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Does anyone have any relatives who served with 1st Polish Armoured Division (Gen. Maczek)


snip 1 | 8    
19 Jul 2009  #61

my dad was born in a slave labour camp, kostroma in russia. I have decided to try and get things together methodically as there is no point in rushing back in time too quickly. My birth cert says st neots and so I looked for army camps and then I remembered that my mum had said `army hospital` and I found it at Diddington. I found one sheet of a newsletter that told about me winning a baby show 6 months later and codford was at the bottom. Then I found out about the accomodation at codford and it linked to a small photo of a hut with nappies blowing in the wind.

This is how I am working, just one step at a time. My siblings are finding a piece of paper here and there and today I got an e mail with a copy of an army reference and it shows my dads army number. A HUGE breakthrough. So now I can get some details from the army records office and later when I am sure of the unit, from the sikorski museum

I have googled non stop and found a map of the route the army took through europe when they liberated Breda and I have lots of printouts of things.

He left Poland in 1939 and went to Scotland and ended up back in the uk in 1947

The hardest gap for me is the time between 1916 and 1939. Slave labour was mentioned lots of times by my mother (Dutch from Breda) but dad didn`t talk about anything in his past. I have found where his parents are buried (Boby) and I found their names and I have a little picture of each of his siblings, including an older sister her husband and son. Her husband and son were shot by the kgb

The more I find out, the more I feel a hole in my heart for Poland. To know now that this hard working, brave and intelligent people were called aliens really hurts and so does the fact that the poles could not walk in the victory march, just to keep stalin appeased


OP Peter 3 | 243    
19 Jul 2009  #62

Snip,

I'm afraid that as you slowly uncover more information and material you will discover a roller coaster of emotions as you do so. Sadly most people who undertake the search you are now doing (as I did and am still doing) will uncover tragic and painful events in their past. Whilst my father was lucky enough to escape through Romania in 1939, 2 of his cousins were not. One died at Katyn and the other mere days before the war ended when his POW camp was evacuated. His brother was shot in 1941 by SS troops and another cousin died during the Russian advance in 1944. I'm still "digging" through the long list of family relations so I have no doubt there will be more sadness to find. Still I've also found living cousins so there is also an upside!

Keep digging, you may have some most pleasant and unexpected finds!
looking - | 1    
24 Jul 2009  #63

My father Stanislaw Bogacz served in the 1st Polish Armoured Division. After the war he was based in several parts of the UK - Crawford, Sherbourne & possibly Penley. Does anyone remember him and perhaps have photos. Unfortunately he passed away and like so many of us, I never asked too many questions. A couple of years after the war my mother Bronia was found with my two brothers and they came and settled here too. I know he was in Falaise, Caen during the war and was made a citizen of the town of St Nicholas.
snip 1 | 8    
25 Jul 2009  #64

I know for sure now. My dad was definitely in the 24th lancers. I saw my brother this week and he has kindly lent me a book that he had tucked away in his loft. Its a really precious book, numbered 1069, so there are at least 1068 copies about. It is about A4 size softback and yellowing. On the front is 24 PULK ULANOW (lines through the Ls and a comma over the O ) It looks as though the book was printed in 1945. The eagle and the red and white (or cream) emblems are near the front. 24 is inside 4 wheat wreaths and the other side has HONOR I OJCZYZNA inside a larger wheat wreath. I think it is the 24th lancers flag

I can`t get the Polish alphabet sorry.

There are lots of photos, starting with the cavalry, then tanks. There are several pages of vertical columns of writing in 3 languages, including English. Maps. Photos in Chippenham, Douglas, Arbroath, Galashiels, Kirkudbright. Several other places in europe, including chambois, Gand (Ghent) and there is a great picture of my dad on a tank

Writing on several areas, including normandy. 47 officers and 634 men, 52 sherman tanks, 11 stuart tanks, 6 anti aircraft tanks. Kanski, Rakowski, Drzewinski, Komornicki, Piwonski, Szumanski, Zboski, ziolkowski, Dzierzek. They were the officers

It gives the armoury losses and the enemy losses etc etc. There is a list of people etc at the back plus pictures of medals

I nearly didn`t write this but I am so excited at having it in my hands for a short while. I had to share some detail with you. I`ll look for your name if I can

Can someone please translate this: KRZYZ ZASLUGI Z MIECZAMI
caprice49 4 | 223    
7 Aug 2009  #65

Yes he did have two daughter and I think both of them attended the Polish Boarding School in Northampton

KRZYZ ZASLUGI Z MIECZAMI
Means A Cross of Merit with Swords. There are three catagories. Gold, Silver & Bronze. A Polish wartime medal given to soldiers serving in the Polish army as well as members of the Resistance. Primarily given for courage and fortitude
OP Peter 3 | 243    
7 Aug 2009  #66

What an amazing discovery Snip! I almost envy you.

