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

Voytek - | 1
19 Nov 2012 #181
To chauffeur5
Hi ! All my family come from Suchedniow too.I asked my grandma about Zygmunt Kania ,but she said Kania is a very popular suriname in Suchedniow .My Granduncle ,Bronisław Synowiec (from Tumlin ,some 5 miles north of Suchedniow )was under general Maczek command from 1938.-he was a corporal of engineers corps .He fight in polish campaign ,in France (1940 ) In England he served in 3rd Engineers Company (3 Kompania Saperów ).He went all the way of 1st Armoured Division .If you pm me I will send you scan of nice Suchedniow postcard from mid 20s of XX ct.

Kind regards
24 Jan 2013 #182
My friend served in the !st Polish armoured division he is called Julian Huk and was a gunner on an sherman tank fitted with a long ranged artillery gun. he was wounded in falaise and was airlifted back to Britain. He is till alive and lives in Manchester in the U.K. If anyone remembers him please contact me on phoenix197520012001@yahoo so I can pass on the infoamtion to him, thanks.
oxon 4 | 164
24 Jan 2013 #183
This is incredible. I never knew that Poland even had an army. It can't have been very successful because I cannot think of a single country that the Polish military conquered but then maybe that's just my ignorance. Where else do people speak Polish please apart from Poland obviously?
Barney 15 | 1,476
24 Jan 2013 #184
Where else do people speak Polish please apart from Poland

26 Jan 2013 #185
Dear Lechh99,

I just read your message about your search for photographs of Dr Zbigniew S. Lachowicz, born 23 th May 1913, son of Franciszek and Olga L.achowicz. He gradutated as a doctor in the University Jan Kazimierz in LWOW. He was Lieutenant in the Polish forces, medical corps, 1st Polish Armoured Division of General Maczek. He became director of the department of radiology in the University Hospital at Manchester. He died in Manchester on the 27th November 1970. Awarded Cross of Merit with Swords.

I got these data from the Sikorski Museum at London (Dr Andrzew Suchcitz).

Lt Dr Zbigniew Lachowicz was billeted at our home, in Turnhout (Province of Antwerp, Belgium) , in October 1944. He became a real friend to our family and me. May I point out that we were liberated by the gallant men of general Maczek's division and de British 49th Infantry Division in September -October 1944. I was 17 years old then, and I will never forget this. Dr Lachowicz went to England after the war, and we lost his trace.

For several years , I was myself looking for photographs of this good man and also some contacts with his family. Did you already find pictures of your grand-father. I would be very grateful if you could share them with me. Many thanks beforehand.

1 Apr 2013 #186
Dear Michal,
How is your Dad going? Read your post dated 12th Nov 12 with interest.
Make sure you keep all his records as we have done on behalf of our late
father who passed away in 1995. Not sure how your Dad's memory is but
since they were in the same 10th Mounted Rifles, 1st Armoured Division
he may or may not have come across the name Wawrzyniec Pater.

Correction...posting on 2nd Nov Michal Bednarski
4 Apr 2013 #187
My father was called Jerzy Grymel, he was in the 1st polish armoured division from 1943 but had to change is name to Jerzy Grom. he was taken from his family at the age of 17 and he was put into forced labour from 1939 to 1942 in Germany and then conscripted into the german army until 1942 where he went missing in North Africa. I think his only way of survival was to join the german army and he probably planned his escape in North Africa where he was taken prisoner of war. He was then sent to Scotland and joined the 1st polish armoured division where he had to change his name to Grom, he then fought in the following:-

