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1st Polish Armoured Division

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  • henrysokolowski
    Hello all, I have added a list of the killed and otherwise deceased soldiers of the 1st Polish Armoured Division (northwest Europe 1944-47) to the Fallen
    Message 1 of 29 , Sep 7, 2005
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      Hello all,

      I have added a list of the killed and otherwise deceased soldiers of
      the 1st Polish Armoured Division (northwest Europe 1944-47) to
      the "Fallen Soldiers" page at http://felsztyn.tripod.com

      If you recognize a potential relative's name, e-mail me for the date
      of birth and place of birth (or residence), information which is
      usually available.

      My next addition will be a list of registered Anders Army soldiers
      deceased in the U.S.S.R. before the evacuation to Iran and also,
      later , a list of those registered Anders Army soldiers who died in
      Tehran and area.

      I say "registered" because if a soldier did not register, there was
      no record of him or her. Likewise, civilians will not appear on
      these lists.

      Henry Sokolowski,
      Mississauga, Canada
    • krysdobrzanski
      Henry, I visited your web site for the first time when you mentioned the update of Fallen Soldiers What a fantastic and moving site, a true labour of love.
      Message 2 of 29 , Sep 8, 2005
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        Henry,
         
        I visited your web site for the first time when you mentioned the update of "Fallen Soldiers" What a fantastic and moving site, a true labour of love. Well done!!
         
        With warmest regards,
         
        Krys
        (Ipswich, UK)
         
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2005 2:40 AM
        Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

        Hello all,

        I have added a list of the killed and otherwise deceased soldiers of
        the 1st Polish Armoured Division (northwest Europe 1944-47) to
        the "Fallen Soldiers" page at http://felsztyn.tripod.com.

      • Barbara Scrivens
        Dear John, A rainy Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I ve just finished trying to gain information regarding the 1st Polish Armoured Division through
        Message 3 of 29 , Jun 13, 2009
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          Dear John,

          A rainy Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I've just finished trying to gain information regarding the 1st Polish Armoured Division through their website http://dragoons10.tripod.com/main.html. I have been trying to find out two things: the circumstances of my maternal grandfather's death on Sept 2, 1944 in Gonny sur Somme. His name was Wladislaw Surowiec and I have been puzzled regarding how he came to be with the 1st Division in France when my mother last saw him in a camp in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately my email to the 'contact us' link on the above site was returned. I was disappointed but knew that the thought was out there.

          And a few moments later, as I'm catching up on emails, yours is the first I open - and the first I have seen mentions my grandfather's division! Thanks dziadek!

          I've carefully read the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 on the above, trying to find out exactly what happened on Sept 2, 1944. No mention of Gonny sur Somme, only that they had done what they had to at Falaise and were on their way to Abbeville via Bouchy-Blame.

          My grandfather moved with his family from Bratkowice to Zaleszczyki, Lwow, which village was taken by the Soviets on Feb 10, 1940. My mother was only six at the time, and says she does not remember much except the last time she saw her father was in Uzbekistan when he and other Polish men joined the Polish Army.

          I have just finished reading General Anders' book 'An Army in Exile', as my paternal grandfather, Stanislaw Niescior, was part of the Polish 2nd Corps. Logically, from where my grandfather Surowiec started out, I had thought they would have taken the same road. Obviously they did not.

          Did your late father tell you much?

          I have been given the chance to visit Vienna in September and am trying to decide whether to visit Bratkowice, where I still apparently have relatives (not contacted), or follow the route of Monte Cassino to Bologna (where my paternal grandfather is buried) or to investigate the French connection (my maternal grandfather is buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Calais).

          Kind regards,
          Barbara Scrivens (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
          Auckland
          New Zealand



          ----- Original Message -----
          From: John Halucha
          To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sunday, June 07, 2009 8:22 AM
          Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Re: Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub





          I am reminded of my experience in France on June 6, 1972. I had landed
          in Calais the evening before and slept on the beach near a partially
          demolished German concrete bunker. I didn't know a whole lot of history
          at the time as a backpacking youth, but I was aware that it was the
          28th anniversary of D-Day and it felt special although the Allied
          landings had occurred farther south. As I hiked and hitch-hiked on the
          way to Paris the next day, my Canadian flag prominently displayed on my
          pack, I looked for signs of commemoration. There were none, and the
          French folk I encountered were wary, cold and often rude.
          I accepted their behaviour with equanimity, since I was a guest in their country and did not know the language well.
          Ironically, I found much friendlier people when I crossed the border
          into Germany a week or so later -- despite knowing even less German
          than French. It was not until after my trip was over and I was back
          home in Canada that I realized I had been welcomed everywhere I went in Europe
          except France.
          This proves nothing, only one individual's experience over a very short
          period. But now that I know a bit more history, I wonder if the French
          attitude towards the Allies mirrors that of the Allies to the Poles:
          resentment because of embarrassment. France betrayed Poland and the
          Allies by refusing to honour its treaty obligations and then
          collaborating with the Germans; the Allies betrayed Poland by handing
          it over to Stalin.
          My late father served with Maczek's 1st Polish Armoured Division, and
          although he did not land on D-Day he participated in the liberation of
          France. Many of his Polish comrades are buried in France. It seems
          somehow tawdry that the French would not acknowledge the contribution
          of Polish forces at this, the most
          important ceremony likely to be held in France this year. We hear a lot about the French declaring war on Germany in 1939 after the attack on Poland, but we don't hear a whole lot about how the Poles did much more to help France than the French did to help Poland. Looks as thought France got the better end of the bargain, and it doesn't like to draw attention to it even today.
          John Halucha
          Sault Ste Marie, Canada

          ________________________________
          From: Danuta Janina Wójcik <sandlily@...>
          To: Galicia_Poland-Ukraine@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Saturday, June 6, 2009 10:50:33 AM
          Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

          Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

          01.06.2009 09:51

          A spokesman for President Lech Kaczynski has said that the lack of invitation for the Polish head of state to the D-Day celebrations in France on June 6 has left a “nasty taste in the mouth�.

          Polish politicians have said that it is highly regrettable that President Lech Kaczynski has not been invited to the celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, marked the allied western offensive which ultimately helped airing to an end WW II. Head of the presidential National Security Bureau Aleksander Szczydło said that Poland made a tangible contribution to the liberation of France, recalling the 15, 000-strong Polish division under the command of General Maczek and the participation of some 50, 000 Poles in the French resistance movement.

          In a radio interview today, Szczygło spoke of a, “nasty aftertaste and a sense of resentment�, adding, however, that failure to invite the Polish president will have no bearing on the shape of future Polish-French relations.

          The Presidential Chancellery says on its website, however, that the Polish President has received an invitation from the local authorities of the town of Falaise to attend the events commemorating the participation of Polish troops in the Battle of Falaise Pocket on 12 to 24 August 1944 which defeated Nazi troops in Normandy.

          Asked to comment on the issue, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that a lack of invitation for the Polish president is “regrettable�, adding that relations between Polish and French presidents have not been too good since President Kaczynski refused to sign the Lisbon Treaty following the Irish referendum last year.

          “President Sarkozy made it clear that he treated President Kaczyński’s refusal to ratify the Treaty as a matter of personal concern to him,� Tusk said.

          A prominent member of the opposition Law and Justice party, Joachim Brudziński, spoke of “the smallness of the French side and failure to pay respects to the last living Polish war veterans who shed their blood for the liberation of France�.

          Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain also expressed her displeasure last week after not receiving an invitation to the D-Day celebrations.

          The French side says that it regards the celebrations of battles in what was in the American sector of the war as primarily a "Franco-American affair" and that is why President Obama will be a guest and not heads of state from other nations.

          On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. Apart from British and American troops, personnel from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland took part in the landings.

          The invasion marked the beginning of the end of World War II

          http://www.polskier adio.pl/thenews/ news/artykul1092 48_poland_ protests_ after_d_day_ celebrations_ snub.html

          __________________________________________________________
          Ask a question on any topic and get answers from real people. Go to Yahoo! Answers and share what you know at http://ca.answers.yahoo.com

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        • Sheila Bannister
          Hi Have you read The Black Devils March-A Doomed Odyssey by Evan McGilvray-The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-45? Sheila Bannister Chesterfield, England
          Message 4 of 29 , Jun 14, 2009
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            Hi

            Have you read "The Black Devils March-A Doomed Odyssey" by Evan McGilvray-The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-45?

            Sheila Bannister
            Chesterfield, England
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Barbara Scrivens
            To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:40 AM
            Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division





            Dear John,

            A rainy Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I've just finished trying to gain information regarding the 1st Polish Armoured Division through their website http://dragoons10.tripod.com/main.html. I have been trying to find out two things: the circumstances of my maternal grandfather's death on Sept 2, 1944 in Gonny sur Somme. His name was Wladislaw Surowiec and I have been puzzled regarding how he came to be with the 1st Division in France when my mother last saw him in a camp in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately my email to the 'contact us' link on the above site was returned. I was disappointed but knew that the thought was out there.

            And a few moments later, as I'm catching up on emails, yours is the first I open - and the first I have seen mentions my grandfather's division! Thanks dziadek!

            I've carefully read the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 on the above, trying to find out exactly what happened on Sept 2, 1944. No mention of Gonny sur Somme, only that they had done what they had to at Falaise and were on their way to Abbeville via Bouchy-Blame.

            My grandfather moved with his family from Bratkowice to Zaleszczyki, Lwow, which village was taken by the Soviets on Feb 10, 1940. My mother was only six at the time, and says she does not remember much except the last time she saw her father was in Uzbekistan when he and other Polish men joined the Polish Army.

            I have just finished reading General Anders' book 'An Army in Exile', as my paternal grandfather, Stanislaw Niescior, was part of the Polish 2nd Corps. Logically, from where my grandfather Surowiec started out, I had thought they would have taken the same road. Obviously they did not.

            Did your late father tell you much?

            I have been given the chance to visit Vienna in September and am trying to decide whether to visit Bratkowice, where I still apparently have relatives (not contacted), or follow the route of Monte Cassino to Bologna (where my paternal grandfather is buried) or to investigate the French connection (my maternal grandfather is buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Calais).

