To be able to pass these exams, did they have English language classes? I seem to remember my mother saying that they didn’t get any help with learningMessage 1 of 2 , Jun 4, 2011View Source
To be able to pass these exams, did they have English language classes? I seem to remember my mother saying that they didn’t get any help with learning English. She was at Foxley Camp.
My father was sent on a training course as an electrician but I don’t know if he went on a language course before this.
Elzunia Gradosielska Olsson
Names: Maczka. Gradosielski.
Kresy: Osada Krechowiecka. Wilno.
Siberia: Monastyriok. Siewzeldorlag, Komi.
Army: Pestki 316 Transport. Sappers 5KDP.
From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of stefan.wisniowski@...
Sent: Saturday, June 04, 2011 5:14 PM
To: Kresy-Siberia Group
Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Class of '41: Inspiring Polish servicemen and women commended by Cambridge
Interesting article - see http://www.cambridgeesol.org/what-we-do/newsroom/2011/class-of-41.html
Class of '41: Inspiring Polish servicemen and women commended by Cambridge
28 February 2011
Language testing experts from Cambridge University paid homage to the thousands of Polish servicemen and women who took English language examinations during the 1940s at a ceremony in London earlier this month. The event, held at the Sikorski Museum, marked the 70th anniversary of the first Polish student sitting a Cambridge English examination in the UK. A former archbishop, a minister of justice and a Professor of law at Oxford University were just some of alumni identified from this period.
“Going through the list of ESOL students, at moments, it reads like a veritable who's who of the Polish military establishment,” said Dr Andrzej Suchcitz, the Keeper of the Archives at the Sikorski Museum. He explained how the candidate lists show test takers ranging from: “Generals, colonels, naval captains, commanders and senior air force officers.”
During this historic event, a group of candidates from the 1940s were reunited to mark the anniversary in a touching ceremony. This included veteran Eugene Borysiuk who proudly brought along his original certificate bearing the University of Cambridge Crest. Eugene explained how he came to the United Kingdom in 1943 when he joined the Polish Air Force Scheme. He later enrolled as a student in a technical school at RAF Holton, Buckinghamshire and received weekly English lessons. In 1946 he along with a number of other comrades sat and passed his lower Cambridge certificate. Later he went on to become a company Quality Director of an Electronics company.
Among the audience were the First Secretary of the Polish Embassy for Educational Affairs, Poland's Military Attaché to the UK and the Polish Consul in London.
“The story of the Polish forces in the UK deserves to be much better known, and the Sikorski Institute and this fascinating museum are doing outstanding work to document it,” said Cambridge ESOL's Christine Nuttall who acknowledged the remarkable speed and thoroughness with which so many Polish forces soldiers learnt English during this period. She said: “What we see from our records is the evidence of large numbers of Polish soldiers getting a really thorough knowledge of English in only two or three years.”
Records show Polish servicemen - and women - starting to take English language exams in 1941, with numbers growing throughout the war, and the immediate post-war years, peaking in 1948 when on one day in March nearly two and a half thousand men and women from the Polish Resettlement Corps took the Lower Certificate in English in specially arranged exam sessions all over the UK. Delegates at the event in London were given examples of question papers from the period and heard the first public broadcast of recordings which from Cambridge ESOL's archive of Polish airmen taking Cambridge speaking tests in 1944.