First of all, I bet the f-word in English wasn't that popular in the 60s or so as well.
Secondly, I agree with pawian about the partitions. Polish as a language would have been lost if it hadn't been for Poles who taught it to their children.
Including people who chose immigration.
It's not up to me to judge Polish immigrants who don't teach their children Polish but don't make it a political thing.
As for the communist times in Poland, Poles who lived here had to face those times. Not those who lived abroad. All the restrictions and poverty. They had to survive.
And I bet their situation was far worse than their counterparts' in the UK.
Had Poles not fought, Poland would still be under the communists.
Finally, it's never too late to learn. Nothing stops you from joining a course in Polish -an online one these days, though.
It only became socially common, except of course among the senior set, from around the early '70's on down:-)
Everyone, please stick to the topic of the thread