I don't know if you are willing to consider this but there is a museum in Poland dedicated to the 24th Lancers, they may not have a copy of the book and may be interested in getting a copy. The Sikorski Institute may also ne interested.

I know for sure now. My dad was definitely in the 24th lancers. I saw my brother this week and he has kindly lent me a book that he had tucked away in his loft. Its a really precious book, numbered 1069, so there are at least 1068 copies about. It is about A4 size softback and yellowing. On the front is 24 PULK ULANOW (lines through the Ls and a comma over the O ) It looks as though the book was printed in 1945. The eagle and the red and white (or cream) emblems are near the front. 24 is inside 4 wheat wreaths and the other side has HONOR I OJCZYZNA inside a larger wheat wreath. I think it is the 24th lancers flag

snip 1 | 8    
7 Aug 2009  #67

Thank you very much caprice
GILLES - | 5    
10 Aug 2009  #68

The german tank is still actually in La Gleize, many parts of them were stolled, and the camouflage is also not good.

regards
Gilles

Hello from Belgium,
I have a few pictures from the monuments in Tielt about 24th lancers.
You can contact me if interrested.

Regards
Gilles

Hello from Belgium,
the german tank is still in la Gleize in belgium, with many parts stolled, and also bad camouflage.

regards
Gilles
caprice49 4 | 223    
11 Aug 2009  #69

The more I find out, the more I feel a hole in my heart for Poland. To know now that this hard working, brave and intelligent people were called aliens really hurts and so does the fact that the poles could not walk in the victory march, just to keep stalin appeased

I'm reading Rising 44 Battle for Warsaw by Norman Davies. It's shaken me, even though I was brought up on a lot of information it provides. I recommend reading it. It gives a very accurate account.
Zoe    
11 Aug 2009  #70

Hi - My Dad was also in the 24th lancers. He was a radio operator and also a sergent or corporal. His name was Jan Dabek and he married Adrienne Welton from Breda after the liberation. I am looking for more information and photos. He was born 1916 in Kostroma - How did his parents get there? Maybe you can help me. Thanks Zoe
caprice49 4 | 223    
12 Aug 2009  #71

My father-in-law served in the 1st Polish Armoured Division i know he spent time in Scotland
and fought in Holland

So did mine. Do you know whether he was in the first REgiment? If so he would have been stationed in Duns, Scotland - where a memorial was put up in memory all those who fought for the Division. For many years those who survived used to meet up in London - Either in the Polish Cultural Centre (POSK) or in Kensington around the corner from the Club "Polskie Ognisko" - Polish Hearth

SNIP
The reason Poles didn't participate in the victory parade, was because the Brits invited the Polish Government, but in the last minute they realised they hadn't been allies with that element (Lublin Committee) of Polish Government, so at the ninth hour those who had represented the Polish Government in Exile were hurriedly invited. It was felt however, that the parade for Poles would have meant a march for defeat and so no one took part.

It appears that my Gt, Gt, Grandfather was one of Napoleon Bonaparte's Generals and fought several battles against the Russians..

It can be only one of three. Do keep searching. If you need any help with the Polish just copy and paste - Just make sure you keep out family names.
Wroclaw 45 | 5,410    
12 Aug 2009  #72

Just make sure you keep out family names.

The accepted norm is to keep out names of the living.

Genealogy is pointless without names.

Besides, wiki has a list of Bonaparte's commanders in the Russian campaign.
snip 1 | 8    
13 Aug 2009  #73

Zoe

Who is Zoe? She is not one of my siblings and has no authorisation to be putting any details of my family in such a posting

If anyone is looking to get army records then the cost is now £30 and you need death certs of anyone above you in the kinship stakes ie father plus mother
mazzastaffordsh 2 | 68    
14 Aug 2009  #74

Have found this thread most interesting and informative. My father was in the 2nd corps of the Polish Army (I think it may have been a tank regiment as he spoke about tanks quite often). He was involved with the Italian Campaign at Monte Cassino. I just wondered if anyone else out their had family members in this campaign. My dad mentioned General Anders and also the British 8th army. Any information would be appreciated.
timeline    
14 Aug 2009  #75

atfer the war my father came to England he was in a camp i think in southern england
from there he came to South Wales and worked as a miner there were other Polish familys
and once a month a polish priest would come and say mass at the local church
OP Peter 3 | 243    
14 Aug 2009  #76

Have found this thread most interesting and informative. My father was in the 2nd corps of the Polish Army (I think it may have been a tank regiment as he spoke about tanks quite often). He was involved with the Italian Campaign at Monte Cassino. I just wondered if anyone else out their had family members in this campaign. My dad mentioned General Anders and also the British 8th army. Any information would be appreciated.

