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

convex 20 | 3,978
20 Apr 2010 #91
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.

Awesome. My order will be in the pipeline soon...
leearcher - | 2
20 Apr 2010 #92
Look forward to it Convex ;-)
9 May 2010 #93
I might be able to help - my father, also escaped through Roumania ending up in France and then eventually to Scotland. His name was Wladyslaw Bledowski, I ghave heaps of pix - if interested plse contact.

Sinceere best wishes

Celina Bledowska
OP Peter 3 | 247
10 May 2010 #94
Do you know what regiment your father was part of? Do you have anything with the 24th Lancers?

I might be able to help - my father, also escaped through Roumania ending up in France and then eventually to Scotland. His name was Wladyslaw Bledowski, I ghave heaps of pix - if interested plse contact.

According to "McGilvray, Evan. The Black Devils' March: A Doomed Odyssey: The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-1945. Solihull, West Midlands, England: Helion, 2005 (ISBN 1874622426)" Wladyslaw Bledowski was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Polish Armoured Division and was decorated with the Cross of Valour and the Military Cross.
11 May 2010 #95
Thanks for your interest - yes, that was my father, he died in the 90s. As a child I was taken to the regimental reunions etc - I do still have quite a few of the regiment's own publications and even have managed to hang on to my father's old uniform ( not quite sure why, though) If I can send you any info, time permitting, plse respond.

With best wishes
OP Peter 3 | 247
12 May 2010 #96
smithsky1, what regiment was your father part of? If it is the 24th Lancers I'd be interested in seeing your pictures.
12 May 2010 #97
Good Morning Peter,

Yes it was the 24th Lancers. The pix I have range from theregiment's time in Scotland, but I also have some unnusual pix of the regiment in their old uniforms before incorporation into the Allied Forces. My father was disabled, parted company with his legs in Holland, so I also have a lot of images from his time in hospital - a Polish unit in the Uk where he convalesced. When I have found a scanner which might work (miracle!!) I'll paste these images.

What's your specific interest?


OP Peter 3 | 247
12 May 2010 #98
My father was part of the 24th Lancers from (I believe) 1936 when he entered the University of Lwow. He would have had to see some military duty, most likely in the reserves. I only started researching my family tree 7 years ago and not much is known about his military service. If you wish you can PM me. I also have some pictures which I can send to you.
katiebrit - | 2
20 Jun 2010 #100
My late Father also served in the lst Polish Armoured Division. I was born in Meppen. My parents were divorced and my Mother, still living, has dementia. Do I qualify as next of kin to retrieve service records?
OP Peter 3 | 247
21 Jun 2010 #101
I don't think so. If your mother is still alive then she is the one who qualifies. If you can get her to sign the letter to the MoD then that may suffice. If she has dementia the person who has power of attorney over her affairs should be able to sign on her behalf. In this instance it may be worthwhile calling the Polish section and explaining your particular situation and confirm with them what documentation they will accept as proof of kinship before you go through the time and expense of doing it. It may require your swearing an affidavit before a JP, etc.
caprice49 4 | 224
25 Jun 2010 #102
My late Father also served in the lst Polish Armoured Division.

Of course you are next of kin!!!! It doesn't matter that your mother is alive but has dementia. You too are next of kin.
OP Peter 3 | 247
26 Jun 2010 #103
I went through this process myself a few years ago. My mother is still alive. When I enquired with the MoD I was told that even though I am kin to my father, in their eyes (and according to their procedures) his wife is the legal next of kin. I did the letter to the MoD requesting the info but my mother signed it.
wiesiek 1 | 36
27 Jun 2010 #104
My late Father also served in the lst Polish Armoured Division. I was born in Meppen.

My father also served in the 1st Armoured Division. My parents were married in Meppen.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
27 Jun 2010 #105
They also liberated my mother's hometown in Belgium - Ghent - and played a big part in liberating the region where my dad comes from. (Merksplas - Rijkevorsel - Hoogstraten)
malkie - | 3
7 Jul 2010 #106
My father Mieczyslaw Malkiewicz served in the 1st Polish armoured Division. Although I have his MOD service history I would like to know more about how he got out of Poland. I understand that he joined the No 6 Armoured Battalion in Poland in 1939. My father came from a village close to Lvov where his father was a policeman who, I believe was shot by the soviets. I think my father was 17 at the time and from what little I can glean from his surviving ( non english speaking) family in Poland he simply disappeared one day.

