. The Turks lost their heads, and not knowing what side to escape from, began falling like autumn leaves. They left seventy-five to one hundred dead and sought refuge in the same valley. We suffered the loss of three cavalry in that day’s battle with the Turks of Aghbaba.

    Heated battles in Shaynalar and Aghughum followed the shelling on the positions Sebouh’s men were protecting. The battle raged along the entire length of the front, but the greatest force of the enemy’s assault was to the heart of Ghuzulchakh, where the armored Death or Freedom train stood. Sebouh’s Eighth Regiment and the Fourth Regiment under Colonel Mirimanian were there.

    There are many, many more references to Sebouh in my father’s diaries. Watch for my soon to be released book; Resistance: a diary of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1922. If quoting any of the above, please remember they are taken out of context, and please cite correctly, or contact me through Asbaraz.

  2. Diane Piranian said:

    As one of the grandchildren of General Sebouh, I found your letter to Asbarez most interesting and look forward to reading your father’s diary when it is released. There were many, many unsung heroes….
    all committed to the cause. Many sacrifices. God Bless them all ~~~

  3. Susan Nersesian Luterzo said:

    Like my cousin, Diane Piranian, I look forward to reading your book with references to my grandfather, General Sebouh. Thank you for sharing your wonderful stories with all of us

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