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Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia

Article about: Hi! I find myself on here as a last attempt before I start requesting information via MoD & the Sikorski Museum. My grandfather, a man by the name of Edward Kolasiński, born in Śrem, P

  1. #1

    Default Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia

    Hi!

    I find myself on here as a last attempt before I start requesting information via MoD & the Sikorski Museum. My grandfather, a man by the name of Edward Kolasiński, born in Śrem, Poland in 1923 was a veteran on the 2 Korpus and had fought with the Polish resistance (as far as I know, more on this further down) prior to joining the Italian campaign in 1944. Sadly, he passed a few years before I was born and did not speak much of what he experienced during the war. All I really have to understand his experience is a beautiful photo album containing many 2 Korpus pictures and a wooden box containing the insignia of the 7th Armoured Regiment (2nd Armoured Division I believe), a British Soldier Book (Polish Resettlement Corps), and a ribbon that I now understand means he may be a recipient of the Krzyż Walecznych - although the medal does not appear to be in the possession of my family.

    My goal is to hopefully:
    - gain any insight on his movement across Poland/Europe, particularly within Poland between 1939 & 1944.

    - identify the nature of his involvement in the fight within Poland.

    - gain any clues surrounding the 7th Armoured Regiment. I understand this was a training regiment that received/sent soldiers to and from other units.

    - learn his rank in 2 Korpus.

    - learn about the uniforms he is pictured in - particularly some photos where he is dressed with a white belt. Someone had previously told me this may relate to 3DSK or Military Police? Could it indicate a prior regiment to the 7th Armoured Regiment within 2 Korpus?

    - any information on Krzyż Walecznych (ribbon shown below).

    I realise perhaps some of these questions may be a stretch as I am unsure of whether it falls under the scope of this website. Please tell me if it does and I will adjust my questions.

    Beginning with the Polish resistance (again if this does not belong in this thread please tell me, I just thought it easier to group everything together), I have this very interesting photo within the album:
    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia
    Writing on the back of this photo reads "Boczkowice 6.01.1944". It is interesting to note the Soviet weapons. My grandfather is at the back, second in from the left.

    The next photo, is the insignia I have of the 7th Armoured Regiment, the PRC booklet & the ribbon I was told is for the Krzyż Walecznych:
    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia
    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia
    In the PRC book, it says his rank was SGT - note in the photo below he has three stripes on his shoulder. Does this represent the same rank? This was taken in England at Hardwick Resettlement Camp, Derbyshire:
    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia

    I will end with the white belt uniforms that are only in some of the photos I have. Does anyone have knowledge on what this represents?
    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia
    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia

    Hope these photos are of interest to someone on here, they have only ever been viewed by my family and a small number of others.

    Thanks in advance!

    Mike
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia  

  2. #2

    Default

    Hello mikef135,

    Sgt (V-shaped on shoulders) is the rank of Sergeant (sierżant) and that three stripes on his shoulder is the rank of Lance Sergeant (plutonowy). Lance Sergeant it's one rank lower than the Sergeant.

    I have searched for Edward Kolasiński born 1923 in the databases of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) and the Central Military Archive (CAW) but without any luck unfortunately.

    I have also searched for a person born 1923 in Śrem but without any luck.

    Regarding your Grandfather's service in the "Polish resistance", I suggest you read about armed forces unit of the National Armed Forces (NSZ) called Brygada Świętokrzyska. During Christmas 1944 (from 21st December) this unit occupied the village of Boczkowice and surrounding villages and stationed there until 13th January 1945.

    After the war, the unit was visited by representatives of the Commander-in-Chief, and its soldiers and officers were trained in the 2nd Corps of General Anders.

    In the whole puzzle only a year does not agree as on the back of the photo you posted is the inscription "Boczkowice 6.01.1944", and it should be January 1945. That's the only riddle IMO.


    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia

    Address of the Camp where the 7th Armoured Regiment stationed under the Polish Resettlement Corps in the UK, 1946-1948: Midlands (yellow area on the map) - Hardwick Hall Camp, Chesterfield, Derbyshire


    Regards
    Konrad

    PS About white belts typically for armoured regiments:

    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia

    Gen. Władysław Anders visits the 7th Armoured Regiment. Inspection in the Armoured Forces Training Center in Gallipoli, Italy 1945. In the foreground gen. Anders, ppłk Stanisław Szostak in the background in a black beret is talking to gen. Marian Przewłocki.
    Last edited by conrado; 05-13-2020 at 05:57 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi conrado,

    Thank you for replying and taking the time to perform the search. It is puzzling how his name is not in any of those records.

    Regarding the NSZ, I took some time to briefly read about it - sadly it seems to be very controversial. The writing on the back is very clear for the date, perhaps it is a mistake. I understand it was sent to him by a Mr Miechów.

    Could you point me to any information regarding this unit becoming part of the 2nd Corps? Are there any lists for the 7th Armoured Regiment?