            Kind regards,
            Barbara Scrivens (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
            Auckland
            New Zealand

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: John Halucha
            To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, June 07, 2009 8:22 AM
            Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Re: Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

            I am reminded of my experience in France on June 6, 1972. I had landed
            in Calais the evening before and slept on the beach near a partially
            demolished German concrete bunker. I didn't know a whole lot of history
            at the time as a backpacking youth, but I was aware that it was the
            28th anniversary of D-Day and it felt special although the Allied
            landings had occurred farther south. As I hiked and hitch-hiked on the
            way to Paris the next day, my Canadian flag prominently displayed on my
            pack, I looked for signs of commemoration. There were none, and the
            French folk I encountered were wary, cold and often rude.
            I accepted their behaviour with equanimity, since I was a guest in their country and did not know the language well.
            Ironically, I found much friendlier people when I crossed the border
            into Germany a week or so later -- despite knowing even less German
            than French. It was not until after my trip was over and I was back
            home in Canada that I realized I had been welcomed everywhere I went in Europe
            except France.
            This proves nothing, only one individual's experience over a very short
            period. But now that I know a bit more history, I wonder if the French
            attitude towards the Allies mirrors that of the Allies to the Poles:
            resentment because of embarrassment. France betrayed Poland and the
            Allies by refusing to honour its treaty obligations and then
            collaborating with the Germans; the Allies betrayed Poland by handing
            it over to Stalin.
            My late father served with Maczek's 1st Polish Armoured Division, and
            although he did not land on D-Day he participated in the liberation of
            France. Many of his Polish comrades are buried in France. It seems
            somehow tawdry that the French would not acknowledge the contribution
            of Polish forces at this, the most
            important ceremony likely to be held in France this year. We hear a lot about the French declaring war on Germany in 1939 after the attack on Poland, but we don't hear a whole lot about how the Poles did much more to help France than the French did to help Poland. Looks as thought France got the better end of the bargain, and it doesn't like to draw attention to it even today.
            John Halucha
            Sault Ste Marie, Canada

            ________________________________
            From: Danuta Janina Wójcik <sandlily@...>
            To: Galicia_Poland-Ukraine@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Saturday, June 6, 2009 10:50:33 AM
            Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

            Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

            01.06.2009 09:51

            A spokesman for President Lech Kaczynski has said that the lack of invitation for the Polish head of state to the D-Day celebrations in France on June 6 has left a “nasty taste in the mouth�.

            Polish politicians have said that it is highly regrettable that President Lech Kaczynski has not been invited to the celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, marked the allied western offensive which ultimately helped airing to an end WW II. Head of the presidential National Security Bureau Aleksander Szczydło said that Poland made a tangible contribution to the liberation of France, recalling the 15, 000-strong Polish division under the command of General Maczek and the participation of some 50, 000 Poles in the French resistance movement.

            In a radio interview today, Szczygło spoke of a, “nasty aftertaste and a sense of resentment�, adding, however, that failure to invite the Polish president will have no bearing on the shape of future Polish-French relations.

            The Presidential Chancellery says on its website, however, that the Polish President has received an invitation from the local authorities of the town of Falaise to attend the events commemorating the participation of Polish troops in the Battle of Falaise Pocket on 12 to 24 August 1944 which defeated Nazi troops in Normandy.

            Asked to comment on the issue, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that a lack of invitation for the Polish president is “regrettable�, adding that relations between Polish and French presidents have not been too good since President Kaczynski refused to sign the Lisbon Treaty following the Irish referendum last year.

            “President Sarkozy made it clear that he treated President Kaczyński’s refusal to ratify the Treaty as a matter of personal concern to him,� Tusk said.

            A prominent member of the opposition Law and Justice party, Joachim Brudziński, spoke of “the smallness of the French side and failure to pay respects to the last living Polish war veterans who shed their blood for the liberation of France�.

            Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain also expressed her displeasure last week after not receiving an invitation to the D-Day celebrations.

            The French side says that it regards the celebrations of battles in what was in the American sector of the war as primarily a "Franco-American affair" and that is why President Obama will be a guest and not heads of state from other nations.

            On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. Apart from British and American troops, personnel from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland took part in the landings.

            The invasion marked the beginning of the end of World War II

            http://www.polskier adio.pl/thenews/ news/artykul1092 48_poland_ protests_ after_d_day_ celebrations_ snub.html

            __________________________________________________________
            Ask a question on any topic and get answers from real people. Go to Yahoo! Answers and share what you know at http://ca.answers.yahoo.com

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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          • John Halucha
            Barbara: I haven t read The Black Devils March yet myself, but it comes highly recommended and I echo Sheila s recommendation. If you haven t already, you
            Message 5 of 29 , Jun 14, 2009
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              Barbara:
              I haven't read The Black Devils March yet myself, but it comes highly recommended and I echo Sheila's recommendation.
              If you haven't already, you could also contact the British Ministry of Defence for information about both your grandfathers. Suggestions and contacts can be found in the Kresy-Siberia forum archives. Contacting the MoD was most rewarding for me, since I got not only many pages of documents related to my father's military service but also medals to which he was entitled.
              Also, if you haven't already, contact Irana Czernichowska at the Hoover Institution Archives. Again, there are lots of details and suggestions in the KS archives. Hoover may not have much information about your maternal grandfather since he moved to the 1st Polish Armoured Division, but probably will have some about your paternal grandfather since he stayed with Anders in the 2nd Corps. I had a similar circumstance, in that my father moved to the 1PAD (no information) but my uncle stayed in the 2nd Corps (lots of information, including a deposition in his own handwriting and a copy of the Soviet release document that got him out of the USSR).
              Sorry that I can't shed any direct light on the death of your maternal grandfather, Wladislaw Surowiec, at Gonny sur Somme on Sept 2, 1944. As you say, the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 gives little information on that date.
              You may already know that his name appears at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic..php?f=52&t=150880&start=0 (and http://sart53atzec.mojeforum.net/lista-polskich-zolnierzy-poleglych-w-europie-zach-cz2-temat-vt162.html). There were six other 1PAD soldiers noted killed on that date, two of them at Gonny sur Somme. I can't find that location precisely, but it appears to be on the Somme River near Abbeville. One of the men killed on the same day died at Cailly-Abbeville, which indicates it was west of Abbeville, so it seems he and perhaps your grandfather died in the battle to liberate the Abbeville region. However, this is pure conjecture on my part and others on this forum who are far more knowledgeable may be able to offer a better explanation.
              Your grandfather's rank is listed as "bomb.", which translates to Senior Gunner. Again, perhaps more knowledgeable members of this forum can give you some idea of his duties and what he may have been doing at the time of his death.
              I saw the photo of your grandfather's grave at http://www.polishwargraves.nl/fran/1352.htm, which I assume you already have. (See also, http://www.beskid.com/base/note.php?id=812target=) As you noted, he is listed as having been born at Bratkowice (Rzeszow), which is about 100 kilometres west of my father's birthplace at Mlodow (Lubaczow). The Lwow area, where your grandfather moved and was captured, is about 70 kilometres east of my Dad's home town. Your grandfather was about 7 years older than my Dad and in a different unit (my father was in the 10.Komp.Zaop, 10th Supply Company), but considering their apparently similar routes from Poland through the Soviet gulags, to Anders and then the 1PAD it is very likely they knew each other.
              My father and uncle were together in the Soviet gulags and made their way south to Anders together. They went separate ways after they reached Persia, presumably as your grandfathers did. I am not sure whether my father volunteered to go to the 1PAD or was assigned because of his background. I have some background notes on the process that I would be happy to share with you off-forum, if you like.
              One thing that puzzles me is your grandfather's army number, 2444. My Dad's number was 26216, and several others who I know made a similar switch from Anders to the 1PAD around the same time in 1942 have numbers in the same range, which led me to think that the numbers were assigned more or less in order. However, your grandfather's number is so small that this would indicate he was enlisted into the 1PAD much earlier, perhaps going there from France in 1940 rather than from Uzbekistan. Since that does not jibe with what you have been told, perhaps others here can venture an explanation.
              The only other thing I can tell you is trivial -- Sept. 2, 1944 was a Saturday. And there was a full moon.
              Best of luck in your quest for more information.
              John Halucha
              Sault Ste Marie, Canada
              Kresy - Mlodow/Lubaczow
              USSR - Brygytka/Starobielsk/Pechorlag (Pieczorlag)/Abez’ (Abiez)



              ________________________________
              From: Sheila Bannister <sheila@...>
              To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 3:40:49 AM
              Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division





              Hi

              Have you read "The Black Devils March-A Doomed Odyssey" by Evan McGilvray-The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-45?

              Sheila Bannister
              Chesterfield, England
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Barbara Scrivens
              To: Kresy-Siberia@ yahoogroups. com
              Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:40 AM
              Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

              Dear John,

              A rainy Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I've just finished trying to gain information regarding the 1st Polish Armoured Division through their website http://dragoons10. tripod.com/ main.html. I have been trying to find out two things: the circumstances of my maternal grandfather' s death on Sept 2, 1944 in Gonny sur Somme. His name was Wladislaw Surowiec and I have been puzzled regarding how he came to be with the 1st Division in France when my mother last saw him in a camp in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately my email to the 'contact us' link on the above site was returned. I was disappointed but knew that the thought was out there.

              And a few moments later, as I'm catching up on emails, yours is the first I open - and the first I have seen mentions my grandfather' s division! Thanks dziadek!

              I've carefully read the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 on the above, trying to find out exactly what happened on Sept 2, 1944.. No mention of Gonny sur Somme, only that they had done what they had to at Falaise and were on their way to Abbeville via Bouchy-Blame.

              My grandfather moved with his family from Bratkowice to Zaleszczyki, Lwow, which village was taken by the Soviets on Feb 10, 1940. My mother was only six at the time, and says she does not remember much except the last time she saw her father was in Uzbekistan when he and other Polish men joined the Polish Army.

              I have just finished reading General Anders' book 'An Army in Exile', as my paternal grandfather, Stanislaw Niescior, was part of the Polish 2nd Corps. Logically, from where my grandfather Surowiec started out, I had thought they would have taken the same road. Obviously they did not.

              Did your late father tell you much?

              I have been given the chance to visit Vienna in September and am trying to decide whether to visit Bratkowice, where I still apparently have relatives (not contacted), or follow the route of Monte Cassino to Bologna (where my paternal grandfather is buried) or to investigate the French connection (my maternal grandfather is buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Calais).

              Kind regards,
              Barbara Scrivens (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
              Auckland
              New Zealand


              __________________________________________________________________
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            • Barbara Scrivens
              Hi John, Thank you so much for taking the trouble to do this for me. I will go onto Amazon today for the book. I have sent a request to the MoD (thanks to
              Message 6 of 29 , Jun 14, 2009
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                Hi John,

                Thank you so much for taking the trouble to do this for me. I will go onto Amazon today for the book.

                I have sent a request to the MoD (thanks to Henry of the Fallen Soldiers website who also put me in touch with K-S) regarding my paternal grandfather, as they were under the 8th Army, but in my naivety, somehow figured that if my maternal grandfather was in a Canadian War Cemetery, the British would not have information on him. It was only when the papers were in flight, that I figured I should have asked for both. I have since made a second request.

                I will be contacting Ms Czernichowska. Many thanks for that - and the prod to delve further into the K-S website. I'm afraid I haven't done enough exploring of that yet. I'm a bit of a ditz when it comes to computers and have already managed not to be able to get into the Yahoo groups K-S page. It was only when I was printing out Mark's comprehensive reply to Danuta re: 1st and 2nd corps (Monday 1 June 2009 for me but it could be a day earlier for you) that I saw a sidebar that doesn't come up on my emails.

                I hadn't seen the picture of his grave till this morning. That was the first site I found (on our New Zealand Anzac Day last year) which gave me any details on him. Last time I was there, there was just a general picture of the cemetery. How thoughtful of the photographer to take individual pictures. I really appreciate that, and the other site, which I would most probably not have found on my own.

