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Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

Article about: Hello All, Please could you help. I am trying to find out as much information on my Granddad as I can. I have already contacted the MOD and am awaiting information from them. Tony from this

  1. #21

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    Quote by jamest8 View Post
    I just wanted to say what a fantastic story this is. Vanda, you must be very proud of your Grandfather.

    Anyway I thought I'd put names to the medal ribbons. It would be perfectly possible to find replacement medals and assemble them as as a great group. I believe he would have been entitled to the British Defence Medal but many medal groups miss this medal as it was often issued at a later stage.

    Great story - thanks for sharing
    I believe the Defence Medal was only issued for non- operational service such as those involved in services training units, the Home Guard, airfield guard, ARP (?) etc so would probably not be applicable in this case and maybe why it is not seen often with operational award groups such as the campaign stars.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    Quote by 4thskorpion View Post
    I believe the Defence Medal was only issued for non- operational service such as those involved in services training units, the Home Guard, airfield guard, ARP (?) etc so would probably not be applicable in this case and maybe why it is not seen often with operational award groups such as the campaign stars.
    Sorry 4th Skorpion, my father was awarded the Defense Medal and he was definitely operational. It might have something to do when one came to Britain. My father was there from 1940 on and I believe the Poles did provide coastal defense.

    My father also received two British Campaign Stars to go with his British Defense Medal and War Medal - France and Germany Star and 1939-1945 Star.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by dastier; 11-17-2012 at 06:49 AM. Reason: Added photo.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    Quote by dastier View Post
    My father was there from 1940 on and I believe the Poles did provide coastal defense.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Therein lies the explanation for your father's award of the Defence Medal award in recognition of his non-operational service on Scottish coastal guard duties. When his later duties became "operational" he became entitled too and did receive the Campaign Stars.

    The reason the Defence Medal is often "missing" in medal groups was not as was suggested by jamest8 because "it was often issued at a later stage." but because it was issued for non-operational service. This would also explain why this award is often lacking in medal groupings of servicemen such as those of 2PolCorps who were not initially involved with defensive tasks in Britain.

    I think you will agree, both entirely consistent with my earlier post
    Last edited by StefanM; 11-17-2012 at 11:42 AM.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    That's the wonder of this forum - I have learned something today. My father was in the Indian Army but has a Defence Medal. After some digging I find that he was in the Oxford University OTC in 1939-40 before going to India. Thanks 4thSkorpion for prompting the additional research

  5. #25

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    Quote by jamest8 View Post
    That's the wonder of this forum - I have learned something today. My father was in the Indian Army but has a Defence Medal. After some digging I find that he was in the Oxford University OTC in 1939-40 before going to India. Thanks 4thSkorpion for prompting the additional research
    Thanks should really go to Dastier as I had forgotten that "Sikorski's tourists" were initially tasked with costal guard duties in Scotland so would have been entitled to the Defence Medal whereas those in 2PolCorps out of "Siberia" would not.

    Anyway I am glad that you were able to find out something new about your father's service
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    [QUOTE=4thskorpion;723896] . . . whereas those in 2PolCorps out of "Siberia" would not. [QUOTE]
    Hi Stefan, sorry but that's not correct. Poles stationed in the Mediterranean theater of the war certainly qualified for the Defence Medal based on a period of at least six months service in ‘non-operational areas deemed to be subjected to enemy air attacks or closely threatened’. The British Mandate of Palestine was one of these areas, and as you know the Poles arrived there in 1940 from French Syria after the collapse of France and maintained a presence throughout the war years.

    Posted below is an award document and the familiar plastic style ribbon bar from a grouping that belonged to a soldier in the MG battalion of the 5KDP. As was often done with these 2nd Corps documents for the British decorations the War and Defence Medal awards were ‘dopisane’ - manually written in on the reverse.

    I’ve also posted a portrait of a lance sergeant in the 3DSK with the Defence Medal visible on his ribbon bar.

    Regards,
    Tony
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    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. #27

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    [QUOTE=A.J. Zawadzki;724531][QUOTE=4thskorpion;723896] . . . whereas those in 2PolCorps out of "Siberia" would not.
    Hi Stefan, sorry but that's not correct. Poles stationed in the Mediterranean theater of the war certainly qualified for the Defence Medal based on a period of at least six months service in ‘non-operational areas deemed to be subjected to enemy air attacks or closely threatened’. The British Mandate of Palestine was one of these areas, and as you know the Poles arrived there in 1940 from French Syria after the collapse of France and maintained a presence throughout the war years.

    Posted below is an award document and the familiar plastic style ribbon bar from a grouping that belonged to a soldier in the MG battalion of the 5KDP. As was often done with these 2nd Corps documents for the British decorations the War and Defence Medal awards were ‘dopisane’ - manually written in on the reverse.

    I’ve also posted a portrait of a lance sergeant in the 3DSK with the Defence Medal visible on his ribbon bar.

    Regards,
    Tony

    As jamest8 said earlier you can learn something new every day on this great forum, thanks Tony
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    In my experience of collecting I noticed most 2nd Corps groupings have the Defence medal, many of the late recruits captured around Falaise did not get the Defence medal. Here is one for sale on a Scottish site: http://aberdeenmedals.com/shop.php

    Now most Polish Air Force groupings I have seen have the Defence medal, these include both aircrew and groundcrew but Polish Navy it is actually really hard to find a Defence Medal. For example my friend has a group to a career sailor, joined in 1935, in 1939 was on the ORP Burza that sailed as part of operation Peking, and the sailor was in England 1939-45, operational all the time, got a Cross of Valor, Navy medal with 3 bars but no Defence Medal...

  9. #29
    ?

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    Hi All, I haven't been on here a while but I have still been spending time trying to find out further information on my Granddad, although I seem to have come to a standstill again and am asking for further help please . I have wrote to the MOD, who have unfortunately confirmed that they cannot help. I was also given an e mail for the Sikorski Museum who I have contacted and asked what they need me to provide, however, they have not got back to me. Can anyone advise me here what I need to do, should I write, do I need to enclose a death certificate, my Grandma's marriage certificate? Also can anyone add anything else or refer me to get further info.

    In the meantime I have attached a further photo of my Granddad with General Stanislaw Sosabowski, could anyone tell me what rank he is on this photo please?

    Thanks as ever for your help
    Vanda
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #30

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    Hi Vanda,

    Did the MOD give any specific reason why they were unable to provide you with information about your grandfather?

    Nice photo. One small correction is that your father is pictured with General Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, not Sosabowski. As far as rank I can’t make out anything from his beret, perhaps obscured by shadow, but the shoulder straps appear to have the edge treatment denoting a sergeant or cadet officer. It’s difficult to discern.

    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

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