My cousin was a corporal in an artillery regiment in the 2 Corps. Sadly he died in 1990. If you search the web you'll find a lot o general info on the 2 Corp from their formation to participation in the Italian theatre.
mazzastaffordsh 2 | 68    
14 Aug 2009  #77

Thanks Peter will do.

Hi Timeline, many Poles worked in the mines in this country. Here in Staffordshire alone there are many mining communities that welcomed the hardworking Poles. They were a credit to the Polish country. It was not always easy for them to settle as sometimes the English people gave them a very hard time. In my father's case he settled into a lovely little village which he said reminded him of home. After his death in 2000 having never returned to his native village some of my family decided to visit our relatives and we have since been to see the village of his birth. He was quite right, it is very similar to the village that became his home in England. Anyone out there who had father's who left Poland because of the war and like my dad never returned if you have the chance to learn more about your heritage take the chance. We did and have no regrets, in fact it has helped us to learn more about ourselves and where we come from.
caprice49 4 | 223    
19 Aug 2009  #78

Photos from my collection:-
First attachment
From left to right
1st Armoured Division in prayer before battle somewhere in Europe
Scottish Polish Society Membership Card
The crew of this tank perished one hour before the end of the war.
Dijon
Memorial to those who served in 1st & 2nd Armoured Division erected in Dunsl
Souvenir card of 16th Brigade of 1st Armoured Division
Second & Third Attachment
Roll of Honour remembering those who were stationed in Duns of the 1st & 2nd Armoured Division and fell battlefields in France, Belgium, Holland & Germany

Fourth attachment.
Scotland - Sikorski present.
Can only load one at time, so the others will have to wait until someone else replies to this. will try to load on this one by editing.

Third one.
Fourth one
Here goes the fifth one. Sorry if it doesn't work.
I've attempted to the photo attachments individually hence the running commentary. I hope it's worked.

In 2008 in Bielsko Biała took pleace The World Meeting of General Maczek's soldiers.

How did you attach your photos. I've just tried and failed abysmally
wallis    
4 Oct 2009  #79

was the priests name father Ritko?

sorry i forgot to mention my father was Henryk Slabczynski,he was a captain in the 1st armoured division,he met my mother in wales,while he was recovering after being wounded,they moved back to Poland but returned in 1958 and settled in Swansea,his brother Richard was in the Polish Cavelry.
dzien_dobry - | 1    
5 Nov 2009  #80

My grandfather, Franciszek Borys, served in the 1st Polish armoured division. From a letter I found, it appears that he was the CO who helped liberate part of Stadskanaal (in The Netherlands).

Does anyone know where I could find more information about the liberations which the division undertook (or would it mostly be in Polish - I don't speak the language)
Senach 1 | 47    
5 Nov 2009  #81

zyta dietz

My Great Uncle Joe Kondol,who still lives in Scotland,was in the 1st,wounded in Belgium.
OP Peter 3 | 243    
5 Nov 2009  #82

Does anyone know where I could find more information about the liberations which the division undertook (or would it mostly be in Polish - I don't speak the language)

The following book gives some detailed accounts of the liberations from the view of the division.

McGilvray, Evan. The Black Devils' March: A Doomed Odyssey: The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-1945. Solihull, West Midlands, England: Helion, 2005 (ISBN 1874622426).
adidoris 1 | 3    
15 Nov 2009  #83

Peter
Peter.
Could You send me pictures of 24th Lancers in Scotland by email adidoris@znajomi.pl.
I am interesting about this division.
Bris    
16 Nov 2009  #84

Why don't you please start a webside about your familys experience, and put it all thise little bits of infomation, pix, and prersonal exchange of info together. It's realy so enjoyble to read. "The Polish Forum Friends"- your interaction looks like continuation of your families history - its just great
steviebhoy    
30 Dec 2009  #85

Does anyone have any relatives who may have served with in this outfit, specifically the 24th Lancers? Or know anyone named Cholewa and Starzynski who served with on the ORP Dzik and with the Lancers respectively

My father Aleksander Stelmaszuk served with that outfit.He was frmo Uchrusk in eastern Poland and was a lance corporal.He was awarded 4 medals.British 1939/45 Star, France and Germany Star ,Defence and war medal according to his war records.Sadly he passed wawy some time ago but never forgotten.
kitas - | 1    
3 Jan 2010  #86

My father in law Julian Jankowski was in this division I have some of his papers

My father in law landed in France on DDAy

I have several military documents of my father in laws and I have his album of pictures if anyone is interested in seeing them . They are written in Polish and I can not read them.