                Could his service number be listed incorrectly? One of the things I found out from my mother only a year ago was that her dad was with them in Siberia and Uzbekistan. As a child I had always thought that the men went to war and it was just my grandmother and four children who were shunted off in the cattle trucks. Unfortunately, I don't know when she last saw him. I know she, her surviving brothers and her mother ended up in Gwelo, then Southern Rhodesia, through Tanganyika. Anders' book has filled in a lot of gaps, but created more questions. I guess I'll have to wait for the MoD.

                I'd love to see the background notes you have. I have tried to send this via your email but it hasn't worked so would you send them via mine? scrivs@... (no 'e' in xtra).

                Again, many thanks for your help. And nothing is trivial!
                - Barbara

                (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                Auckland
                New Zealand






                ----- Original Message -----
                From: John Halucha
                To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 12:27 AM
                Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division


                Barbara:
                I haven't read The Black Devils March yet myself, but it comes highly recommended and I echo Sheila's recommendation.
                If you haven't already, you could also contact the British Ministry of Defence for information about both your grandfathers. Suggestions and contacts can be found in the Kresy-Siberia forum archives. Contacting the MoD was most rewarding for me, since I got not only many pages of documents related to my father's military service but also medals to which he was entitled.
                Also, if you haven't already, contact Irana Czernichowska at the Hoover Institution Archives. Again, there are lots of details and suggestions in the KS archives. Hoover may not have much information about your maternal grandfather since he moved to the 1st Polish Armoured Division, but probably will have some about your paternal grandfather since he stayed with Anders in the 2nd Corps. I had a similar circumstance, in that my father moved to the 1PAD (no information) but my uncle stayed in the 2nd Corps (lots of information, including a deposition in his own handwriting and a copy of the Soviet release document that got him out of the USSR).
                Sorry that I can't shed any direct light on the death of your maternal grandfather, Wladislaw Surowiec, at Gonny sur Somme on Sept 2, 1944. As you say, the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 gives little information on that date.
                You may already know that his name appears at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic..php?f=52&t=150880&start=0 (and http://sart53atzec.mojeforum.net/lista-polskich-zolnierzy-poleglych-w-europie-zach-cz2-temat-vt162.html). There were six other 1PAD soldiers noted killed on that date, two of them at Gonny sur Somme. I can't find that location precisely, but it appears to be on the Somme River near Abbeville. One of the men killed on the same day died at Cailly-Abbeville, which indicates it was west of Abbeville, so it seems he and perhaps your grandfather died in the battle to liberate the Abbeville region. However, this is pure conjecture on my part and others on this forum who are far more knowledgeable may be able to offer a better explanation.
                Your grandfather's rank is listed as "bomb.", which translates to Senior Gunner. Again, perhaps more knowledgeable members of this forum can give you some idea of his duties and what he may have been doing at the time of his death.
                I saw the photo of your grandfather's grave at http://www.polishwargraves.nl/fran/1352.htm, which I assume you already have. (See also, http://www.beskid.com/base/note.php?id=812target=) As you noted, he is listed as having been born at Bratkowice (Rzeszow), which is about 100 kilometres west of my father's birthplace at Mlodow (Lubaczow). The Lwow area, where your grandfather moved and was captured, is about 70 kilometres east of my Dad's home town. Your grandfather was about 7 years older than my Dad and in a different unit (my father was in the 10.Komp.Zaop, 10th Supply Company), but considering their apparently similar routes from Poland through the Soviet gulags, to Anders and then the 1PAD it is very likely they knew each other.
                My father and uncle were together in the Soviet gulags and made their way south to Anders together. They went separate ways after they reached Persia, presumably as your grandfathers did. I am not sure whether my father volunteered to go to the 1PAD or was assigned because of his background. I have some background notes on the process that I would be happy to share with you off-forum, if you like.
                One thing that puzzles me is your grandfather's army number, 2444. My Dad's number was 26216, and several others who I know made a similar switch from Anders to the 1PAD around the same time in 1942 have numbers in the same range, which led me to think that the numbers were assigned more or less in order. However, your grandfather's number is so small that this would indicate he was enlisted into the 1PAD much earlier, perhaps going there from France in 1940 rather than from Uzbekistan. Since that does not jibe with what you have been told, perhaps others here can venture an explanation.
                The only other thing I can tell you is trivial -- Sept. 2, 1944 was a Saturday. And there was a full moon.
                Best of luck in your quest for more information.
                John Halucha
                Sault Ste Marie, Canada
                Kresy - Mlodow/Lubaczow
                USSR - Brygytka/Starobielsk/Pechorlag (Pieczorlag)/Abez’ (Abiez)

                ________________________________
                From: Sheila Bannister <sheila@...>
                To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 3:40:49 AM
                Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                Hi

                Have you read "The Black Devils March-A Doomed Odyssey" by Evan McGilvray-The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-45?

                Sheila Bannister
                Chesterfield, England
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Barbara Scrivens
                To: Kresy-Siberia@ yahoogroups. com
                Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:40 AM
                Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                Dear John,

                A rainy Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I've just finished trying to gain information regarding the 1st Polish Armoured Division through their website http://dragoons10. tripod.com/ main.html. I have been trying to find out two things: the circumstances of my maternal grandfather' s death on Sept 2, 1944 in Gonny sur Somme. His name was Wladislaw Surowiec and I have been puzzled regarding how he came to be with the 1st Division in France when my mother last saw him in a camp in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately my email to the 'contact us' link on the above site was returned. I was disappointed but knew that the thought was out there.

                And a few moments later, as I'm catching up on emails, yours is the first I open - and the first I have seen mentions my grandfather' s division! Thanks dziadek!

                I've carefully read the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 on the above, trying to find out exactly what happened on Sept 2, 1944.. No mention of Gonny sur Somme, only that they had done what they had to at Falaise and were on their way to Abbeville via Bouchy-Blame.

                My grandfather moved with his family from Bratkowice to Zaleszczyki, Lwow, which village was taken by the Soviets on Feb 10, 1940. My mother was only six at the time, and says she does not remember much except the last time she saw her father was in Uzbekistan when he and other Polish men joined the Polish Army.

                I have just finished reading General Anders' book 'An Army in Exile', as my paternal grandfather, Stanislaw Niescior, was part of the Polish 2nd Corps. Logically, from where my grandfather Surowiec started out, I had thought they would have taken the same road. Obviously they did not.

                Did your late father tell you much?

                I have been given the chance to visit Vienna in September and am trying to decide whether to visit Bratkowice, where I still apparently have relatives (not contacted), or follow the route of Monte Cassino to Bologna (where my paternal grandfather is buried) or to investigate the French connection (my maternal grandfather is buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Calais).

                Kind regards,
                Barbara Scrivens (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                Auckland
                New Zealand

                __________________________________________________________
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              • Jess
                Barabra, Just to add a little more detail, Wladyslaw Surowiec was KIA on 9 February 1944 in Gommy sur Somme, France. He was a Bombardier (Corporal) in the 1st
                Message 7 of 29 , Jun 14, 2009
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                  Barabra,

                  Just to add a little more detail, Wladyslaw Surowiec was KIA on 9 February 1944 in Gommy sur Somme, France. He was a Bombardier (Corporal) in the 1st Anti-tank Regiment of the 1st Polish Armoured Brigade.
                  I looked up the cemetery site in French and there are a couple more details:
                  His service number is given as: ew 2444 (but this could also be the number assigned to his grave by the War Cemetery Commission)
                  He he was born on 7 March 1908 in Bratkowice, Rzeszow.

                  As for how he ended up in 1 PAD, well, he could simply have requested a transfer to that Division, or he could well have been assigned to it as a result of the strategic need for soldiers in a particular unit. It happens a lot, a relative of mine enlisted with Anders but did most of his service in North Africa while his brother was posted to the Polish Air Force in England.

                  I'm a bit pressed for time at the moment but I'll dig around in the French sites as soon as I can.

                  Regards,

                  Zdzis

                  Runaway Bay, Queensland
                  Australia


                  From: Barbara Scrivens
                  Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 8:48 AM
                  To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division





                  Hi John,

                  Thank you so much for taking the trouble to do this for me. I will go onto Amazon today for the book.

                  I have sent a request to the MoD (thanks to Henry of the Fallen Soldiers website who also put me in touch with K-S) regarding my paternal grandfather, as they were under the 8th Army, but in my naivety, somehow figured that if my maternal grandfather was in a Canadian War Cemetery, the British would not have information on him. It was only when the papers were in flight, that I figured I should have asked for both. I have since made a second request.

                  I will be contacting Ms Czernichowska. Many thanks for that - and the prod to delve further into the K-S website. I'm afraid I haven't done enough exploring of that yet. I'm a bit of a ditz when it comes to computers and have already managed not to be able to get into the Yahoo groups K-S page. It was only when I was printing out Mark's comprehensive reply to Danuta re: 1st and 2nd corps (Monday 1 June 2009 for me but it could be a day earlier for you) that I saw a sidebar that doesn't come up on my emails.

                  I hadn't seen the picture of his grave till this morning. That was the first site I found (on our New Zealand Anzac Day last year) which gave me any details on him. Last time I was there, there was just a general picture of the cemetery. How thoughtful of the photographer to take individual pictures. I really appreciate that, and the other site, which I would most probably not have found on my own.

                  Could his service number be listed incorrectly? One of the things I found out from my mother only a year ago was that her dad was with them in Siberia and Uzbekistan. As a child I had always thought that the men went to war and it was just my grandmother and four children who were shunted off in the cattle trucks. Unfortunately, I don't know when she last saw him. I know she, her surviving brothers and her mother ended up in Gwelo, then Southern Rhodesia, through Tanganyika. Anders' book has filled in a lot of gaps, but created more questions. I guess I'll have to wait for the MoD.

                  I'd love to see the background notes you have. I have tried to send this via your email but it hasn't worked so would you send them via mine? scrivs@... (no 'e' in xtra).

