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Sikorski Museum, London

Article about: I am so relaxed the photo's didnot attach sorry about that here goes again I will try one at a time Awards of General Dr Roman Odzierzynski

  1. #11

    Default Re: Sikorski Museum, London

    Fellows
    I have been there many times

    It is an amazing place – not only because is houses the unique collection of artefacts (just mind blowing!) but also because the atmosphere and historical significance of archives that are, to my knowledge, largely still waiting to be revived and catalogued

    What if find incredible is the fact that almost each artefact has a “personal story” -
    1. letters with shrapnels
    2. letter to the mother written by a pilot on the collar of his shirt when in a live-saving boat – actually he survived
    3. swords collected from Polish Lancers by the Germans in 1939 and then “recovered” from German tank crews by Karpatians in Tobruk
    4. Polish Navy HQ banner stolen in 1939 and then found by 1 Pancerna in the Officers’ bar in Wilhelmshafen
    5. And many others!

  2. #12

    Default Re: Sikorski Museum, London

    Quote by wadowicznic View Post
    . . . It is an amazing place – not only because is houses the unique collection of artefacts (just mind blowing!) but also because the atmosphere and historical significance of archives that are, to my knowledge, largely still waiting to be revived and catalogued

    What if find incredible is the fact that almost each artefact has a “personal story” -
    1. letters with shrapnels
    2. letter to the mother written by a pilot on the collar of his shirt when in a live-saving boat – actually he survived
    3. swords collected from Polish Lancers by the Germans in 1939 and then “recovered” from German tank crews by Karpatians in Tobruk
    4. Polish Navy HQ banner stolen in 1939 and then found by 1 Pancerna in the Officers’ bar in Wilhelmshafen
    5. And many others!
    Good post wadowicznic.

    Quote by wadowicznic View Post
    . . . 3. swords collected from Polish Lancers by the Germans in 1939 and then “recovered” from German tank crews by Karpatians in Tobruk
    Am I understanding correctly that the Poles found these sabers in Africa??

    Quote by wadowicznic View Post
    . . . 5. And many others!
    Please tell us more!

    More pics from the museum, these ones courtesy of dorava . . .

    Regards,
    Tony
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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

  3. #13

    Default Re: Sikorski Museum, London

    Hi everyone,

    Just thought that those people who are around in London on the 6th October 2010 might like to see this event. Poster attached

    Best wishes

    Andrejku
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  4. #14

    Default Re: Sikorski Museum, London

    I'll be there

    I recall hearing that when 2PolCorps was being sent to UK for demobilisation after the end of WWII Wojtek was to be excluded as only enlisted soldiers were to be allowed entry into UK. So to get around the regulations and military red tape Wojtek was formally enlisted into 2PolCorps and issued an army number and paybook so was able to enter Britain, and was the only animal to be officially recognised as a serving soldier... but this story may just be part of the Wojtek bear legend

    mmm....wonder if I write to the Amry records office they will give me Wojtek's service records...or would I have to prove I was next of kin
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Sikorski Museum, London

    Hi everyone with the help of my son, we have been able to scan the following photo of Kpt pil Antoni Glowacki awards

  6. #16

    Default Re: Sikorski Museum, London

    Hi again,

    Whoops it didn't work I will try again in the morning

  7. #17

    Default Re: Sikorski Museum, London

    Quote by andrzejku98 View Post
    Hi everyone,

    Just thought that those people who are around in London on the 6th October 2010 might like to see this event. Poster attached

    Best wishes

    Andrejku
    From recent article in Scottish newspaper

    'Soldier bear' got his claws into war




    Published Date: 10 June 2010
    By SANDRA DICK
    HE STOOD over 6ft tall, the largest and undoubtedly most intimidating fighting force of the Polish Army.
    Like his fellow soldiers, Wojtek liked a beer and a fag. When it came to his duties, he threw himself into his task of transporting weighty artillery boxes with gusto.

    On rare occasions when there was time to relax, he humoured high-spirited comrades who courageously took turns to wrestle and play-fight with him.

    Always, though, and without fail, there'd be only one winner.

    Wojtek – the name means "smiling warrior" – was a Polish hero, a Syrian brown bear with vicious claws, teeth like razors and the strength of several men, whose bravery and loyalty is almost as exceptional as his incredible gentleness.

    The story of how he was found by soldiers and raised to be one of their own to join their wartime struggle is testimony to the amazing rapport that can be achieved between man and the most unlikely of beasts.

    He ended his days – some say with a certain sadness in his deep brown eyes – in solitude behind bars in a cage at Edinburgh Zoo, where visitors would pass him cigarettes and the sound of a Polish voice was guaranteed to prompt an instant response.

    Today, Wojtek is remembered with fondness and pride by some, vaguely recalled by a few, but largely forgotten by most. Soon, though, it's hoped there will be a lasting and fitting memorial to "the soldier bear".