3.8.44 - 6.9.44Caen, Falaise, Abbeville in France
6.9.44-16.9.44 Ypres, Roulers, Thielt, Ghent, St. nicholas, Stekene in Belgium
16.9.44-22.9.44 Koewacht, Axel-Hulst in Holland
28.9.44-2.10.44 Merxplas, Baarle-Heide in Belgium
3.10.44-8.11.44 Baarle-Nassau, Gilze, Breda, Moerdijk in Holland
9.11.44-8.4.45 Action on the River Maas in holland
14.4.45-8.5.45 Kusten Canal, Aschendorf, Papenburg, Ihrhove, Leer in Germany
he died in 1977 when i was only 12 years old and he never spoke of the war, i used to ask my mother about his war time but she always said she knew nothing. Since my mothers death 12 years ago I have obtained his polish army records under british command where I have obtained all the above information, I have also obtained his German army records which states he was in Greece, North Africa and Tunis and what division he served in and also states that he went missing. We visited poland in 1968, 1970, 1973 and 1975 and used to drive through Germany and the then called "checkpoint charlie" and the black forest,,this was not a very nice experience as the German soldiers were horrid people and used to search our car everytime in all weather and we were made to stand in pouring rain while they literally removed all luggage and even car seats and then we were made to move on and put it all back even in the pouring rain. We were followed everywhere we went by 2 men as soon as we got to the family farm in Poland which was in Strzebin. I have been told that he had to change his name from Grymel to Grom because if he had been captured by the Germans while in the 1st polish armoured division the Germans would have killed the rest of his family that were still living in poland because they would have searched his name and then known he was once in the German Army. While in Poland one year, he took us to visit Auschwitz, I have done a little research and found that there was a forced labour camp there and wonder if that is why he took us there to maybe put closure on that part of his life. In those days you could still touch all the belongings of the poor people that suffered and died there and I also understand that you have to be a certain age to visit these days, whereas then you could visit as a young child.

If anyone has any further information you could share or even better, parents or grandparents that have had a similar experience
during the war, i would be so interested in hearing from you. These soldiers fought hard for the freedom of their country and when you discover what they had to suffer to survive it makes you want to cry and I know that my father would never have voluntarily joined the German Army, I wish he was still here today knowing what I know now, he was a fantastic man and I Love and Admire him so much.
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
4 Apr 2013 #188

Mate, what a heart wrenching story - thanks for sharing. Unfortunately, I can't help as I had no ancestors who served under General Maczek, but if you read up about the exploits of his Armored Brigade, you'll see that your dad served amongst heroes and was undoubtedly one himself.

I think his only way of survival was to join the german army and he probably planned his escape in North Africa where he was taken prisoner of war.

If you didn't 'sign up', it was usually a bullet or being sent to the camp. This has been a constant source of anxiety for Poles since the Partition era - being forced to serve in the armies of their occupier.

Good luck in your quest for knowledge on your father, and trust me, your dad did you a service in not telling you what happened to him during the war, or what he saw.
LEICA 4 | 18
5 Apr 2013 #189
Hi jolka, my father went through a similar voyage, he passed away in 1976.
He also took us to Auschwitz in 1965,also through the Berlin wall at check point charlie.Can you please inform me were I can get his German war records and also his Polish army records (he was based in Scotland until 1948.

Any help would be greatly appreciated
22 Jul 2013 #190
My father, Francisek Szpatowicz was wounded while in his tank at Baarle Nassau on October 4 1944. He was with the 1st Tank Regiment commanded by Alexander Stefanovich. There are some more details but I need to retrieve my research from my niece to whom I've entrusted what little I've discovered. All of the places you mentioned in your list are places he fought in Normandy and Belgium. I have specific dates for these locales and more. He arrived in Scotland in July 1943 and his camp was near Gailes/Barassie in Irvine, Ayrshire.
piorun44 - | 1
23 Jul 2013 #191
Michael: I believe I know your father. He and my own father were in 1st Armoured. Do you visit Dom Polski in Glasgow? Antony Kozlowski
Centurion - | 1
24 Jul 2013 #192
I am interested in the 24th Polish Lancers, especially an action fought on 3rd / 4th September 1944 near Blagny sur Ternoise France. Any information on this action or where I can obtain any information on the 24th Lancers would be greatfully appreciated
1 Aug 2013 #193
My Grandfather fought In the First Polish Armoured Division. His name was Adam Leicht.
andrewz - | 3
17 Aug 2013 #194
Peter: Thank you for keeping this up for so many years. I've noted the threads since we first made contact. This is very impressive and kudos for the effort. I'm certain you are managing to stitch clearer pictures for many who have responded. A few years ago I emailed you a copy of a little booklet about the 24th Lancers. I have 2 more which my father left me. Now, that I have a little time, I would be willing to make copies and pdf them to you.