                  Again, many thanks for your help. And nothing is trivial!
                  - Barbara

                  (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                  Auckland
                  New Zealand

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: John Halucha
                  To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 12:27 AM
                  Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                  Barbara:
                  I haven't read The Black Devils March yet myself, but it comes highly recommended and I echo Sheila's recommendation.
                  If you haven't already, you could also contact the British Ministry of Defence for information about both your grandfathers. Suggestions and contacts can be found in the Kresy-Siberia forum archives. Contacting the MoD was most rewarding for me, since I got not only many pages of documents related to my father's military service but also medals to which he was entitled.
                  Also, if you haven't already, contact Irana Czernichowska at the Hoover Institution Archives. Again, there are lots of details and suggestions in the KS archives. Hoover may not have much information about your maternal grandfather since he moved to the 1st Polish Armoured Division, but probably will have some about your paternal grandfather since he stayed with Anders in the 2nd Corps. I had a similar circumstance, in that my father moved to the 1PAD (no information) but my uncle stayed in the 2nd Corps (lots of information, including a deposition in his own handwriting and a copy of the Soviet release document that got him out of the USSR).
                  Sorry that I can't shed any direct light on the death of your maternal grandfather, Wladislaw Surowiec, at Gonny sur Somme on Sept 2, 1944. As you say, the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 gives little information on that date.
                  You may already know that his name appears at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic..php?f=52&t=150880&start=0 (and http://sart53atzec.mojeforum.net/lista-polskich-zolnierzy-poleglych-w-europie-zach-cz2-temat-vt162.html). There were six other 1PAD soldiers noted killed on that date, two of them at Gonny sur Somme. I can't find that location precisely, but it appears to be on the Somme River near Abbeville. One of the men killed on the same day died at Cailly-Abbeville, which indicates it was west of Abbeville, so it seems he and perhaps your grandfather died in the battle to liberate the Abbeville region. However, this is pure conjecture on my part and others on this forum who are far more knowledgeable may be able to offer a better explanation.
                  Your grandfather's rank is listed as "bomb.", which translates to Senior Gunner. Again, perhaps more knowledgeable members of this forum can give you some idea of his duties and what he may have been doing at the time of his death.
                  I saw the photo of your grandfather's grave at http://www.polishwargraves.nl/fran/1352.htm, which I assume you already have. (See also, http://www.beskid.com/base/note.php?id=812target=) As you noted, he is listed as having been born at Bratkowice (Rzeszow), which is about 100 kilometres west of my father's birthplace at Mlodow (Lubaczow). The Lwow area, where your grandfather moved and was captured, is about 70 kilometres east of my Dad's home town. Your grandfather was about 7 years older than my Dad and in a different unit (my father was in the 10.Komp.Zaop, 10th Supply Company), but considering their apparently similar routes from Poland through the Soviet gulags, to Anders and then the 1PAD it is very likely they knew each other.
                  My father and uncle were together in the Soviet gulags and made their way south to Anders together. They went separate ways after they reached Persia, presumably as your grandfathers did. I am not sure whether my father volunteered to go to the 1PAD or was assigned because of his background. I have some background notes on the process that I would be happy to share with you off-forum, if you like.
                  One thing that puzzles me is your grandfather's army number, 2444. My Dad's number was 26216, and several others who I know made a similar switch from Anders to the 1PAD around the same time in 1942 have numbers in the same range, which led me to think that the numbers were assigned more or less in order. However, your grandfather's number is so small that this would indicate he was enlisted into the 1PAD much earlier, perhaps going there from France in 1940 rather than from Uzbekistan. Since that does not jibe with what you have been told, perhaps others here can venture an explanation.
                  The only other thing I can tell you is trivial -- Sept. 2, 1944 was a Saturday. And there was a full moon.
                  Best of luck in your quest for more information.
                  John Halucha
                  Sault Ste Marie, Canada
                  Kresy - Mlodow/Lubaczow
                  USSR - Brygytka/Starobielsk/Pechorlag (Pieczorlag)/Abez’ (Abiez)

                  ________________________________
                  From: Sheila Bannister <sheila@...>
                  To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 3:40:49 AM
                  Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                  Hi

                  Have you read "The Black Devils March-A Doomed Odyssey" by Evan McGilvray-The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-45?

                  Sheila Bannister
                  Chesterfield, England
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Barbara Scrivens
                  To: Kresy-Siberia@ yahoogroups. com
                  Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:40 AM
                  Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                  Dear John,

                  A rainy Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I've just finished trying to gain information regarding the 1st Polish Armoured Division through their website http://dragoons10. tripod.com/ main.html. I have been trying to find out two things: the circumstances of my maternal grandfather' s death on Sept 2, 1944 in Gonny sur Somme. His name was Wladislaw Surowiec and I have been puzzled regarding how he came to be with the 1st Division in France when my mother last saw him in a camp in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately my email to the 'contact us' link on the above site was returned. I was disappointed but knew that the thought was out there.

                  And a few moments later, as I'm catching up on emails, yours is the first I open - and the first I have seen mentions my grandfather' s division! Thanks dziadek!

                  I've carefully read the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 on the above, trying to find out exactly what happened on Sept 2, 1944.. No mention of Gonny sur Somme, only that they had done what they had to at Falaise and were on their way to Abbeville via Bouchy-Blame.

                  My grandfather moved with his family from Bratkowice to Zaleszczyki, Lwow, which village was taken by the Soviets on Feb 10, 1940. My mother was only six at the time, and says she does not remember much except the last time she saw her father was in Uzbekistan when he and other Polish men joined the Polish Army.

                  I have just finished reading General Anders' book 'An Army in Exile', as my paternal grandfather, Stanislaw Niescior, was part of the Polish 2nd Corps. Logically, from where my grandfather Surowiec started out, I had thought they would have taken the same road. Obviously they did not.

                  Did your late father tell you much?

                  I have been given the chance to visit Vienna in September and am trying to decide whether to visit Bratkowice, where I still apparently have relatives (not contacted), or follow the route of Monte Cassino to Bologna (where my paternal grandfather is buried) or to investigate the French connection (my maternal grandfather is buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Calais).

                  Kind regards,
                  Barbara Scrivens (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                  Auckland
                  New Zealand

                  __________________________________________________________
                  The new Internet Explorer® 8 - Faster, safer, easier. Optimized for Yahoo! Get it Now for Free! at http://downloads.yahoo.com/ca/internetexplorer/

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                  ----------------------------------------------------------

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                  Checked by AVG.
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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Jess
                  Oops, that date should read 2 September 1944. As for the exact location, all I can tell you is that it is somewhere in the vicinity of Amiens in France. From:
                  Message 8 of 29 , Jun 14, 2009
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                  • 0 Attachment
                    Oops, that date should read 2 September 1944. As for the exact location, all I can tell you is that it is somewhere in the vicinity of Amiens in France.


                    From: Barbara Scrivens
                    Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 8:48 AM
                    To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division





                    Hi John,

                    Thank you so much for taking the trouble to do this for me. I will go onto Amazon today for the book.

                    I have sent a request to the MoD (thanks to Henry of the Fallen Soldiers website who also put me in touch with K-S) regarding my paternal grandfather, as they were under the 8th Army, but in my naivety, somehow figured that if my maternal grandfather was in a Canadian War Cemetery, the British would not have information on him. It was only when the papers were in flight, that I figured I should have asked for both. I have since made a second request.

                    I will be contacting Ms Czernichowska. Many thanks for that - and the prod to delve further into the K-S website. I'm afraid I haven't done enough exploring of that yet. I'm a bit of a ditz when it comes to computers and have already managed not to be able to get into the Yahoo groups K-S page. It was only when I was printing out Mark's comprehensive reply to Danuta re: 1st and 2nd corps (Monday 1 June 2009 for me but it could be a day earlier for you) that I saw a sidebar that doesn't come up on my emails.

                    I hadn't seen the picture of his grave till this morning. That was the first site I found (on our New Zealand Anzac Day last year) which gave me any details on him. Last time I was there, there was just a general picture of the cemetery. How thoughtful of the photographer to take individual pictures. I really appreciate that, and the other site, which I would most probably not have found on my own.

                    Could his service number be listed incorrectly? One of the things I found out from my mother only a year ago was that her dad was with them in Siberia and Uzbekistan. As a child I had always thought that the men went to war and it was just my grandmother and four children who were shunted off in the cattle trucks. Unfortunately, I don't know when she last saw him. I know she, her surviving brothers and her mother ended up in Gwelo, then Southern Rhodesia, through Tanganyika. Anders' book has filled in a lot of gaps, but created more questions. I guess I'll have to wait for the MoD.

                    I'd love to see the background notes you have. I have tried to send this via your email but it hasn't worked so would you send them via mine? scrivs@... (no 'e' in xtra).

                    Again, many thanks for your help. And nothing is trivial!
                    - Barbara

                    (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                    Auckland
                    New Zealand

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: John Halucha
                    To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 12:27 AM
                    Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                    Barbara:
                    I haven't read The Black Devils March yet myself, but it comes highly recommended and I echo Sheila's recommendation.
                    If you haven't already, you could also contact the British Ministry of Defence for information about both your grandfathers. Suggestions and contacts can be found in the Kresy-Siberia forum archives. Contacting the MoD was most rewarding for me, since I got not only many pages of documents related to my father's military service but also medals to which he was entitled.
                    Also, if you haven't already, contact Irana Czernichowska at the Hoover Institution Archives. Again, there are lots of details and suggestions in the KS archives. Hoover may not have much information about your maternal grandfather since he moved to the 1st Polish Armoured Division, but probably will have some about your paternal grandfather since he stayed with Anders in the 2nd Corps. I had a similar circumstance, in that my father moved to the 1PAD (no information) but my uncle stayed in the 2nd Corps (lots of information, including a deposition in his own handwriting and a copy of the Soviet release document that got him out of the USSR).
                    Sorry that I can't shed any direct light on the death of your maternal grandfather, Wladislaw Surowiec, at Gonny sur Somme on Sept 2, 1944. As you say, the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 gives little information on that date.
                    You may already know that his name appears at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic..php?f=52&t=150880&start=0 (and http://sart53atzec.mojeforum.net/lista-polskich-zolnierzy-poleglych-w-europie-zach-cz2-temat-vt162.html). There were six other 1PAD soldiers noted killed on that date, two of them at Gonny sur Somme. I can't find that location precisely, but it appears to be on the Somme River near Abbeville. One of the men killed on the same day died at Cailly-Abbeville, which indicates it was west of Abbeville, so it seems he and perhaps your grandfather died in the battle to liberate the Abbeville region. However, this is pure conjecture on my part and others on this forum who are far more knowledgeable may be able to offer a better explanation.
                    Your grandfather's rank is listed as "bomb.", which translates to Senior Gunner. Again, perhaps more knowledgeable members of this forum can give you some idea of his duties and what he may have been doing at the time of his death.
                    I saw the photo of your grandfather's grave at http://www.polishwargraves.nl/fran/1352.htm, which I assume you already have. (See also, http://www.beskid.com/base/note.php?id=812target=) As you noted, he is listed as having been born at Bratkowice (Rzeszow), which is about 100 kilometres west of my father's birthplace at Mlodow (Lubaczow). The Lwow area, where your grandfather moved and was captured, is about 70 kilometres east of my Dad's home town. Your grandfather was about 7 years older than my Dad and in a different unit (my father was in the 10.Komp.Zaop, 10th Supply Company), but considering their apparently similar routes from Poland through the Soviet gulags, to Anders and then the 1PAD it is very likely they knew each other.
                    My father and uncle were together in the Soviet gulags and made their way south to Anders together. They went separate ways after they reached Persia, presumably as your grandfathers did. I am not sure whether my father volunteered to go to the 1PAD or was assigned because of his background. I have some background notes on the process that I would be happy to share with you off-forum, if you like.
                    One thing that puzzles me is your grandfather's army number, 2444. My Dad's number was 26216, and several others who I know made a similar switch from Anders to the 1PAD around the same time in 1942 have numbers in the same range, which led me to think that the numbers were assigned more or less in order. However, your grandfather's number is so small that this would indicate he was enlisted into the 1PAD much earlier, perhaps going there from France in 1940 rather than from Uzbekistan. Since that does not jibe with what you have been told, perhaps others here can venture an explanation.
                    The only other thing I can tell you is trivial -- Sept. 2, 1944 was a Saturday. And there was a full moon.
                    Best of luck in your quest for more information.
                    John Halucha
                    Sault Ste Marie, Canada
                    Kresy - Mlodow/Lubaczow
                    USSR - Brygytka/Starobielsk/Pechorlag (Pieczorlag)/Abez’ (Abiez)

                    ________________________________
                    From: Sheila Bannister <sheila@...>
                    To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 3:40:49 AM
                    Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                    Hi

                    Have you read "The Black Devils March-A Doomed Odyssey" by Evan McGilvray-The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-45?

