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Free Poland Forces in Great Britain - Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire 1939-45

Tim Bucknall 7 | 98
30 Sep 2012 #1
Hi All,
hope this is the right sub forum, its Polish history of a sort even though it happened in Newcastle Staffs,
My elderly father remembers the Polish officers in Newcastle with their unique multi cornered hats, very polite manners and (to him) "unusual" way of holding a cigarette.

I was wondering if anyone knew where they were based/stationed? and what happened to them after 1945

He showed me the former site of the Polish Club (now the conservative club) which once had a huge white Eagle out front, apparently you could buy Vodka that would blow your head off!

I guess i should introduce myself, I don't really have a connection to Poland apart from my admiration for The Country, which i probably inherited from my Dad.

Still to this day he's seething about how we let Poland down after the war and he made sure i was aware of how much we owed to the Polish Pilots who flew in the battle of Britain.

My Mum used to work for an exiled Polish family so we got Solidarnosc T-shirts etc when i was growing up which raised my awareness.

I visit the Katyn Monument at Cannock fairly regularly, i have Hay fever so instead of flowers I left 2 flower holders which i'm hoping will survive the winter.

its a very special place, its impossible not to be moved by the monument. but I wouldn't call it depressing, its peaceful and dignified.

when i was last there a very young girl had left a few small flowers which i found really poignant. - i was last there the day a Girl was bitten by a grass snake, i wonder if that ambulance ever turned up?

I'm finding Polish harder to learn than Czech but i will not be defeated!
I love the reaction i get from Polish Pharmacists and Shop keepers in Congleton & Crewe when i say a few words of Polish!
I read some terrible racist rubbish in the Daily Mail about immigration which makes me even more determined to show them they're welcome here

Morrisons in Leek sell the Polish Daily so i buy that when we shop.

When the wall came down me and my family had planned all the places we wanted to see, but we only managed Prague before i became seriously ill, so i'm a frustrated globe trotter

I was really happy in 2004 when the EU expanded and Poles, Slovaks etc started arriving in England.
Crewe used to be a depressing dump before 2004 IMO but i love what its become, Polish Deli shops, barbers, corner shops, Polish signs everywhere. its a real pleasure to visit Crewe now

If i can learn Polish i'll have a good chance of being able to use it enough to help me remember it, something i couldn't do with Czech back in the 90's

anyway i'll draw to a close
all the best
Trevek 26 | 1,702
23 Dec 2014 #2
There was a lot of RAF around that area, wasn't there? I've heard of Polish bomber pilots in the area.
Peter 3 | 248
23 Dec 2014 #3
That's a really nice story. Not sure what Polish detachments were in the Newcastle area at that time or if it was because there were demobilisation camps near there.
Crow 160 | 9,214
24 Dec 2014 #4
i don`t like fact that Poles served Britain. Its abominable to me. Just another humiliation
Roger5 1 | 1,455
25 Dec 2014 #5
They didn't serve Britain. They helped defeat Germany. If you knew anything about Poles who settled in Britain after the war, you'd know that thousands made a good life there, and raised their kids to be British citizens. The Poles in my community when I was growing up did not feel humiliated. I know it's a forlorn hope, but you really should mind your own business. It's got absolutely nothing to do with you. It will never get through your deluded skull but the vast majority of ordinary Poles spend more time thinking about Papua New Guinea than about Serbia. As for your Slavic Commonwealth, modern Poland is a proud member of the EU and has absolutely no wish to ally itself with Russia or other failed states.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
28 Dec 2014 #6
In Shropshire, not too far from Newcastle under Lyme there was a resettlement camp for "displaced persons". A lot of Poles and Yugoslavs settled there. Even now there are two Serbian Orthodox Churches.

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