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Was My father a Cichociemny ?

Article about: Hi members, My dad was a cichociemny and he died in 1994. I was only 12 years old at the time and didn't understand his role in the war until I was in high school, but my mom couldn't rememb

  1. #21

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    I was googling and found some basic information for many of the medals. They seem to be very generic. Is there a record somewhere of who was awarded these medals and for what?

    Is it still possible that my dad was part of the SOE if he was part of the Polish 1st armoured division? Would he have received some sort of medal recognizing that? So far I haven't been able to find any information about him besides the stories that family members were able to tell me . I emailed the links you sent me and am waiting to hear a response.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    What a great collection of awards to have to remind you of your father's war service... and valour! I am sure there is a fascinating story to be told once you have his service history

    I have tried to identify the grouping all bar (no pun intended ) one which I think is also French.


    1. Polish Cross of Valour (Krzyż Walecznych) '1920' WWII type
    2. Polish Cross of Merit with Swords (Krzyż Zasługi z Mieczami)
    3. Polish Army Active Service Medal
    4. French Croix de Guerre 1939
    5. French ?????
    6. French 1939-1945 War Commemorative Medal
    7. British 1939-1945 Star
    8. British Africa Star (8th Army or 1st Army or North Africa 1942-43)
    9. British Italy Star (11th June 1943 - 8th May 1945)
    10. British France and Germany Star (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands or Germany 1944-45)
    11. British defence Medal
    12. British War Medal 19391945

    Your father could have been involved with SOE operations as they were drawn from all walks of life and service depending on the mission requirements and the suitability of the canditates skills and training for the mission objectives. As far as I know there are no specific SOE service awards.

    The Polish records of the MoD should have your father's service history and his military award entitlements and those received. So fingers crossed you get the information you are looking for and then can share it with us
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    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    Hi,

    Number 5 is the French Volunteer Combatants Cross

  4. #24

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    Wow, thank you for identifying all the medals for me! When I first saw them as a kid I thought I would never find out what they were for...thank God for the internet! I'm still waiting to hear from the MoD.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    I just found out that my dad's brother was in either a concentration camp or a work camp in Germany. My dad knew that his brother was there and volunteered to go there either after it was liberated or in order to liberate the prisoners. There is a picture of the two of them there and my uncle looks like a skeleton. Did the prisoners in work camps look like those in the concentration camps (all skin and bones)? We have no idea where it was except that it was in Germany. I'm trying to narrow it down.
    Last edited by Cichociemny Kid; 07-22-2011 at 04:07 AM.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    I have been researching the Polish 1st Armoured Division online...very interesting. It's amazing to see the gratitude of the people of Breda to the Poles. On one web page, someone mentioned soldiers "registering" and if they didn't "register" then there was no record of them. Could it be possible that my dad didn't register?

  7. #27

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    There are some memoir accounts in the Polish Forced Labour thread on this forum
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    Quote by Cichociemny Kid View Post
    I just found out that my dad's brother was in either a concentration camp or a work camp in Germany. My dad knew that his brother was there and volunteered to go there either after it was liberated or in order to liberate the prisoners. There is a picture of the two of them there and my uncle looks like a skeleton. Did the prisoners in work camps look like those in the concentration camps (all skin and bones)? We have no idea where it was except that it was in Germany. I'm trying to narrow it down.
    For some forced labourers in Germany conditions were certainly akin to being in a concentration camp. It depended entitely on the industry involved, but generally conditions were less harsh than being in a concentration camp. Poles forced to toil away in Germans arms manufacturing fatories for example were most likely to be given the most arduous and dangerous jobs to do with the least regard to life or safety... they were worked to death!

    Of course work allocation and food allocation was based on Nazi racist ideological lines; the worst conditions and least food was for all Jews, then it was the Russian PoWs, then Poles and other slavs (Ukranians etc who wore <OST> patches), then workers from occupied Western Europe ie French, Dutch, Italians etc (who didn't have to were national identification patches) and finally the German workers who of course enjoyed the best working conditions and food rations, health care.... and lived freely.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    I have a question about the medal that's labeled 1. Was this medals from WWI and given to soldiers during WWII? Did my dad get this from someone or was he awarded this medal. Also, if a person didn't officially register to be in the army, could he/she still have received medals. I'm staring to worry that perhaps my dad didn't register and there isn't a record of him anywhere.

    After speaking with my mom and telling her all about my research of General Maczek and the Polish 1st Armoured Division, she got really excited because she remembered Maczek's name and that my dad used to talk about him and General Sosabowski all the time. She said that my dad had a pair of cufflinks (she still has them) that my dad told her were given to him by one of the Generals, but she couldn't remember which one!

    I started researching Sosabowski and learned that he was the commander of a parachute brigade. Perhaps that's where my dad's parachuting comes into play. If that's true, wouldn't he be listed in the Historia Polskiego Znaku Spadochronowego?

  10. #30

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    The 1920 Cross of Valour was also awarded by the Polish government-in-exile during WWII bearing the 1920 date. The 1st Polish Paras commanded by Sosabowski took part in Battle of Arnhem (in Holland) in September 1944. Maczek's armour moved through Normandy (July 1944) and through to Holland liberating Breda in October 1944 so it is natural that your father would have know about Sosabowski's Polish paras without him being connected to parachuting. GaryJ (?) has confirmed that your father is not listed in the Historia Polskiego Znaku Spadochronowego so therefore any paras link to your father must be elsewhere.

    I guess you will have to wait for Polish Records at MoD to get back to you with your father's service history and the answers you are looking for....fingers crossed! But meanwhile I am sure you will enjoy learning about the Polish forces contribution to the Allied victory in WWII... it is a heroic and often overlooked story
    Last edited by Gary J; 07-25-2011 at 07:29 AM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

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