                    Sheila Bannister
                    Chesterfield, England
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Barbara Scrivens
                    To: Kresy-Siberia@ yahoogroups. com
                    Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:40 AM
                    Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                    Dear John,

                    A rainy Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I've just finished trying to gain information regarding the 1st Polish Armoured Division through their website http://dragoons10. tripod.com/ main.html. I have been trying to find out two things: the circumstances of my maternal grandfather' s death on Sept 2, 1944 in Gonny sur Somme. His name was Wladislaw Surowiec and I have been puzzled regarding how he came to be with the 1st Division in France when my mother last saw him in a camp in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately my email to the 'contact us' link on the above site was returned. I was disappointed but knew that the thought was out there.

                    And a few moments later, as I'm catching up on emails, yours is the first I open - and the first I have seen mentions my grandfather' s division! Thanks dziadek!

                    I've carefully read the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 on the above, trying to find out exactly what happened on Sept 2, 1944.. No mention of Gonny sur Somme, only that they had done what they had to at Falaise and were on their way to Abbeville via Bouchy-Blame.

                    My grandfather moved with his family from Bratkowice to Zaleszczyki, Lwow, which village was taken by the Soviets on Feb 10, 1940. My mother was only six at the time, and says she does not remember much except the last time she saw her father was in Uzbekistan when he and other Polish men joined the Polish Army.

                    I have just finished reading General Anders' book 'An Army in Exile', as my paternal grandfather, Stanislaw Niescior, was part of the Polish 2nd Corps. Logically, from where my grandfather Surowiec started out, I had thought they would have taken the same road. Obviously they did not.

                    Did your late father tell you much?

                    I have been given the chance to visit Vienna in September and am trying to decide whether to visit Bratkowice, where I still apparently have relatives (not contacted), or follow the route of Monte Cassino to Bologna (where my paternal grandfather is buried) or to investigate the French connection (my maternal grandfather is buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Calais).

                    Kind regards,
                    Barbara Scrivens (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                    Auckland
                    New Zealand

                    __________________________________________________________
                    The new Internet Explorer® 8 - Faster, safer, easier. Optimized for Yahoo! Get it Now for Free! at http://downloads.yahoo.com/ca/internetexplorer/

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                    ----------------------------------------------------------

                    Internal Virus Database is out-of-date.
                    Checked by AVG.
                    Version: 7.5.560 / Virus Database: 270.12.26/2116 - Release Date: 15/05/2009 6:16 a.m.

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Barbara Scrivens
                    Thank you, Sheila, I ve just ordered it from Amazon. Am I allowed to ask how come you happened to come across this book? - Barbara Scrivens (researching
                    Message 9 of 29 , Jun 16, 2009
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                      Thank you, Sheila,

                      I've just ordered it from Amazon. Am I allowed to ask how come you happened to come across this book?

                      - Barbara Scrivens
                      (researching Niescior-Szumska/ Surowiec-Sochacka)
                      Auckland
                      New Zealand


                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Sheila Bannister
                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 7:40 PM
                      Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division





                      Hi

                      Have you read "The Black Devils March-A Doomed Odyssey" by Evan McGilvray-The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-45?

                      Sheila Bannister
                      Chesterfield, England
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Barbara Scrivens
                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:40 AM
                      Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                      Dear John,

                      A rainy Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I've just finished trying to gain information regarding the 1st Polish Armoured Division through their website http://dragoons10.tripod.com/main.html. I have been trying to find out two things: the circumstances of my maternal grandfather's death on Sept 2, 1944 in Gonny sur Somme. His name was Wladislaw Surowiec and I have been puzzled regarding how he came to be with the 1st Division in France when my mother last saw him in a camp in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately my email to the 'contact us' link on the above site was returned. I was disappointed but knew that the thought was out there.

                      And a few moments later, as I'm catching up on emails, yours is the first I open - and the first I have seen mentions my grandfather's division! Thanks dziadek!

                      I've carefully read the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 on the above, trying to find out exactly what happened on Sept 2, 1944. No mention of Gonny sur Somme, only that they had done what they had to at Falaise and were on their way to Abbeville via Bouchy-Blame.

                      My grandfather moved with his family from Bratkowice to Zaleszczyki, Lwow, which village was taken by the Soviets on Feb 10, 1940. My mother was only six at the time, and says she does not remember much except the last time she saw her father was in Uzbekistan when he and other Polish men joined the Polish Army.

                      I have just finished reading General Anders' book 'An Army in Exile', as my paternal grandfather, Stanislaw Niescior, was part of the Polish 2nd Corps. Logically, from where my grandfather Surowiec started out, I had thought they would have taken the same road. Obviously they did not.

                      Did your late father tell you much?

                      I have been given the chance to visit Vienna in September and am trying to decide whether to visit Bratkowice, where I still apparently have relatives (not contacted), or follow the route of Monte Cassino to Bologna (where my paternal grandfather is buried) or to investigate the French connection (my maternal grandfather is buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Calais).

                      Kind regards,
                      Barbara Scrivens (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                      Auckland
                      New Zealand

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: John Halucha
                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Sunday, June 07, 2009 8:22 AM
                      Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Re: Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

                      I am reminded of my experience in France on June 6, 1972. I had landed
                      in Calais the evening before and slept on the beach near a partially
                      demolished German concrete bunker. I didn't know a whole lot of history
                      at the time as a backpacking youth, but I was aware that it was the
                      28th anniversary of D-Day and it felt special although the Allied
                      landings had occurred farther south. As I hiked and hitch-hiked on the
                      way to Paris the next day, my Canadian flag prominently displayed on my
                      pack, I looked for signs of commemoration. There were none, and the
                      French folk I encountered were wary, cold and often rude.
                      I accepted their behaviour with equanimity, since I was a guest in their country and did not know the language well.
                      Ironically, I found much friendlier people when I crossed the border
                      into Germany a week or so later -- despite knowing even less German
                      than French. It was not until after my trip was over and I was back
                      home in Canada that I realized I had been welcomed everywhere I went in Europe
                      except France.
                      This proves nothing, only one individual's experience over a very short
                      period. But now that I know a bit more history, I wonder if the French
                      attitude towards the Allies mirrors that of the Allies to the Poles:
                      resentment because of embarrassment. France betrayed Poland and the
                      Allies by refusing to honour its treaty obligations and then
                      collaborating with the Germans; the Allies betrayed Poland by handing
                      it over to Stalin.
                      My late father served with Maczek's 1st Polish Armoured Division, and
                      although he did not land on D-Day he participated in the liberation of
                      France. Many of his Polish comrades are buried in France. It seems
                      somehow tawdry that the French would not acknowledge the contribution
                      of Polish forces at this, the most
                      important ceremony likely to be held in France this year. We hear a lot about the French declaring war on Germany in 1939 after the attack on Poland, but we don't hear a whole lot about how the Poles did much more to help France than the French did to help Poland. Looks as thought France got the better end of the bargain, and it doesn't like to draw attention to it even today.
                      John Halucha
                      Sault Ste Marie, Canada

                      ________________________________
                      From: Danuta Janina Wójcik <sandlily@...>
                      To: Galicia_Poland-Ukraine@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Saturday, June 6, 2009 10:50:33 AM
                      Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

                      Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

                      01.06.2009 09:51

                      A spokesman for President Lech Kaczynski has said that the lack of invitation for the Polish head of state to the D-Day celebrations in France on June 6 has left a “nasty taste in the mouth�.

                      Polish politicians have said that it is highly regrettable that President Lech Kaczynski has not been invited to the celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, marked the allied western offensive which ultimately helped airing to an end WW II. Head of the presidential National Security Bureau Aleksander Szczydło said that Poland made a tangible contribution to the liberation of France, recalling the 15, 000-strong Polish division under the command of General Maczek and the participation of some 50, 000 Poles in the French resistance movement.

                      In a radio interview today, Szczygło spoke of a, “nasty aftertaste and a sense of resentment�, adding, however, that failure to invite the Polish president will have no bearing on the shape of future Polish-French relations.

                      The Presidential Chancellery says on its website, however, that the Polish President has received an invitation from the local authorities of the town of Falaise to attend the events commemorating the participation of Polish troops in the Battle of Falaise Pocket on 12 to 24 August 1944 which defeated Nazi troops in Normandy.

                      Asked to comment on the issue, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that a lack of invitation for the Polish president is “regrettable�, adding that relations between Polish and French presidents have not been too good since President Kaczynski refused to sign the Lisbon Treaty following the Irish referendum last year.

                      “President Sarkozy made it clear that he treated President Kaczyński’s refusal to ratify the Treaty as a matter of personal concern to him,� Tusk said.

                      A prominent member of the opposition Law and Justice party, Joachim Brudziński, spoke of “the smallness of the French side and failure to pay respects to the last living Polish war veterans who shed their blood for the liberation of France�.

                      Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain also expressed her displeasure last week after not receiving an invitation to the D-Day celebrations.

                      The French side says that it regards the celebrations of battles in what was in the American sector of the war as primarily a "Franco-American affair" and that is why President Obama will be a guest and not heads of state from other nations.

                      On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. Apart from British and American troops, personnel from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland took part in the landings.

                      The invasion marked the beginning of the end of World War II

                      http://www.polskier adio.pl/thenews/ news/artykul1092 48_poland_ protests_ after_d_day_ celebrations_ snub.html

                      __________________________________________________________
                      Ask a question on any topic and get answers from real people. Go to Yahoo! Answers and share what you know at http://ca.answers.yahoo.com

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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                    • Sheila Bannister
                      Hello Barbara I was searching for books about the first armoured division and came across it. To my astonishment there is a photograph of my late father
                      Message 10 of 29 , Jun 18, 2009
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                        Hello Barbara

                        I was searching for books about the first armoured division and came across it. To my astonishment there is a photograph of my late father Wojciech Stanislaw Wojciechowski in the book on page 56. I have a few documents which belonged to my father from that time including 2 leaflets dropped from planes headed:
                        1) Polacy w Armii Niemieckiej
                        2) Die Rote Armee marschiert in
                        Deutschland ein!

                        My father was also in Miranda de Ebro internment camp in Spain and I have the form filled in by the Spanish giving his personel details-he was only 17 at that time.

