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Polish Medals, documents & Red Cross Letter

Article about: Evening all, Iím new to the group, which i stumbled upon while trying to search for information on Polish medal ribbons. I am trying to find some information on my adopted granddads possessi

  1. #1

    Default Polish Medals, documents & Red Cross Letter

    Evening all,

    Iím new to the group, which i stumbled upon while trying to search for information on Polish medal ribbons. I am trying to find some information on my adopted granddads possessions. Any Information would be gratefully received. I cannot identify two of the medal ribbons (Picture below: top left purple and white and bottom right, red white and blue), a green 5 Borderland Inf Div Card which mentions commemorative badges and shooter and a military school certificate?

    What I know Bronislaw (Bronislawowi) Drazkowski (Michael as he was called when he work at Rossington Colliery) was sent to a Russian concentration camp when Russia invaded Poland, when Russia became an allied he travelled to Africa, he often talked about a sea passage that was very rough, he was the sickest he had ever been, then Palestine (Palestine could have been before Africa) before going to Italy and fighting at Monte Cassino. He talked about Bren Gun Carriers, whether he drove one or manned the gun i donít know. He left the Army in 1947 and moved to Doncaster and worked at Rossington Colliery. He died in 1998 of a mining related illness leaving a wife Olga (from Jersey) who died 10 years later nearly to the day.

    Some of the things i have are below.



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  2. #2


    Hello Richard,

    May I be the first to welcome you to the Forum, witrh regards to your adopted Grandfathers Items, when awarded the Monte Cassino Cross is details where as follows: Strzelec (Rifleman) Bronislaw Draczkowski, Born in 1919, Army Number (also found on his ID Tags) 1919-102-III, Unit 14 Rifle Battalion, 5th Kresowa (Frontier) Infantry Division.

    His Fathers name was Pawel (Paul), Bronislaw was arrested when he crossed the Polish Border into Lithuania on the 19th September 1939, 2 days after the russians marched into Poland. This possibly points to him being in the Army pre 1st September 1939, he is then listed as an inmate at the Camp at Ponoj near Murmansk on the 27th July 1941 then removed to a camp at Juza before joining the Anders Army at Tatiszczewo on the 3rd September 1941.

    The Items that you have shown are as follows:

    Photograph 1) Enamelled Ribbon Bar (showing Polish Army Medal, Monte Cassino Cross, British 1939-1945 Star, Italy Star and possibly the 1939-1945 War Medal ?

    Then the 5th Kresowa Infantry Divsion Badge along with 8th Army Badge awarded to the 2nd Corps after the Battle of Monte Cassino, Poland Title Flashes worn on the shoulders of his tunic, Monte Cassino Cross, Identification Tags Miniature 2nd Corps Badge.

    Photograph Nr: 2 & 3 Show his award Certificate for the 5th Kresowa Infantry Division Badge.

    Photograph 4 & 5 show his Driving Licence for Military Vehicles

    Photograph 6 shows his NCO's School Diploma

    Photograph 7 shows his 2nd Corps Badge Legitymacja (Authorization Card)

    Photograph 8 shows his Monte Cassino Cross Legitymacja

    Photograph 9 Red Cross Letter

    Photograph 10 & 11 SPK (Polish Ex-Combattants Association)

    Photograph 12 shows I assume Bronislaw as a St Strz. (Lance Corporal)

    Photographs 14 onwards shows his British Army AB63 Service/Pay Book, the Number written in Red at the top of photograph 15 his Bronislaw's Polish Resttlement Corps Number.

    Well I do hope that the above information is of some use and help, no doubt some of the other members will also add their comments.

    Best wishes


  3. #3



    Thank you for the post, can i ask how you found out about where he was captured and the camp he went to? Interesting and a tad emotional too.

    What is the 5th Kresowa Infantry Division Badge and where would it be worn? I was wondering if the last medal was an Africa Star but the ribbon colour is wrong. Is Photo 7 his Italian Star authorisation? Do you know what the red cross letter says, i'd assume that was a letter from when he was in Russia but the dates dont match. Answered questions lead to more questions.

