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This web site is dedicated to the men and women who left Poland to fight against the Nazis and Russian Communism in the 1939 - 1945 War. These pages are a tribute to their unselfish valour and acts as a memorial in their honour. The following pages are not about major battles or great leaders but are dedicated to ordinary individuals. Their escape stories are some of the war's best adventure stories where bravery and military training in field-craft together with luck saved them from death or the gulags. Many of these stories remain largely untold to even those who we may regard as the 'nearest and dearest'.

It is also a story of betrayal and deceit by the British at Yalta in 1945. For the Poles, having been so resilient and fought hard to help save democracy in Europe, the close of the war represented a cruel and callous act of political duplicity which still shocks even today. How easy it is to forget those sent home to certain death or the British military sent to quell riots in some of the transit camps. Yalta made all Polish personnel on UK soil 'illegal' and a political embarrassment to the post-war British government that needed prompt removal for the sakes of post war relations with Stalin. The final insult to all Polish service personnel was through exclusion from the Victory Parade on 8th June 1946.

I am grateful to a number of people who have over the last few years helped me put together snippets of information to make up detail within these pages. The kind 'Ladies of Blackpool', particularly Mrs Britain and Mrs Osewski for providing information which traditional archives did not record. This is an on-going project requiring updating. I remain amazed by the number of contacts who keep adding to the wealth of information and encouragement, particularly Dennis Kirkham who open up yet more sources. The decision to set up a web page was finally brought about by the sheer number of people who felt an historic gap needed filling. While leafing through an old book My name is million by Adam Mickiewicz, a small inscription to an English secretary from some Polish officers was a poignant reminder of this whole episode. The book had given as a 'thank you' but the officers were in 1943 still trying to explain why.

Finally, I would like to make a 'special' Thank You to Jan Bartkowiak whose father was also in the Polish 303 Squadron and our parents flew on missions together. Jan has done a great job in translating pages and been a great support with the site.

These pages have been put together using a number of different techniques ranging from interviews, personal journals and diaries through to published and archive material found in the Public Records Office. Every effort has been made in maintaining accuracy and where possible, authors correctly referenced. However, there are 'gaps' in accuracy between individual testimonies, recorded histories, archives and post war re-assessment by academics and journalists. Unfortunately, that is joy of history!

Click here to view reference information.

Any correspondence should be addressed to Julian Hoseason and e-mailed to:jhoseason@paston.co.uk

Any additional material or stories would be gratefully received.


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