                        My father and grandfather lived in Czortkow in 1939 but because grandad Hipolit was a major in the polish army (a careeer soldier) he had to stay with his division so they became separated.

                        There is so much to learn about those times, all extremely interesting.

                        Sheila Bannister (Wojciechowska)
                        Chesterfield, England









                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Barbara Scrivens
                        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 10:27 AM
                        Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division





                        Thank you, Sheila,

                        I've just ordered it from Amazon. Am I allowed to ask how come you happened to come across this book?

                        - Barbara Scrivens
                        (researching Niescior-Szumska/ Surowiec-Sochacka)
                        Auckland
                        New Zealand

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Sheila Bannister
                        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 7:40 PM
                        Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                        Hi

                        Have you read "The Black Devils March-A Doomed Odyssey" by Evan McGilvray-The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-45?

                        Sheila Bannister
                        Chesterfield, England
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Barbara Scrivens
                        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:40 AM
                        Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                        Dear John,

                        A rainy Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I've just finished trying to gain information regarding the 1st Polish Armoured Division through their website http://dragoons10.tripod.com/main.html. I have been trying to find out two things: the circumstances of my maternal grandfather's death on Sept 2, 1944 in Gonny sur Somme. His name was Wladislaw Surowiec and I have been puzzled regarding how he came to be with the 1st Division in France when my mother last saw him in a camp in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately my email to the 'contact us' link on the above site was returned. I was disappointed but knew that the thought was out there.

                        And a few moments later, as I'm catching up on emails, yours is the first I open - and the first I have seen mentions my grandfather's division! Thanks dziadek!

                        I've carefully read the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 on the above, trying to find out exactly what happened on Sept 2, 1944. No mention of Gonny sur Somme, only that they had done what they had to at Falaise and were on their way to Abbeville via Bouchy-Blame.

                        My grandfather moved with his family from Bratkowice to Zaleszczyki, Lwow, which village was taken by the Soviets on Feb 10, 1940. My mother was only six at the time, and says she does not remember much except the last time she saw her father was in Uzbekistan when he and other Polish men joined the Polish Army.

                        I have just finished reading General Anders' book 'An Army in Exile', as my paternal grandfather, Stanislaw Niescior, was part of the Polish 2nd Corps. Logically, from where my grandfather Surowiec started out, I had thought they would have taken the same road. Obviously they did not.

                        Did your late father tell you much?

                        I have been given the chance to visit Vienna in September and am trying to decide whether to visit Bratkowice, where I still apparently have relatives (not contacted), or follow the route of Monte Cassino to Bologna (where my paternal grandfather is buried) or to investigate the French connection (my maternal grandfather is buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Calais).

                        Kind regards,
                        Barbara Scrivens (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                        Auckland
                        New Zealand

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: John Halucha
                        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Sunday, June 07, 2009 8:22 AM
                        Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Re: Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

                        I am reminded of my experience in France on June 6, 1972. I had landed
                        in Calais the evening before and slept on the beach near a partially
                        demolished German concrete bunker. I didn't know a whole lot of history
                        at the time as a backpacking youth, but I was aware that it was the
                        28th anniversary of D-Day and it felt special although the Allied
                        landings had occurred farther south. As I hiked and hitch-hiked on the
                        way to Paris the next day, my Canadian flag prominently displayed on my
                        pack, I looked for signs of commemoration. There were none, and the
                        French folk I encountered were wary, cold and often rude.
                        I accepted their behaviour with equanimity, since I was a guest in their country and did not know the language well.
                        Ironically, I found much friendlier people when I crossed the border
                        into Germany a week or so later -- despite knowing even less German
                        than French. It was not until after my trip was over and I was back
                        home in Canada that I realized I had been welcomed everywhere I went in Europe
                        except France.
                        This proves nothing, only one individual's experience over a very short
                        period. But now that I know a bit more history, I wonder if the French
                        attitude towards the Allies mirrors that of the Allies to the Poles:
                        resentment because of embarrassment. France betrayed Poland and the
                        Allies by refusing to honour its treaty obligations and then
                        collaborating with the Germans; the Allies betrayed Poland by handing
                        it over to Stalin.
                        My late father served with Maczek's 1st Polish Armoured Division, and
                        although he did not land on D-Day he participated in the liberation of
                        France. Many of his Polish comrades are buried in France. It seems
                        somehow tawdry that the French would not acknowledge the contribution
                        of Polish forces at this, the most
                        important ceremony likely to be held in France this year. We hear a lot about the French declaring war on Germany in 1939 after the attack on Poland, but we don't hear a whole lot about how the Poles did much more to help France than the French did to help Poland. Looks as thought France got the better end of the bargain, and it doesn't like to draw attention to it even today.
                        John Halucha
                        Sault Ste Marie, Canada

                        ________________________________
                        From: Danuta Janina Wójcik <sandlily@...>
                        To: Galicia_Poland-Ukraine@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Saturday, June 6, 2009 10:50:33 AM
                        Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

                        Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

                        01.06.2009 09:51

                        A spokesman for President Lech Kaczynski has said that the lack of invitation for the Polish head of state to the D-Day celebrations in France on June 6 has left a “nasty taste in the mouth�.

                        Polish politicians have said that it is highly regrettable that President Lech Kaczynski has not been invited to the celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, marked the allied western offensive which ultimately helped airing to an end WW II. Head of the presidential National Security Bureau Aleksander Szczydło said that Poland made a tangible contribution to the liberation of France, recalling the 15, 000-strong Polish division under the command of General Maczek and the participation of some 50, 000 Poles in the French resistance movement.

                        In a radio interview today, Szczygło spoke of a, “nasty aftertaste and a sense of resentment�, adding, however, that failure to invite the Polish president will have no bearing on the shape of future Polish-French relations.

                        The Presidential Chancellery says on its website, however, that the Polish President has received an invitation from the local authorities of the town of Falaise to attend the events commemorating the participation of Polish troops in the Battle of Falaise Pocket on 12 to 24 August 1944 which defeated Nazi troops in Normandy.

                        Asked to comment on the issue, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that a lack of invitation for the Polish president is “regrettable�, adding that relations between Polish and French presidents have not been too good since President Kaczynski refused to sign the Lisbon Treaty following the Irish referendum last year.

                        “President Sarkozy made it clear that he treated President Kaczyński’s refusal to ratify the Treaty as a matter of personal concern to him,� Tusk said.

                        A prominent member of the opposition Law and Justice party, Joachim Brudziński, spoke of “the smallness of the French side and failure to pay respects to the last living Polish war veterans who shed their blood for the liberation of France�.

                        Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain also expressed her displeasure last week after not receiving an invitation to the D-Day celebrations.

                        The French side says that it regards the celebrations of battles in what was in the American sector of the war as primarily a "Franco-American affair" and that is why President Obama will be a guest and not heads of state from other nations.

                        On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. Apart from British and American troops, personnel from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland took part in the landings.

                        The invasion marked the beginning of the end of World War II

                        http://www.polskier adio.pl/thenews/ news/artykul1092 48_poland_ protests_ after_d_day_ celebrations_ snub.html

                        __________________________________________________________
                        Ask a question on any topic and get answers from real people. Go to Yahoo! Answers and share what you know at http://ca.answers.yahoo.com

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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                      • Barbara Scrivens
                        Dear Zdzis, Apologies for taking so long to reply. All I can say is that my time at the computer is currently exasperatingly limited. Thank you so much for
                        Message 11 of 29 , Jun 25, 2009
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                          Dear Zdzis,



                          Apologies for taking so long to reply. All I can say is that my time at the computer is currently exasperatingly limited.



                          Thank you so much for that information. Since setting out on my mission of discovery about my grandfathers, I’m inhaling every scrap of information. I feel so guilty at my naivety and not doing this earlier.



                          I realised that his date of death was probably September 2, 1944, but although that is on his tombstone, I’m questioning it myself. I haven’t received the official records from the MoD yet, but have been combing through the ‘After Normandy’ chapter in The Black Devil’s March – A Doomed Odyssey – by Evan McGilvray, which I received yesterday.



                          I’ve a rare day to myself and have spent the morning on Google maps, with the book, trying to find place names to match the actions of what was called the 1st Squadron, which I’ve had to assume was what you called the 1st Anti-tank Regiment. Unfortunately, there is no record of soldiers dying on that date. There was mention of Polish casualties amounting to ‘two wounded men and one damaged Cromwell tank’ (p62). In fact, although I have read just a section of the chapter (my need for discovery means I have to read ‘relevant’ things first, then read the book again in full) there is not a death mentioned in several days’ fighting. That’s either very lucky, or the word ‘wounded’ is sometimes a euphemism for ‘dead’, especially since several of the other wounded were listed by name.



                          Thanks to gentle prodding from John, I have re-established contact with a distant relative in London (his father’s mother and my grandfather’s mother were sisters) and you could be right about the strategic need for soldiers. According to my relative, it seems his father found my grandfather in England through the Red Cross.



                          In the meantime, I’m planning a route for my pilgrimage to his gravesite this September, hopefully via the areas the 1st Armoured Division passed by. I have still not found Gonny-sur-Somme. I’ve spent ages scouring the Somme River for an area called Gonny with no luck yet. However, I am tenacious and have no doubt I’ll find it.



                          Again, many thanks for your help,

                          Barbara



                          Auckland, New Zealand.







                          From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jess
                          Sent: Monday, 15 June 2009 12:03 p.m.
                          To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division








                          Barabra,

                          Just to add a little more detail, Wladyslaw Surowiec was KIA on 9 February 1944 in Gommy sur Somme, France. He was a Bombardier (Corporal) in the 1st Anti-tank Regiment of the 1st Polish Armoured Brigade.
                          I looked up the cemetery site in French and there are a couple more details:
                          His service number is given as: ew 2444 (but this could also be the number assigned to his grave by the War Cemetery Commission)
                          He he was born on 7 March 1908 in Bratkowice, Rzeszow.

                          As for how he ended up in 1 PAD, well, he could simply have requested a transfer to that Division, or he could well have been assigned to it as a result of the strategic need for soldiers in a particular unit. It happens a lot, a relative of mine enlisted with Anders but did most of his service in North Africa while his brother was posted to the Polish Air Force in England.

                          I'm a bit pressed for time at the moment but I'll dig around in the French sites as soon as I can.

                          Regards,

                          Zdzis

                          Runaway Bay, Queensland
                          Australia

                          From: Barbara Scrivens
                          Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 8:48 AM
                          To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                          Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                          Hi John,

                          Thank you so much for taking the trouble to do this for me. I will go onto Amazon today for the book.

                          I have sent a request to the MoD (thanks to Henry of the Fallen Soldiers website who also put me in touch with K-S) regarding my paternal grandfather, as they were under the 8th Army, but in my naivety, somehow figured that if my maternal grandfather was in a Canadian War Cemetery, the British would not have information on him. It was only when the papers were in flight, that I figured I should have asked for both. I have since made a second request.