I imagine that others would also likely be interested. I'm not sure if you have the time and capacity to post the images of these booklets for other to see.

Andrzej Ziolkowski
29 Aug 2013 #195

My late uncle Zdzislaw Gajewski served with the 1st Polish Armoured Division. I know he was recruited in Canada at the age of 16. He trained in Owen Sound, Ontario and received further training in Scotland.

I know he fought in the Falaise Gap in August 1944 and lost his friend Alexander Zych and his CO: LELIWA-KIERSZ Wiesław Kajetan as well as his friend Corporal Kandula. At his request I visited two of these graves (Zych and Kiersz) at the Polish cemetery near Falaise in the early 90's.

I too am looking for information about his service in the Polish Army. Good luck with your search.


4 Sep 2013 #196
Hiya. You'll possibly find these (in a range of languages) an absolute mine of information, with detailed listings of personnel and decorations, battles and various military details:

Na froncie zachodnym 1944 - Położyński, Krasicki
Z diejów 10. pułku strzelców konnych - Nowakowski et al
L'Epopee de la 1re division blindee Polonaise - Briere and Pepin
Brigada motorowa Płk Maczka - Majka
The Normandy landings - Gen Jean Comagnon
Falaise The flawed victory = Tucker-Jones
The black devils' march (1st Polish armoured division 39-45 - McGilvray

Some came from places like amazon, some from Polish online bookshops, some were my father's, and othes came from the museum at Arromanches-les-bains (in Normandy, on Gold beach)

Happy reading/learning/memories

4 Sep 2013 #197
I imagine that others would also likely be interested.

I would love to read that, could you email a .pdf file to me?
4 Sep 2013 #198
None of them are .pdf files, they are all in published book format. Some will be available, or obtainable, in libraries.
25 Sep 2013 #199
Thankyou for your reply. my father Stanislaw Bednarski is still alive, and living in Scotland. He is now 92 years of age, and in incredibly good condition. His mind is 'perfect' though the body is getting a touch 'frail'. He still hears from his old regiment the '10th mounted Rifles' sometimes. A tough old Polish gentleman. Incredible really, considering he was shot through the jaw after the battle at Falaise. I do have all his old Army records, and a lot of interesting old black and white photographs taken during the second world war involving his tanks, regiment, Montgomery, and the Normandy landings, etc. On a more 'comical' note, I remember when his Polish Cross of Valour Medal was mouted beside some French Medal.....he didn't like that, and had the French Medal moved elsewhere. He was awarded many medals all on record with the Sirkosky Institute, etc. Talks very seldom of the war. A very private, Polish gentleman, of a generation now nearly gone.

Thankyou for the reply. My father Stanislaw Bednarski (10th Mounted Rifles) is still alive and in good health. He is now 92 years of age. Tough old Polish gentleman of a generation now nearly all gone. He was shot through the jaw, after the battle at Falais. After the war he did Prisoner repatriation I believe, and considered going to the 'Mau Mau?' uprisings with his regiment. I am seldom on this web site, but will try to contribute more often. I know he visited the Polish club in Glasgow a couple of years ago.....but is a very private person. I will mention your surname to him. His regiment still keep in contact with him, and his background is on record with the Sirkoski Institute I believe. Best regards Michal Bednarski.
shonaburge - | 2
5 Oct 2013 #200
Hi I think my grandfather may have served in this division. He was a Polish solider stationed in Blairgowrie in 1941 and we have been told this is the division he would likely have served in - would this be correct? We only have the name Dominick Kutnik but very sure the spelling of the surname is wrong. If anyone is able to help or has any info that would help that would be very much appreciated. Dylan - perhaps your Grandfather would know something?
11 Oct 2013 #201
I received information this week from MOD re my late father Leon Janka it stated when Poland was annexed by the German third reich he was conscripted and served in the german army 1944-45 this has confused me as I know he was in 2nd antitank regiment can any one shed any light on this for me please? Stefka
18 Oct 2013 #202
Anyone know anything about Soldier Boleslaw Wasiuk serving in the polish first armoured as a private, this would be my granddad and I would be intrigued to find out more, he served in 1946-7 and he was transferred to a re-settlement corps, he was originally from Lida, if you know any information or have any photos please send them to
31 Oct 2013 #203
Both my father (Waclaw Stankiewicz) and his younger brother (Ludwik Stankiewicz) were in the 1st Polish Armoured Division. Colonel Ludwik Stankiewicz was a very highly decorated officer (DSO, Croix de Guerre, Virtuti Militarie, Legion of Honor) amongst many others. He had two appointments as Chief of Staff and was a professional soldier from before the war. They were both under General Rudnicki whom I knew as a child when I spent two years in Germany (Meppen) while my mother Ludmila Stankiewicz was in charge of running the Officers Club for Polish and Alied Officers between 1945 and 1947. The club was the hub of all socilal life then and my fondest memories where of Cyrulic Warszawski which often performed there.
3 Nov 2013 #204
Olszak Bolesław Father: Antoni Born: 1917 Childern: Henryk, Marian & Jan
I have some information for you about the Siberia leg of their journey. If you're interested drop me a note.