My father in law was taken by the Russians when Germany and Russia invaded Poland. He and all the men of his village were taken to Siberia. A politician in England negotiated for the release of men to be trained and returned to Russia to fight but they stayed and fought for England they were known as the 1500.

He fought with the 1st Polish Armored Division through out the European campaign and did not return to Poland after the war for fear of Russian reprisals. There were four of them ( Julian Jankowski, Janus (John) Szczerba, Michael (I can't remember his last name), &Victor Zdun) that were also a part of the 1500 that remained friends for the rest of their lives. If anyone knows about the 1500 please contact me I have had a hard time finding information on them.

After the war the four men who had a friend in the Royal Canadian Army were sponsored one by one and emigrated to Canada and then two came down to the United States. The three friends of my father in law always attributed their release from the prison camp to my father in law . They were part of a work detail that had to go out everyday and dig ditches for the Russians. He would often come across dead soldiers and because they were not fed in the camp he always looked for food and money, jewelry anything he could trade for some bread. When he found something he would give part to the guards who would let him slip out and go to a nearby town to buy some bread which he brought back and shared with his friends. Because he had gained favor with the guards they chose him to be one of the 1500 to be released, he asked that his friends be added to the list, there were more then the four but they were all that made it through the war.

My father in law was a soft spoken hard working man that loved and worried about his family and the possibility of another war.
He loved to laugh, dance and have family gatherings. And he loved his vodka.

He very rarely spoke of his experiences in WWll and the only times I could get him to tell stories was when he had a few drinks in him.He had been injured and was receiving a small pension from England. At the end of the war he was a Senior Master Sargeant

I think these brave men need to have their story told, a movie made something to honor them.
rszandrowski - | 2    
24 Jan 2010  #87

Jan 24, 10, 20:02 - Thread attached on merging:
looking for help in finding out about my family

my father was part of the 24 Lancers regiment 1 Armoured Division in march 1944 . and i would like to find out more about his life before and after this , his name was Micheal Szandrowski, if there is any one that can help please reply

My father's Name was Micheal Szandrowski and he was in the 1st polish armoured Division
I also would like to find out if any one new him or can help me find out about his life at that time
Ogorki - | 118    
25 Jan 2010  #88

I was told he fought in italy, however that was years ago and maybe I am mistaken, however he fough in dday and numerous countries.

And that was real fighting, not throwing down his weapon and cowering at the boots of the nazis like the polish.

A gift to you. You are abviously too ignorant to know about this. This Swedish band will educate you about typical Polish military mentality.

720 normal infantry with only rifles took on - and held
42,000 Wermacht Nazis for 3 days - who had 350 tanks, 657 mortars/howitzers and AERIAL SUPPORT!

The official record:

9,000 German casualties.
680 Polish Casualties.


General Guaderian wrote in his diary that there were only 9 German dead.
It is beleived that 9,000 German casualties was underestimated. More like
27,000 - hence the legend 40:1



As a bonus - this same band perform 40:1 in front of 70,000 Germans at a rock
concert. Sweet.

...

noimmigration - I just can't wait to hear your response...:) (you twat)
Trevek 27 | 1,703    
30 Jan 2010  #89

This is the only band in Poland playing traditional scottish music on scottish bagpipes.

Not sure about that. there's a band in Gdansk
myspace.com/gdanskpipeband
leearcher - | 2    
19 Apr 2010  #90

Hi,

Together with my co-author I produce & publish a series of military vehicle books called 'Panzerwrecks'. As the name implies our subject matter is wrecked German tanks. We have reached book 10, with more planned.

We are currently looking for copies or scans of private photographs of wrecked German and Allied armoured vehicles taken by those who were there, for use in our books. Does anyone have anything in their collections that they think may be suitable?

I hope to hear from you.

Lee Archer
ukpanzerwrecks@btinternet.com
panzerwrecks.com



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