    I will be looking to replace the four medals i dont have, do you have any advice? I would like to get originals and mount them with his beret, photo and medals.

    Thanks again for your reply, my Dad will be chuffed when i show him at the weekend.



  4. #4


    The Red Cross letter was posted from Jerusalem, Palestine and is I think from the father to the son who is living in Hrubieszow in the Generalgouvernement of occupied Poland. By 1942-43 those Poles released from the USSR under the called "amnesty" in 1941 would have mainly been evacuated to Palestine and other countries outside of the USSR so the dates would be okay. The short note says something along the lines of : "Dear Son! We are healthy and wish you well also this month of August."
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  5. #5



    Thank you. He never mentioned his family being displaced, in fact the opposite, he said he hadn't seen them since leaving Poland. Perhaps thats because they were moved?

    Edited: Looking at it again, i think it was sent to Pawel (Paul) Bronislaw's father. Bronislaw did serve in Palistine so that would make sense.

    Thanks again.


  6. #6


    Hello Richard,

    Many thanks for your reply, the website index of victims of soviet repression lists all the details that I gave, Bronislaw was released to late to see action in North Africa. The Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade that served in Tobruk alongside the British and Australians would have received the Africa Star. But the Polish Forces that came out of the russian camps some where in rather poor state of health, also they had to survive get fit and learn how to operate British and American equipment which they did in Iran, Iraq, Palestine and Eygpt before entering the Italian Campaign in late 1943 early 1944.

    The 5th Kresowa Badge was worn on the left arm below the Poland Title and the 8th Army Badge was worn on the right arm below the Poland Title.

    Photograph 7 shows Bronislaw's 2nd Corps Badge (Mermaid holding a raised sword with 8th Army shield below), the full size badge would have the exact same number as the Legitymacja.

    The British Medals would be easy to obtain from any medal dealer, the Polish Army Medal may be another thing they appear on ebay from time to time there is one for sale at the moment but the seller is asking for £54.00p far to expensive if you try any medal dealers in your area you might be able to pick one up for between £20-35.00p). But before you purchase a Army Medal be aware that there are a number of types, Bronislaw would have been issued a type 1 (photograph of which I have posted below)

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    I must add my thanks to Stefan for translating the Red Cross Letter

    Richard, I do hope that your Father will be amazed with the information that we have been able to provide you with about Bronislaw and his awards and paperwork, if we can be of any further help, dont hesitate to ask if we can answer any questions we will.

    Best wishes


  7. #7


    The translation of the letter is however :

    on page 1 it has a note from son to the Father, it says : " I am healthy, greetings Bronek. "

    On back page is the Father's answer : "We are healthy and we wish same for You. We are in place (at home) and your beloved Father and we are very happy that You are still alive. "
    This was a Red Cross letter from son to Father, and Father has responded to it.
    The message on front page was limited to 25 words or less.

  8. #8


    This is a great story Dropshort (you weren't a Gunner by any chance?). The folks on the forum are such a brilliant mine of information.

    You have the Monte Cassino Cross, which is excellent, so the rest of the medals will be easy to find. The last medal on the bar is a bit of a puzzle though. You will be able to find a 5KDP pocket badge too. The green Legitymacja refers to it.

    Nice group and so brilliant you have been able to find out so much

  9. #9


    Fantastic, thank you all. I think the Red Cross letter is fantastic. Son to Father and Fathers reply. In this day and age of endless emails and texts, those few words meant everything!

    So photo 7 is authority to wear this:
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    Where would that be worn?

    So i need to be on the look out for a full size badge (I have the small pin)? Should the Italy Star have paperwork with it?

    I just need to identify the bottom right medal now, red white and blue? Any ideas?
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    Thanks again for all your comments and advice, its greatly appreciated.


  10. #10



    No i am a Royal Engineer. I used Dropshort2000, back in 2000 when i wrote to a Newspaper, throw them off the scent! ;-)

    5KDP Pocket Badge?
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    Is this what you mean?

    It is brilliant what i have been told on here. I wouldn't have known where to start. Fantastic site.

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