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Polish Soldiers Dunblane, Scotland WW2



acerimmer 1 | 4    
15 Oct 2016  #1

Hi, just found out via a DNA test that my mother is half polish - the result of an illicite affair with a polish soldier in 1942, while their unit was staying in the Dunblane Hydro, Perthshire, Scotland

We are interested in finding out more about the unit (and potentially who her father was if possible). Does anyone have knowledge of this please? my mother was born in April 1943,

thanks

GS


Atch 8 | 1,528    
15 Oct 2016  #2

The Dunblane Hydro is a hotel isn't it? According to their history, the place was used as a convalescent home for soldiers during WWII and also at some point as a girls' boarding school. It seems doubtful that they'd send a unit to stay in a girls' school (!) or that an entire unit would be convalescing at the same time. So it would seem that your grandfather was there as a patient rather than as part of his unit. Patient records/lists might have survived, but there could be more than one Polish soldier there at the same time, so figuring out which one is the right one could still be tricky. The Red Cross ran most of the homes in the UK during WWII. They might have some records.

However, there may have been a brief period during the change over from hospital to school or vice versa whichever came first, when soldiers were billeted there. I found this record which gives the Polish units stationed in Scotland including Perthshire from 1941-1945. Dunblane is not mentioned as a location until April 1945:

polishforcesinbritain.info/Locations.htm#Loc_T1a
Atch 8 | 1,528    
15 Oct 2016  #3

Here's something else that would be of interest to you as it gives you some general background on the Polish soldiers in Scotland at that time:

polishscottishheritage.co.uk/?heritage_item=scottish-polish-coexistence-during-the-dark-days-of-wwii
Atch 8 | 1,528    
15 Oct 2016  #4

With another bit of digging around I managed to discover that the 4th infantry division of the 1st Polish Corps was in Dunblane at some point. I found that out from a list of records on the Imperial War Museum site. They came up on a google search as being somewhere in this very extensive list of photos:

iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205224236

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4th_Infantry_Division_(Poland)#4th_Division_organized_by_the_western_Allies

They didn't see any combat after 1940 and by 1946 a group of Polish soldiers were stationed not at the Dunblane Hydro itself, but nearby.
OP acerimmer 1 | 4    
15 Oct 2016  #5

many thanks for this information Atch - im going to look further into this, and appreciate the details you provided
Atch 8 | 1,528    
16 Oct 2016  #6

Hi Ace you're very welcome. I love mysteries and family history!

I found a thread here on this forum which would be worth reading. An important thing to remember is that there may be somebody of your mother's generation out there who knows something about your own grandfather through family memories.

https://polishforums.com/genealogy/relatives-served-armoured-division-gen-maczek-7733/

1st Battalion Polish Rifles under General Maczek were stationed in the parish church of the village of Menstrie which is 15km from Dunblane. The article I came across stated that sadly 'we have little in the way of names of the troops who were stationed here'. That surprises me as I thought the MOD would have records (they definitely have records for the Polish forces in Britain) but in any case, the problem is that even if you find his unit, how would you know which soldier he was? However, in any case you can get a sense of who he was by reading as much as possible about the Polish forces in Scotland, gathering photos, background information, it'll give you a sense of connection to him. Here's another very interesting article:

makers.org.uk/place/PolishInScotland2WW

I found this little gem on a Scottish chat forum:

'.........at a Polish Army dance in Dunblane in 1946, and I had a rare time. The reason I was there was because the Poles had invited the youth-hostellers from the local hostel... I think they were more interested in the female hostellers rather than the hairy-legged cyclists, but hey... can't blame them for that now can we.'

A visit to the village of Dunblane would be well worthwhile, some of the older people there, who were children or teenagers during the war might just have some little memory that could point you in the right direction. Also check out the local library and county library archives for any newspaper articles or things of that kind. You never know what might come up. Photos from a Polish dance for example might give names of the couples photographed, who knows, it's worth a try. At least you can place their romance in the spring/summer of 1942 so that narrows it down a bit.

Finally I found this book, looks nice:

helion.co.uk/armoured-hussars-images-of-the-polish-1st-armoured-division-1939-47.html
OP acerimmer 1 | 4    
16 Oct 2016  #7

fantastic, thanks Atch - ive put a post on that thread also

the amusing thing for my family and i is having to redo the family tree now....my niece has been studying our genealogy for several years, and its all out the window now for one line....
TicTacToe    
16 Oct 2016  #8

What made you have a DNA test, did you already know or was it some kind of family rumour ?.
OP acerimmer 1 | 4    
16 Oct 2016  #9

it was a family rumour, one which most of us discounted as just that - the DNA test was only done as apart of a genealogy search, and not specifically to prove or disprove the rumour - my father also had a dna test , which didn't give such a surprise as this one
ann wilmot - | 1    
11 Dec 2016  #10

Merged: Looking for Poles stationed in Scotland (Arbroath, Forfar and Montrose)during the early months of 1942

Recently had my Ancestry DNA results returned and find that I am not 100% Scottish as I thought. My results suggest that I am 48% Eastern European and only 42% UK. A match was found and he is my second cousin whose family came from around the Krasnik area of Poland. Because I was born in Forfar, Scotland and lived in Montrose growing up I realize that my father had to belong to one of the regiments serving in the Polish army. The 24th Lancers were in Arbroath and the 10th Mounted Rifle Regiment served in Forfar, these towns are within a 10 mile radius of Arbroath, Forfar and Montrose.

The names of my second cousin are Jusko, and family surnames are Ksiazek, Kowalik or Duma who also came from the Krasnik areas of Poland. Any help would be appreciated in finding my biological father.

I know this is a long shot but read that some of you have photographs of the 24th Lancers, etc.
lesmac - | 1    
11 Jun 2017  #11

Merged:

Polish Army in Exile posted to Dunfermline during WW2



Hi. I am researching the role of the 7th Cadre Polish Army in defending my home town of Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland and would be very grateful to heard from anyone who has information. Please PM or email me.

Lesley



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