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My Grandad was a Polish Para. Can anyone help find out more?

Article about: Hello, I am doing some research into my Grandad. He settled in the UK after the war with His Ukrainian wife. He never really talked about the war but occasionally he would tell a few stories

  1. #1

    Default My Grandad was a Polish Para. Can anyone help find out more?

    Hello,

    I am doing some research into my Grandad. He settled in the UK after the war with His Ukrainian wife. He never really talked about the war but occasionally he would tell a few stories about his time in the Para's. He always spun them out to sound like a great adventure but I am not so sure that was the reality from the reading I have been doing. At 95 he has recently gone into a home to be looked after. In amongst his things were a collection of medals and what look like his dog tags. They have the following written on them;

    A P
    Bednarz
    1920
    Marian
    RZ KAT
    94/1

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    What is the best way to start tracing his story? Can anybody tell me anything about him? There is his para badge holding the gold wreath which from what I have read suggests he saw combat. There is no WP in the wreath however.


    Any help anyone can give would be fantastic

  2. #2

    Default

    Welcome to the forum


    You should be proud, a real hero. I hope you can find out some of his wartime history.

  3. #3

    Default

    He would have been in the 1st Independant Prarchute Brigade https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_In...igade_(Poland)

    I am not sure if his records would be in the UK or not. Your best chance is from him while he is still alive. where are you located?

  4. #4

    Default

    Greetings and welcome to the forum.

    Your grandfather’s dog tag translates as follows:

    A.P = Armia Polska = Polish Army
    BEDNARZ = surname
    1920 = Year of birth
    MARIAN = Christian name
    RZ KAT = Rzymski Katolik (Roman Catholic) - religious affiliation
    94 = Registration Number
    I = Army Recruiting Command = 1st Corps (England)

    The Jan Lorys reference “History of the Polish Parachute Badge” contains the following entry:

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    3581 = Parachute Badge Number
    366 = Combat Wreath Number
    Plut. = Plutonowy = rank of Lance Sergeant
    1.SBS = 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade
    MG = participation in Operation Market Garden

    Cheers,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  5. #5

    Default

    Oh wow! Thanks Tony!! This has filled in some big questions. I plan to go speak to him. He is 95 though and very frail. In the past, he has mentioned snippets of his exploits but as a true Pol, always in a way that made light of the situation. I remember he told me about his active jump. I guess this would have been part of Market Garden. He said he thought they had a welcoming party. They were setting of fireworks for us! I would love to put together his journey from Poland to his eventual settlement in Derbyshire. He worked in the UK as a minor. There is rumour that he worked for the secret service. The story goes that he met my Ukrainian Grandmother whilst under cover in a prisoner of war camp.

    Any guidance on how to put togethe

  6. #6

    Default

    Hello Grooveshysta,

    May I also welcome you to the Forum, your Grandfather according the MATERIALY Nr 3 published in 1987 was a Kapral (Corporal) serving in the 1st Battalion when he jumped at Arnhem.

    His occupation was listed as a Coal Miner when he applied for and was granted British Citizenship on the 25th August 1952 BNA Certificate Numbered 23852, at that time he was living at 41 Talbot Street, Pinxton, Derbyshire. London Gazette Issue Nr: 39670 Page 0400.

    Now with regards to your Grandfathers Service Record this is still held by the British Ministry of Defence, give them a ring just to make sure that they still have it as they are in the process of returning all Military Records that they have back to Poland.

    They do charge for this service and if you decide to go ahead be sure to ask for copies of all records that they have both Polish and British otherwise you will receive either a 1 or 2 page letter detailing his service.

    Best wishes

    And let us know how you get on

    Andrzej

    p.s. link to the web site: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/veterans-uk

  7. #7

    Default

    Great story. Where in the UK are you ? I would love to meet him and shake his hand !!

    do zobaczenia

    All the best !

  8. #8

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    Thank you all for your interest! I will keep you posted of any developments. I have looked at the veterans website Andrzej referenced. It looks as though it is preferential for the request to be made by the next of kin. I am sure my Mother or my Uncle would be able to do this. I will try calling though to see if they still have it. The forms seem to only refer to British Army service. I hope they can tell me about his Polish service too.

    Out of interest, what sort of things will his record tell me? Will it just be what you guys have already told me about?

    With regards to shaking his hand, he is pretty closed to contact from anyone relating to his past. He always has. He spent some time in Campo De Miranda and was contacted a few years ago by somebody who had written a book about the place. He flatly refused to speak to him.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote by Grooveshysta View Post
    Thank you all for your interest! I will keep you posted of any developments. I have looked at the veterans website Andrzej referenced. It looks as though it is preferential for the request to be made by the next of kin. I am sure my Mother or my Uncle would be able to do this. I will try calling though to see if they still have it. The forms seem to only refer to British Army service. I hope they can tell me about his Polish service too.

    Out of interest, what sort of things will his record tell me? Will it just be what you guys have already told me about?

    With regards to shaking his hand, he is pretty closed to contact from anyone relating to his past. He always has. He spent some time in Campo De Miranda and was contacted a few years ago by somebody who had written a book about the place. He flatly refused to speak to him.
    That's a shame but understandable. Its disgracefull the way the Poles where treated after the war, did he have any family left in Poland ?

    All the best

  10. #10

    Default

    Yes he did have family back home. I remember as a kid having many a visit from family. My Mum went over too. I think my parents went on their honeymoon! We had no contact with Ukraine though until around 1990.

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