                          I will be contacting Ms Czernichowska. Many thanks for that - and the prod to delve further into the K-S website. I'm afraid I haven't done enough exploring of that yet. I'm a bit of a ditz when it comes to computers and have already managed not to be able to get into the Yahoo groups K-S page. It was only when I was printing out Mark's comprehensive reply to Danuta re: 1st and 2nd corps (Monday 1 June 2009 for me but it could be a day earlier for you) that I saw a sidebar that doesn't come up on my emails.

                          I hadn't seen the picture of his grave till this morning. That was the first site I found (on our New Zealand Anzac Day last year) which gave me any details on him. Last time I was there, there was just a general picture of the cemetery. How thoughtful of the photographer to take individual pictures. I really appreciate that, and the other site, which I would most probably not have found on my own.

                          Could his service number be listed incorrectly? One of the things I found out from my mother only a year ago was that her dad was with them in Siberia and Uzbekistan. As a child I had always thought that the men went to war and it was just my grandmother and four children who were shunted off in the cattle trucks. Unfortunately, I don't know when she last saw him. I know she, her surviving brothers and her mother ended up in Gwelo, then Southern Rhodesia, through Tanganyika. Anders' book has filled in a lot of gaps, but created more questions. I guess I'll have to wait for the MoD.

                          I'd love to see the background notes you have. I have tried to send this via your email but it hasn't worked so would you send them via mine? scrivs@... <mailto:scrivs%40xtra.co.nz> (no 'e' in xtra).

                          Again, many thanks for your help. And nothing is trivial!
                          - Barbara

                          (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                          Auckland
                          New Zealand

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: John Halucha
                          To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 12:27 AM
                          Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                          Barbara:
                          I haven't read The Black Devils March yet myself, but it comes highly recommended and I echo Sheila's recommendation.
                          If you haven't already, you could also contact the British Ministry of Defence for information about both your grandfathers. Suggestions and contacts can be found in the Kresy-Siberia forum archives. Contacting the MoD was most rewarding for me, since I got not only many pages of documents related to my father's military service but also medals to which he was entitled.
                          Also, if you haven't already, contact Irana Czernichowska at the Hoover Institution Archives. Again, there are lots of details and suggestions in the KS archives. Hoover may not have much information about your maternal grandfather since he moved to the 1st Polish Armoured Division, but probably will have some about your paternal grandfather since he stayed with Anders in the 2nd Corps. I had a similar circumstance, in that my father moved to the 1PAD (no information) but my uncle stayed in the 2nd Corps (lots of information, including a deposition in his own handwriting and a copy of the Soviet release document that got him out of the USSR).
                          Sorry that I can't shed any direct light on the death of your maternal grandfather, Wladislaw Surowiec, at Gonny sur Somme on Sept 2, 1944. As you say, the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 gives little information on that date.
                          You may already know that his name appears at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic..php?f=52 <http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic..php?f=52&t=150880&start=0> &t=150880&start=0 (and http://sart53atzec.mojeforum.net/lista-polskich-zolnierzy-poleglych-w-europie-zach-cz2-temat-vt162.html). There were six other 1PAD soldiers noted killed on that date, two of them at Gonny sur Somme. I can't find that location precisely, but it appears to be on the Somme River near Abbeville. One of the men killed on the same day died at Cailly-Abbeville, which indicates it was west of Abbeville, so it seems he and perhaps your grandfather died in the battle to liberate the Abbeville region. However, this is pure conjecture on my part and others on this forum who are far more knowledgeable may be able to offer a better explanation.
                          Your grandfather's rank is listed as "bomb.", which translates to Senior Gunner. Again, perhaps more knowledgeable members of this forum can give you some idea of his duties and what he may have been doing at the time of his death.
                          I saw the photo of your grandfather's grave at http://www.polishwargraves.nl/fran/1352.htm, which I assume you already have. (See also, http://www.beskid.com/base/note.php?id=812target=) As you noted, he is listed as having been born at Bratkowice (Rzeszow), which is about 100 kilometres west of my father's birthplace at Mlodow (Lubaczow). The Lwow area, where your grandfather moved and was captured, is about 70 kilometres east of my Dad's home town. Your grandfather was about 7 years older than my Dad and in a different unit (my father was in the 10.Komp.Zaop, 10th Supply Company), but considering their apparently similar routes from Poland through the Soviet gulags, to Anders and then the 1PAD it is very likely they knew each other.
                          My father and uncle were together in the Soviet gulags and made their way south to Anders together. They went separate ways after they reached Persia, presumably as your grandfathers did. I am not sure whether my father volunteered to go to the 1PAD or was assigned because of his background. I have some background notes on the process that I would be happy to share with you off-forum, if you like.
                          One thing that puzzles me is your grandfather's army number, 2444. My Dad's number was 26216, and several others who I know made a similar switch from Anders to the 1PAD around the same time in 1942 have numbers in the same range, which led me to think that the numbers were assigned more or less in order. However, your grandfather's number is so small that this would indicate he was enlisted into the 1PAD much earlier, perhaps going there from France in 1940 rather than from Uzbekistan. Since that does not jibe with what you have been told, perhaps others here can venture an explanation.
                          The only other thing I can tell you is trivial -- Sept. 2, 1944 was a Saturday. And there was a full moon.
                          Best of luck in your quest for more information.
                          John Halucha
                          Sault Ste Marie, Canada
                          Kresy - Mlodow/Lubaczow
                          USSR - Brygytka/Starobielsk/Pechorlag (Pieczorlag)/Abez’ (Abiez)

                          ________________________________
                          From: Sheila Bannister <sheila@... <mailto:sheila%40sheila74.wanadoo.co.uk> >
                          To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 3:40:49 AM
                          Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                          Hi

                          Have you read "The Black Devils March-A Doomed Odyssey" by Evan McGilvray-The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-45?

                          Sheila Bannister
                          Chesterfield, England
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: Barbara Scrivens
                          To: Kresy-Siberia@ yahoogroups. com
                          Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:40 AM
                          Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                          Dear John,

                          A rainy Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I've just finished trying to gain information regarding the 1st Polish Armoured Division through their website http://dragoons10. tripod.com/ main.html. I have been trying to find out two things: the circumstances of my maternal grandfather' s death on Sept 2, 1944 in Gonny sur Somme. His name was Wladislaw Surowiec and I have been puzzled regarding how he came to be with the 1st Division in France when my mother last saw him in a camp in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately my email to the 'contact us' link on the above site was returned. I was disappointed but knew that the thought was out there.

                          And a few moments later, as I'm catching up on emails, yours is the first I open - and the first I have seen mentions my grandfather' s division! Thanks dziadek!

                          I've carefully read the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 on the above, trying to find out exactly what happened on Sept 2, 1944.. No mention of Gonny sur Somme, only that they had done what they had to at Falaise and were on their way to Abbeville via Bouchy-Blame.

                          My grandfather moved with his family from Bratkowice to Zaleszczyki, Lwow, which village was taken by the Soviets on Feb 10, 1940. My mother was only six at the time, and says she does not remember much except the last time she saw her father was in Uzbekistan when he and other Polish men joined the Polish Army.

                          I have just finished reading General Anders' book 'An Army in Exile', as my paternal grandfather, Stanislaw Niescior, was part of the Polish 2nd Corps. Logically, from where my grandfather Surowiec started out, I had thought they would have taken the same road. Obviously they did not.

                          Did your late father tell you much?

                          I have been given the chance to visit Vienna in September and am trying to decide whether to visit Bratkowice, where I still apparently have relatives (not contacted), or follow the route of Monte Cassino to Bologna (where my paternal grandfather is buried) or to investigate the French connection (my maternal grandfather is buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Calais).

                          Kind regards,
                          Barbara Scrivens (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                          Auckland
                          New Zealand

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                        • Barbara Scrivens
                          Dear Sheila, I’m sitting at the diningroom table with the book open at page 56 and your late father is reminding me that I should have lunch. What a
                          Message 12 of 29 , Jun 25, 2009
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                            Dear Sheila,



                            I’m sitting at the diningroom table with the book open at page 56 and your late father is reminding me that I should have lunch. What a brilliant picture! The book arrived yesterday. Thank you so much for the suggestion. Please forgive me for taking so long to reply.



                            I’ve only managed to read a few (dozen) pages, going obviously first to what happened around the date of my maternal grandfather’s death. I also noticed the lists at the back and saw quite a few Wojciechowski and even one other Surowiec.



                            You are right, there is so much to learn about those times. I wish I had known earlier, I would probably have been a calmer person. With my increasing discoveries, I feel I’m like an adopted child finally finding her biological roots. I know the Polish story is tragic, but finding out details about my family has given me such a spring in my step.



                            How did you manage with your name as a child in England? With mine, Basia Niescior (Bash-ya Nesquick), I was constantly teased and embarrassed. Mind you, Niescior was probably a lot easier for the English than Szumska, Surowiec or Sochacka!



                            Again many thanks,



                            Barbara Scrivens,

                            Auckland,

                            New Zealand







                            From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sheila Bannister
                            Sent: Friday, 19 June 2009 6:13 a.m.
                            To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division








                            Hello Barbara

                            I was searching for books about the first armoured division and came across it. To my astonishment there is a photograph of my late father Wojciech Stanislaw Wojciechowski in the book on page 56. I have a few documents which belonged to my father from that time including 2 leaflets dropped from planes headed:
                            1) Polacy w Armii Niemieckiej
                            2) Die Rote Armee marschiert in
                            Deutschland ein!

                            My father was also in Miranda de Ebro internment camp in Spain and I have the form filled in by the Spanish giving his personel details-he was only 17 at that time.

                            My father and grandfather lived in Czortkow in 1939 but because grandad Hipolit was a major in the polish army (a careeer soldier) he had to stay with his division so they became separated.

                            There is so much to learn about those times, all extremely interesting.

                            Sheila Bannister (Wojciechowska)
                            Chesterfield, England

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: Barbara Scrivens
                            To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 10:27 AM
                            Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                            Thank you, Sheila,

                            I've just ordered it from Amazon. Am I allowed to ask how come you happened to come across this book?

                            - Barbara Scrivens
                            (researching Niescior-Szumska/ Surowiec-Sochacka)
                            Auckland
                            New Zealand

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: Sheila Bannister
                            To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 7:40 PM
                            Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                            Hi

                            Have you read "The Black Devils March-A Doomed Odyssey" by Evan McGilvray-The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-45?

                            Sheila Bannister
                            Chesterfield, England
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: Barbara Scrivens
                            To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:40 AM
                            Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                            Dear John,

                            A rainy Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I've just finished trying to gain information regarding the 1st Polish Armoured Division through their website http://dragoons10.tripod.com/main.html. I have been trying to find out two things: the circumstances of my maternal grandfather's death on Sept 2, 1944 in Gonny sur Somme. His name was Wladislaw Surowiec and I have been puzzled regarding how he came to be with the 1st Division in France when my mother last saw him in a camp in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately my email to the 'contact us' link on the above site was returned. I was disappointed but knew that the thought was out there.

                            And a few moments later, as I'm catching up on emails, yours is the first I open - and the first I have seen mentions my grandfather's division! Thanks dziadek!