Regards, Mark Ostrowski
8 Dec 2013 #205
Father was a pilot for the 303 & 308 squadrons in Britain 1940's to 1945, trying to find more details of him. Also another Karasinski was nine numbers from his both first names are Henryk ( could have changed his name to Simpson ) and the other

Named Wiktor. That's as close as I can get to your military name connection. But if I find any thing I'll send it to you if you make an email connection to me At. I'm Merrick. Ok!
13 Dec 2013 #206
My dad Stanislaw Aniolkowski (but born Stanislaw Jamiolkowski in Dabrowa Michalki , Bialystok province) served in the 2 Tank Regiment from 1942 enduring Falaise , Breda. Wilhelmshaven and other actions until his eventual discharge in 1947 via the Polish Resettlement Corps. My sister was a baby at Christmas 1946 when the regiment was still in camp in Scotland and was thoroughly spoiled by all the men who were missing their own loved ones. Dad rarely spoke about his war experiences or his earlier years in the army as a signaller at war's outbreak then imprisonment in Russia after being deported by the NKVD. He had to be treated at Pietermaritzburg hospital after the escape from Russia with free Polish Forces. I only ever knew one of his former comrades when he was alive and didn't realise until much later our priest at the local Polish Club in Newcastle upon Tyne where we lived was a member of the regiment also. I would love to hear from anyone who has memories of my dad - he would have been 100 in two weeks time. Regards Frank
25 Jan 2014 #207
My dad Pawel Makarus served with this regiment and was decorated with "Virtutti Militari" and "cross of valour" (both of which are in my posession). He never spoke about his time in Europe. I would therefore like to find out why he was decorated with these honours.........would anyone know?...... (Mum used to kid about him receiving them for keeping the women in France Belgium and Holland happy!!!)
W7088 - | 1
30 Jan 2014 #208
My father is jozef wos who was taken to Siberia in the fall of1939 or spring of 1940,he lost his wife and two kids in Siberia,there was a daughter that I believe he took her to an orphanage.left her there,He never talked about that part of his life.

My dad served the same time,he lost his first family in Siberia,leaving my half sister in an orphanage in Siberia.If anyone has information on the orphanages in siberia and what happened to the kids please inform me
3 Feb 2014 #209
A shot in the dark here, but I'm looking for some information regarding the Polish Parachute Brigade, attached to the 1st Armoured Div after the war. I know they were in Germany between 1945 and 1947, but would be interrested in their role especially with regard to the displaced persons camps.

Thanks Nigel
sapper886 - | 3
7 Apr 2014 #210
Hi I suggest you read The Black Devil's March, A doomed Odyssey by Evan McGilvray it lists your dads medals and the fact that he was a lance corporal. Personally I'd obtain a copy of his military service record which would give the details. Not hard to do contact me for details and I'll be happy to help if I can. Frank

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