His record states that he "made his way" to France where he joined Polish forces on 26 November 1939 where he was posted to no.4 Armoured Battalion. It is this part of his journey that particularly interests me.

His last posting prior to being injured ( possibly at Breda or Moerdijk) and extensive hospitalisation was as a corporal with No1 Independent Machine Guns Squadron of the 1st Polish Armoured Division.

After the war he settled in edinburgh being an active member in both polish ex-servicemans' clubs there.

I have some photoraphs that I would gladly share with anyone who is interested and who can help me.
OP Peter 3 | 247
7 Jul 2010 #107

I guess there were many avenues for escape out of Poland in 1939. My father was one of those who escaped into Romania and then made his way to Greece before reaching southern France. He was then evacuated from France and arrived in Liverpool. Have you tried the Sikorski museum in London?
malkie - | 3
7 Jul 2010 #108
No, I have not. Thanks for the tip.
steviebhoy - | 8
29 Jul 2010 #109
my uncle came through Hungary some came through Romania onto Italy onto france
tracy ekner 1 | 2
28 Aug 2010 #110
Does anybody know of Kazimierz Ekner who served with 1st Polish Armoured Division? He is my grandad and he married my gran, Stefania Biegarczyk in Meppen in 1947 and came to live in England where he was part of the Polish Resettlement Corp. My dad and his brother know virtually nothing about their family so any slight bit of information is very grateful.
OP Peter 3 | 247
31 Aug 2010 #111
See a previous posters reply below. This is probably your best bet for accurate info and a starting point for further searching

The MoD will only release service records to a next of kin. So you will need a) proof of grandfather's death (death certificate) and b) that you are his direct next of kin.

The MoD will send you a "Certificate of Kinship" form which you have to complete and send along with the documentary proof you are your grandfather's next of kin. If your grandmother is alive for instance, the law is that MoD would only release this information to her and not you. There is a fee of £25.00 also.

You can download the "Certificate of Kinship form from here:

Contact address for Polish service records (don't worry that it has RAF in the address; all Polish service records are archived here) at MoD:

APC Polish Enquiries,
Building 28B,
RAF Northolt,
West End Road,
HA4 6NG,
Tel: 0208 833 8603
Fax: 0208 833 8866

e-mail: or
6 Sep 2010 #112
Hello all,

My mother's uncle's brother, Stefan Zakowicz was in the Polish First Armored. He was killed on August 16, 1944. Would anyone have any information on him?

Thank You

Lucas Smith
steviebhoy - | 8
9 Sep 2010 #113
You could try the Sikosski Institute in London or the next of kin can apply for service records from the British Ministry of Defence go back the way on this page all details are above you.My dad served in the division and was wounded at Falaise.There must be some American Polish societies in you city that could assist you.Dont be afraid to ask for help any Poles i know from these societies are only to glad to help.If your relative had died in Scotland i could give you details of burial location .Wish you luck in your search.
Matt32 4 | 83
9 Sep 2010 #114
No! At last I don't think so. :) Great thread you have here - God Bless You All !
adidoris 1 | 3
11 Sep 2010 #115
Hi Lucas

Here are informations over ┼╗AKOWICZ Stefan

11 Sep 2010 #116
Thank you for the information! The site says he was in the 11th Company Engineers. Does anyone know what they did during the French campaign? What was their mission on the 16th of August when Stefan died?

Thanks again for all the great information.

12 Sep 2010 #118
The web site said 11. Kompania Saper├│w or 11th Company Engineers. I don't know enough about the makeup of the Polish Army during WWII be sure of their purpose.

steviebhoy - | 8
14 Sep 2010 #119
Try Polonica in Scotland for IPAD info
Cobba70 - | 1
20 Sep 2010 #120
Hi Lucas,
I've begun researching my Grandfather, his name is Stefan Kapusniak, he too is buried at the Breda, Polish War Cemetary. The information provided says he was with 11th Company Engineers - 1st Armoured Division.

Did you discover any further information about this company?
I look forward to hearing from you, thanks.

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