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Polish Medals etc

Article about: Hi Tony Thankyou again for your reply. I guess the plot thickens. I assume as you do that my grandfather was in the forced labour camp until the end of the war. I guess what I would like to

  1. #1

    Default Polish Medals etc

    Hi all

    Im new here so nice to meet you all. Very interesting forum you have here. My name is Richard and I am from Leeds, I have recently been researching my ancestry in Poland and also my grandfathers history in the Polish military during WW2.

    I have attached some pictures of what I have of my grandads, I have some very basic information but he passed away just before I was born so I would like to find out more about him. Can anything be identified or told by what I have.

    Pictures attached.

    Many thanks for any help or advice anybody can offer.

    RichClick image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default re: Polish Medals etc

    Welcome aboard Richard. Your pictures did not get attached. Please try again.

    Regards,
    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

  3. #3

    Default re: Polish Medals etc

    Hi Tony

    Thanks for the welcome, hopefully my pictures have attached this time.

    Thanks
    Richard

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  4. #4

    Default re: Polish Medals etc

    Hi again Richard,

    From left to right, by column top to bottom:

    - two Polish 2nd Corps ‘syrenka’ (mermaid) patches (displayed on uniform tunic left shoulder below shoulder title)
    - beret badge of 64th Infantry Battalion (16th Pomeranian Infantry Brigade of the 2nd Warsaw Armoured Division of the Polish 2nd Corps) – rare badge!
    - souvenir campaign bracelet
    - ribbon bar (l-r: Poland WW2 Army Service Medal; 1939-45 Star; Italy Star)
    - Poland shoulder titles printed on canvas
    - 8th Army Shields (all three are ‘field made’ types: plastic painted; plastic “harmonica factory” type; metal )
    - 5th Kresowa (borderlands) Infantry Division - plastic “harmonica factory” type
    - US Marksmanship Qualification badge
    - Hat eagles (top one looks like a “Scottish/German 1st Corps” pattern; next one is small type commonly used on FS caps / berets; bottom is “Palestine” pattern made for the “APW” Polish Army in the East )
    - Staff college graduate eagle (for application to collar points)
    - Unit badge 5th Kresowa Infantry Division by Italian maker F.M. Lorioli
    - Monte Cassino Cross 19, 626 – awarded to a member of the 5th Kresowa (borderlands) Infantry Division. Our resident archivist Andrzejku will be able to confirm the name of the person awarded this cross.
    - 2nd Corps Commemorative badge (original issues were serial numbered)
    - Polish Cross of Merit with Swords – 3rd Class Bronze; middle east made; cast brass
    - Ribbon bar (l-r: Polish Cross of Valour; Polish Cross of Merit)
    - to right of the bracelet is a small Imperial German WW1 decoration pin

    Regards,
    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 re: Polish Medals etc

    Hi Tony

    Many thanks for taking the time to do that for me, that really is an impressive knowledge you have there!

    I wonder if I could trouble you over another couple of questions I have?

    With the two ribbon bars which I have, you mention that they relate to Cross of Valour, Cross of Merit, WW2 Service Medal, 1939-45 Star and Italy Star. Am I right in assuming that all of these are for medals and as such we are missing four medals from my grandfathers collection? The Cross of Valour, WW2 Service Medal, 39-45 Star and Italy Star?

    Is there a common reason why my grandfather would of had badges for both the 5th Kresowa Infantry Division and 16th Pomeranian Infantry Brigade?

    Many thanks again Tony for your help, it is really appreciated.

    I also have many other official papers from my grandfathers time in the war if these would be of interest to you.

    Rich

  6. #6

    Default Re: Polish Medals etc

    Hi Rich, you’re most welcome.

    Quote by richard1984 View Post
    With the two ribbon bars which I have . . . Cross of Valour, Cross of Merit, WW2 Service Medal, 1939-45 Star and Italy Star. Am I right in assuming that all of these are for medals and as such we are missing four medals from my grandfathers collection?
    Yes, they are decorations - two Polish and two British. All four are relatively common so you should easily be able to replace the missing decorations.

    Quote by richard1984 View Post
    Is there a common reason why my grandfather would of had badges for both the 5th Kresowa Infantry Division and 16th Pomeranian Infantry Brigade?
    It’s entirely possible that following his service with the 5th Kresowa Infantry Division he was reassigned to this infantry battalion within 2nd Armoured Division. The Polish 2nd Corps underwent significant growth and some realignment following cessation of hostilities in 1945.

    Quote by richard1984 View Post
    I also have many other official papers from my grandfathers time in the war if these would be of interest to you.
    Absolutely. These would likely contain important clues as to his service and should be very valuable in providing answers to some of your questions. Please post them for us to see.

    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

  7. #7

    Default Re: Polish Medals etc

    Hi Tony

    Again, many thanks for your reply.

    I have attached some of the documents I have, I have many others as well as lots of photgraphs and literally hundreds of letters sent by my family in Poland during the war.

    I hope that these are of interest, I will dig some of the other bits out and upload those too.

    Many Thanks
    Rich

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  8. #8

    Default Re: Polish Medals etc

    Hi Rich,

    Thanks for the pics. While interesting there's not much there that provides leads as to your grandfather's 2nd Corps unit history. About the only clue is the 5th MG Battalion stamp for his provisional driver's license issued in October 1945. The German ID card is a type issued in occupied Poland, indicating that he was there for a period of time. Please post some more. Slowly there's a story developing here . . .

    Regards,
    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

  9. #9

    Default Re: Polish Medals etc

    The first photo looks like a set of German awards, Iron Cross etc attached to a screw back fitting of some kind? Would like to see a clearer photo or scan of this set if possible?
    I guess you have tried the MoD for your grandfather's complete service records?
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Polish Medals etc

    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Hi Rich,

    Thanks for the pics. While interesting there's not much there that provides leads as to your grandfather's 2nd Corps unit history. About the only clue is the 5th MG Battalion stamp for his provisional driver's license issued in October 1945. The German ID card is a type issued in occupied Poland, indicating that he was there for a period of time. Please post some more. Slowly there's a story developing here . . .

    Regards,
    Tony
    Hi Tony

    I am beginning to get more and more intrigued. If my grandfather had a ID card issued by the occupiing germans there must be a really good story as to how he got from occupied Lodz (where he lived) into the Polish forces. All I really know is he lied about his age and joing up at the age of 15. Unfortunatley he passed away before I was born so I only have very vague information from my grandmother. She seems to think that he was split from his family at some point and was on 'the run' for some time. I don't know when or what for though.

    I have heard some really interesting stories from her, albeit vague, like how he used to throw food over the walls of the ghetto, jumped off a german transport truck and hid in bushes and was taken somewhere by the germans when he had been to the cinema with his friend. I just wish I knew more.

    There is a diary which he wrote during the war but unfortunately I do not understand anywhere near enough Polish to understand it.

    I have a genealogy researcher working for me in Poland, I hope he finds out lots of interesting information for me.

    Now that you have kindly told me what themedalls were, I can see them in photographs which I have of my grandad in his army uniform. I will post these pictures if people wish to see them, a have a few.

    My grandmother also seems to remember seeing a photo of him with a bear which I can only assume to be Wojtek as I know that he was part of the II Corps.

    I will see what other documents I can dig out.

    Thanks
    Rich

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