    Sculptor Alan Herriot's farmyard workshop on the outskirts of the Midlothian village of Howgate is a far removed as possible from the bloody slopes of Monte Cassino where Wojtek and his comrades saw action in some of the fiercest fighting of the Second World War.

    Over the past few months, the Newtongrange miner's son has created a dramatic 19ft tall equestrian bronze of Robert the Bruce which is destined for Aberdeen and currently at Powderhall Foundry.

    Now he's preparing to turn his skills to capturing the unique character of Wojtek in a striking "larger than life" statue.

    The group behind the £200,000 sculpture plans, among them Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Edinburgh Tattoo producer Major General Euan Loudon, and Borders farming wife and author Aileen Orr – whose family farmlands became temporary home to Wojtek and his comrades – are embroiled in talks over where it might finally take pride of place, with hopes currently pinned on Edinburgh Castle. Interest in the work has come from across the globe. Eventually, Herriot's Wojtek could be recreated at locations in Poland and Italy.

    "I'm passionate about Wojtek's story," explains Herriot, standing in his cluttered workshop overlooked by a bust he's working on of the current Lord Elgin and a wild-eyed painted statue of Deacon Brodie, brought from the Royal Mile for emergency repairs. "Wojtek was an incredible creature. He liked a fag and drank his beer from a can, he slept alongside the other soldiers.

    "One day they were unloading military artillery shells and the bear picked one up and started to move it, walking on his two legs, carrying shells. He became a national hero."

    Wojtek's incredible story began by chance in Persia, now Iran, 1942, where the Polish Second Corps, a group of soldiers released from Soviet slave camps in Serbia, were making the arduous journey to join comrades fighting in Egypt and Italy.

    A young mountain shepherd boy had found the orphaned baby bear, and somewhere on the narrow mountain tracks running between Hamadan and Kangavar, the boy and the soldiers met. The Poles shared their food with the emaciated lad and watched with interest the sudden movements made from within his sack.

    The cub inside was desperately in need of care. For a few provisions, the boy traded his "pet" and set Wojtek on the road to becoming one of the world's most famous creatures.

    The soldiers, recalls Herriot, raised him with remarkable patience and care. "He became one of them," he says. "He lived with them, he played with them and he fought alongside them."

    He even became a soldier with them. In 1944, troops were ordered to head for Italy to join the Allied advance on Rome. No animals were supposed to accompany them, so the Poles enrolled Wojtek as a soldier.

    They headed for Monte Cassino, where the 500lb bear astonished all by raising himself onto his hind legs and carrying boxes of live shells from lorries to gun emplacements.

    It was such a remarkable sight that Wojtek became adopted as a symbol of the Polish fight, and the banner and buttons of the Transport Corps were redrawn to bear his image.

    The Soviet occupation of Poland meant that at the end of the war the Polish soldiers and Wojtek ended up at Winfield Aerodrome on Sunwick Farm near Hutton in Berwickshire, where writer Aileen Orr's grandfather, a King's Own Scottish Borderers colour sergeant, was reacquainted with the bear. "He had come across Wojtek in Palestine and Egypt and was amazed to see him," recalls Aileen, whose book about Wojtek is due out in September.

    Eventually the soldiers left, but Wojtek had to stay behind.

    "They took the bear to Edinburgh Zoo which must have been terrible for them to do," adds Herriot. "By all accounts, they were in a terrible state."

    Wojtek's health failed and he withdrew further into his compound, rarely venturing out and reacting only to the sound of a Polish voice.

    "It was very sad in the end," adds Herriot. "He had crippling arthritis. He was 22 when he died in 1963, anaesthetised and shot – a soldier's death."

    Interest in Wojtek was revived three years ago after an Evening News story told of his remarkable life. "The reaction was amazing," recalls Aileen. "People were in touch from around the world."

    Historic Scotland is in talks with the Bear Memorial Trust over siting the statue of Wotjek at Edinburgh Castle.

    Finally seeing the statue in place would, says Herriot, be a fitting tribute to the remarkable bear and his keepers.

    "The statue is not just about celebrating Wojtek's life," he insists. "It's about acknowledging the Polish role in the Second World War and the part played by the Polish community in Edinburgh."

    Wojtek The Bear, Polish War Hero by Aileen Orr is due to be published in September by Birlinn Books.

  8. #18

    Default Re: Sikorski Museum, London

    Hi everyone,

    Well here I go again I hope that this time it works
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  9. #19

    Default Re: Sikorski Museum, London

    One down many more to go, here is General Bronislaw Duch and some of his awards
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  10. #20

    Default Re: Sikorski Museum, London

    Here are a few Virtuti Militari Legitymacja's hope that you will find them interesting

    Best wishes

    Andrzejku
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