North American Tiddlywinks Association

NATwA founded • 27 February 1966

Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia (1897–1918) was the second daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the last Russian tsar. Grand Duchess Olga (1895–1918) was her older sister. They were both murdered by Communist revolutionaries.

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Autumn 1916 • Grand Duchess Tatiana playing tiddlywinks with men in Tsarskoye Selo, a royal palace turned into a Russian hospital.
Source: (no longer online)

From the 1916 diary of Tatiana Romanov:

Saturday, 22 October. [...] In between sat with Volodya in the hallway. Later played bloshki [tiddlywinks] with Volodya, Petrov and Lieutenant Girs. Later the lieutenant had gone and was replaced by – Prince Eristov.

Again in Olga’s diary (in a plain black notebook; she wanted to be like her father even in this): “We had tea.… We played tiddlywinks.” And so on. But one thing is surprising: it is always “we” in the diaries. They were together so much that they even thought of themselves collectively.

[ Entrée du 17 décembre 1916 ] [...] Nous avons joué au bloshki avec Kasyanov contre Tatiana et les Ulan. [...] [ Entrée du 19 décembre 1916 ] Comme d'habitude, nous nous sommes rendues à Znamenia et à l'hôpital. [...] Il était très, très charmant ! Ensuite, j'ai distribué des médicaments et j'ai de nouveau joué. Après midi, après avoir fait des bandages, j'ai commencé à jouer au bloshki - comme d'habitude - et nous avons gagné avec Kasyanov. [ Entrée du 20 décembre 1916 ] Nous sommes allées à Znamenia et à l'hôpital. [...] Ensuite, bloshki avec Meyer contre Tatiana et Kasyanov. [...]

When war broke out the Romanovs devoted all of their time to organizing assistance for the army and the general population. One of the royal family’s summer residences at Tsarskoye Selo was turned into a hospital. The Grand Duchesses, 19-year-old Olga, and 17-year-old Tatiana, spent months there working as Red Cross nurses.