I’ve been following with interest your discussion about the 1st Polish Armoured Division and would like to make a small contribution. My dad was also in this great Division having gone through Siberia, the Middle East, South Africa and finally Scotland. He was with the 1st Field Artillery Regiment (I attach a photo of their symbol) and with the 1st Battery aka Battery of Death ‘Bateria Smierci’ (I also attach a photo of the skull badge they wore on their right sleeve). He did the whole of the Normandy Campaign with the Division from France right through to Wilhelmshaven. Dad celebrated his 21st birthday on the front during the Battle
of Falaise, where his Sherman tank was hit twice by German mortar and was on fire. Being the chief gunner he covered the rest of the crew as they escaped from the burning tank and was the last one out. Miraculously everyone survived. In spite of this terrible experience, he immediately jumped into another tank and bravely continued fighting. My dad was later one of the crew in a Sexton, which he named Breda, and this tank is now on display in the Warsaw Military Museum.
I have many military photos taken during the Normandy Campaign and German occupation, which I have inherited from my late dad and uncle, including some which were taken in 1942 in South Africa (Durban, Pietermaritzburg) as well as old postcards, and photos of the troops preparing for transport to the U.K. and on board ship. I am planning to put these on the Wall of Memories to share with everyone, when I’ve got them in some order.
It has certainly been educational being part of this knowledgeable and passionate group so thank you everyone for your contribution and for filling in a lot of gaps for me.