    Would NSZ be awarded the Cross of Valour or would it likely have been with the 2nd Corps?

    Thanks again,

    Mike

  4. #4

    Default

    Thx for your post Mike.

    First of all Miechów is the town near Boczkowice and other villages where unit of Brygada Świętokrzyska NSZ was stationed in the period I mentioned in my previous post.

    The Brygada Świętokrzyska NSZ was never a part of the 2nd Corps. But as I mentioned, according to various, sources its soldiers were trained in the 2nd Corps after the end of the war. In fact the commander of the Brigade planned to join his unit to the 2nd Polish Corps of gen. Władysław Anders who was then in Italy. However gen. Anders did not agree.

    Regarding the Cross of Valour your Grandfather without a doubt had to awarded it in the 2nd Corps, so I suppose that he had to take part in operations on the front. It's possible that your Grandfather joined the 2nd Corps earlier as some soldiers of the Brygada Świętokrzyska NSZ made their way westward on their own.

    About a lists for the 7th Armoured Regiment, it is possible that there are such in Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum in London.


    Maybe some other forum member will shed more light on the topic of your Grandfather.


    Regards
    Konrad

    PS Is it possible for you to post a photo of the reverse side of this picture with the inscription?

  5. #5

    Default

    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia

    Hi Konrad,

    The back of the photo, it is the inscription at the top. The other writing was added at a later date.

    Thanks for clarifying it is a town, my friend read it for me and must have struggled with the handwriting.

    I appreciate your comments, and yes hopefully another forum member can shed some more light.

    Mike

  6. #6
    TMZ
    TMZ is offline
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    Default

    Your friend probably read "pan Miechów" rather than what it says "pow Miechów" meaning powiat Miechów or Miechów county. It may say Miechówski hidden under the sticker.

  7. #7

    Default

    Hello Mike,

    I have take a looked at this photo a little bit more carefully and the soldiers have eagle patches on the sleeves of their left hand. Similar patches wore soldiers of the Brygada Świętokrzyska NSZ:

    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia

    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia

    Eagle patch worn on the sleeves of uniforms by the soldiers of the Brygada Świętokrzyska NSZ

    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia

    Badge of the Brygada Świętokrzyska NSZ

    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia

    Soldiers of the Brygada Świętokrzyska NSZ subordinated to US occupation troops in the west of the Czech Republic had the right to wear honor badges of those US Army troops alongside which they fought in the last days of the war. From the left: por. Józef Nowacki "Jozef" with a characteristic badge 5th American Corps (white star inscribed in the blue pentagon), next to por. Jerzy Skąpski with a Badge of the 2nd Infantry Division "Indian Heads", May 1945. They have also on their sleeves different varieties of eagle patches of the Brygada Świętokrzyska NSZ


    Regarding the inscription on the reverse of the picture: "Boczkowice pow. Miechowski, 6.I.1944" - "Boczkowice County Miechowski, 6.I.1944"

    County Miechowski is named from the town of Miechów (exactly as I thought in my previous post).


    Regards
    Konrad

  8. #8
    ?

    Default Fortuitous

    Mike,

    I have also just started looking into my Grandfather's history, he died when I was two and similar to yours, he did not talk about his experiences during the war to his family members, 5 daughters. I assume that when my Grandad was in the PRC that he was at the Burlish Camp in Stourport, as he met my Grandmother either around there or in Kidderminster. Konrad, do you know which unit was stationed there or can you add any other thoughts?

    Below are some photos of my Grandad which my family have. Unfortunately, I don't believe we have any of his service records, but I am trying to contact the Polish Service Records office.

    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia
    Middle of the back three, appears to have ribbons stitched above left breast pocket.

    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia
    Left, with light coloured belt.

    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia
    Polish Resistance Photo?
    Very back row, middle of picture, with peaked cap.

    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia
    Left, no belt this time, but embroidered patch on right sleeve.

    Good luck with your research, if you get any strong leads please keep this thread updated.

    Ollie.

  9. #9
    TMZ
    TMZ is offline
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    Default

    Ollie,

    have a look at 2 for where the nearest camps were located.


    Regards,

    Ted

  10. #10

    Default

    Hello Ollie,

    Regarding your Grandfather's awards I taked a look at his ribbons bar:

    Grandfather's 2 Korpus/Polish Resistance Photos & Insignia

    And I think they are as follows:

    1 - Cross of Valour
    2 - 1939-45 Star
    3 - Italy Star

    This embroidered patch on right sleeve on the last picture is the patch of the 8th British Army which the 2nd Polish Corps was subordinated between 1944 and 1945.

    And on the penultimate photo there are some partisans from the Home Army (AK).

    Map of the Polish Army units in the PRC in the UK:
    ARMY UNITS IN POLISH RESETTLEMENT CORPS CAMPS IN THE UK 1946-1948


    Regards
    Konrad

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