                            I've carefully read the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 on the above, trying to find out exactly what happened on Sept 2, 1944. No mention of Gonny sur Somme, only that they had done what they had to at Falaise and were on their way to Abbeville via Bouchy-Blame.

                            My grandfather moved with his family from Bratkowice to Zaleszczyki, Lwow, which village was taken by the Soviets on Feb 10, 1940. My mother was only six at the time, and says she does not remember much except the last time she saw her father was in Uzbekistan when he and other Polish men joined the Polish Army.

                            I have just finished reading General Anders' book 'An Army in Exile', as my paternal grandfather, Stanislaw Niescior, was part of the Polish 2nd Corps. Logically, from where my grandfather Surowiec started out, I had thought they would have taken the same road. Obviously they did not.

                            Did your late father tell you much?

                            I have been given the chance to visit Vienna in September and am trying to decide whether to visit Bratkowice, where I still apparently have relatives (not contacted), or follow the route of Monte Cassino to Bologna (where my paternal grandfather is buried) or to investigate the French connection (my maternal grandfather is buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Calais).

                            Kind regards,
                            Barbara Scrivens (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                            Auckland
                            New Zealand

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: John Halucha
                            To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Sunday, June 07, 2009 8:22 AM
                            Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Re: Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

                            I am reminded of my experience in France on June 6, 1972. I had landed
                            in Calais the evening before and slept on the beach near a partially
                            demolished German concrete bunker. I didn't know a whole lot of history
                            at the time as a backpacking youth, but I was aware that it was the
                            28th anniversary of D-Day and it felt special although the Allied
                            landings had occurred farther south. As I hiked and hitch-hiked on the
                            way to Paris the next day, my Canadian flag prominently displayed on my
                            pack, I looked for signs of commemoration. There were none, and the
                            French folk I encountered were wary, cold and often rude.
                            I accepted their behaviour with equanimity, since I was a guest in their country and did not know the language well.
                            Ironically, I found much friendlier people when I crossed the border
                            into Germany a week or so later -- despite knowing even less German
                            than French. It was not until after my trip was over and I was back
                            home in Canada that I realized I had been welcomed everywhere I went in Europe
                            except France.
                            This proves nothing, only one individual's experience over a very short
                            period. But now that I know a bit more history, I wonder if the French
                            attitude towards the Allies mirrors that of the Allies to the Poles:
                            resentment because of embarrassment. France betrayed Poland and the
                            Allies by refusing to honour its treaty obligations and then
                            collaborating with the Germans; the Allies betrayed Poland by handing
                            it over to Stalin.
                            My late father served with Maczek's 1st Polish Armoured Division, and
                            although he did not land on D-Day he participated in the liberation of
                            France. Many of his Polish comrades are buried in France. It seems
                            somehow tawdry that the French would not acknowledge the contribution
                            of Polish forces at this, the most
                            important ceremony likely to be held in France this year. We hear a lot about the French declaring war on Germany in 1939 after the attack on Poland, but we don't hear a whole lot about how the Poles did much more to help France than the French did to help Poland. Looks as thought France got the better end of the bargain, and it doesn't like to draw attention to it even today.
                            John Halucha
                            Sault Ste Marie, Canada

                            ________________________________
                            From: Danuta Janina Wójcik <sandlily@... <mailto:sandlily%40shaw.ca> >
                            To: Galicia_Poland-Ukraine@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Galicia_Poland-Ukraine%40yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Saturday, June 6, 2009 10:50:33 AM
                            Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

                            Poland protests after D-Day celebrations snub

                            01.06.2009 09:51

                            A spokesman for President Lech Kaczynski has said that the lack of invitation for the Polish head of state to the D-Day celebrations in France on June 6 has left a “nasty taste in the mouth�.

                            Polish politicians have said that it is highly regrettable that President Lech Kaczynski has not been invited to the celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, marked the allied western offensive which ultimately helped airing to an end WW II. Head of the presidential National Security Bureau Aleksander Szczydło said that Poland made a tangible contribution to the liberation of France, recalling the 15, 000-strong Polish division under the command of General Maczek and the participation of some 50, 000 Poles in the French resistance movement.

                            In a radio interview today, Szczygło spoke of a, “nasty aftertaste and a sense of resentment�, adding, however, that failure to invite the Polish president will have no bearing on the shape of future Polish-French relations.

                            The Presidential Chancellery says on its website, however, that the Polish President has received an invitation from the local authorities of the town of Falaise to attend the events commemorating the participation of Polish troops in the Battle of Falaise Pocket on 12 to 24 August 1944 which defeated Nazi troops in Normandy.

                            Asked to comment on the issue, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that a lack of invitation for the Polish president is “regrettable�, adding that relations between Polish and French presidents have not been too good since President Kaczynski refused to sign the Lisbon Treaty following the Irish referendum last year.

                            “President Sarkozy made it clear that he treated President Kaczyński’s refusal to ratify the Treaty as a matter of personal concern to him,� Tusk said.

                            A prominent member of the opposition Law and Justice party, Joachim Brudziński, spoke of “the smallness of the French side and failure to pay respects to the last living Polish war veterans who shed their blood for the liberation of France�.

                            Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain also expressed her displeasure last week after not receiving an invitation to the D-Day celebrations.

                            The French side says that it regards the celebrations of battles in what was in the American sector of the war as primarily a "Franco-American affair" and that is why President Obama will be a guest and not heads of state from other nations.

                            On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. Apart from British and American troops, personnel from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland took part in the landings.

                            The invasion marked the beginning of the end of World War II

                            http://www.polskier adio.pl/thenews/ news/artykul1092 48_poland_ protests_ after_d_day_ celebrations_ snub.html

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                          • julie sheppard
                            Barbara and any other KS members looking for places in France, the via michelin website is an excellent site for locating places in France and for planning
                            Message 13 of 29 , Jun 25, 2009
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                              Barbara and any other KS members looking for places in France, the 'via michelin' website is an excellent site for locating places in France and for planning travel within the country. There are no more detailed maps of France than the Michelin ones. If you type in 'sur somme' or 'somme' in the search map section, it will list all the places in France with sur somme or somme in the title. Alas it doesn't list anywhere called Gonny sur Somme. Are you sure of the 'Gonny' bit Barbara?

                              Regards,

                              Julie (Jachimiak) Sheppard





                              To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                              From: scrivs@...
                              Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 13:12:58 +1200
                              Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division









                              Dear Zdzis,

                              Apologies for taking so long to reply. All I can say is that my time at the computer is currently exasperatingly limited.

                              Thank you so much for that information. Since setting out on my mission of discovery about my grandfathers, I’m inhaling every scrap of information. I feel so guilty at my naivety and not doing this earlier.

                              I realised that his date of death was probably September 2, 1944, but although that is on his tombstone, I’m questioning it myself. I haven’t received the official records from the MoD yet, but have been combing through the ‘After Normandy’ chapter in The Black Devil’s March – A Doomed Odyssey – by Evan McGilvray, which I received yesterday.

                              I’ve a rare day to myself and have spent the morning on Google maps, with the book, trying to find place names to match the actions of what was called the 1st Squadron, which I’ve had to assume was what you called the 1st Anti-tank Regiment. Unfortunately, there is no record of soldiers dying on that date. There was mention of Polish casualties amounting to ‘two wounded men and one damaged Cromwell tank’ (p62). In fact, although I have read just a section of the chapter (my need for discovery means I have to read ‘relevant’ things first, then read the book again in full) there is not a death mentioned in several days’ fighting. That’s either very lucky, or the word ‘wounded’ is sometimes a euphemism for ‘dead’, especially since several of the other wounded were listed by name.

                              Thanks to gentle prodding from John, I have re-established contact with a distant relative in London (his father’s mother and my grandfather’s mother were sisters) and you could be right about the strategic need for soldiers. According to my relative, it seems his father found my grandfather in England through the Red Cross.

                              In the meantime, I’m planning a route for my pilgrimage to his gravesite this September, hopefully via the areas the 1st Armoured Division passed by. I have still not found Gonny-sur-Somme. I’ve spent ages scouring the Somme River for an area called Gonny with no luck yet. However, I am tenacious and have no doubt I’ll find it.

                              Again, many thanks for your help,

                              Barbara

                              Auckland, New Zealand.

                              From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jess
                              Sent: Monday, 15 June 2009 12:03 p.m.
                              To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                              Barabra,

                              Just to add a little more detail, Wladyslaw Surowiec was KIA on 9 February 1944 in Gommy sur Somme, France. He was a Bombardier (Corporal) in the 1st Anti-tank Regiment of the 1st Polish Armoured Brigade.
                              I looked up the cemetery site in French and there are a couple more details:
                              His service number is given as: ew 2444 (but this could also be the number assigned to his grave by the War Cemetery Commission)
                              He he was born on 7 March 1908 in Bratkowice, Rzeszow.

                              As for how he ended up in 1 PAD, well, he could simply have requested a transfer to that Division, or he could well have been assigned to it as a result of the strategic need for soldiers in a particular unit. It happens a lot, a relative of mine enlisted with Anders but did most of his service in North Africa while his brother was posted to the Polish Air Force in England.

                              I'm a bit pressed for time at the moment but I'll dig around in the French sites as soon as I can.

                              Regards,

                              Zdzis

                              Runaway Bay, Queensland
                              Australia

                              From: Barbara Scrivens
                              Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 8:48 AM
                              To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                              Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                              Hi John,

                              Thank you so much for taking the trouble to do this for me. I will go onto Amazon today for the book.

                              I have sent a request to the MoD (thanks to Henry of the Fallen Soldiers website who also put me in touch with K-S) regarding my paternal grandfather, as they were under the 8th Army, but in my naivety, somehow figured that if my maternal grandfather was in a Canadian War Cemetery, the British would not have information on him. It was only when the papers were in flight, that I figured I should have asked for both. I have since made a second request.

                              I will be contacting Ms Czernichowska. Many thanks for that - and the prod to delve further into the K-S website. I'm afraid I haven't done enough exploring of that yet. I'm a bit of a ditz when it comes to computers and have already managed not to be able to get into the Yahoo groups K-S page. It was only when I was printing out Mark's comprehensive reply to Danuta re: 1st and 2nd corps (Monday 1 June 2009 for me but it could be a day earlier for you) that I saw a sidebar that doesn't come up on my emails.

                              I hadn't seen the picture of his grave till this morning. That was the first site I found (on our New Zealand Anzac Day last year) which gave me any details on him. Last time I was there, there was just a general picture of the cemetery. How thoughtful of the photographer to take individual pictures. I really appreciate that, and the other site, which I would most probably not have found on my own.

                              Could his service number be listed incorrectly? One of the things I found out from my mother only a year ago was that her dad was with them in Siberia and Uzbekistan. As a child I had always thought that the men went to war and it was just my grandmother and four children who were shunted off in the cattle trucks. Unfortunately, I don't know when she last saw him. I know she, her surviving brothers and her mother ended up in Gwelo, then Southern Rhodesia, through Tanganyika. Anders' book has filled in a lot of gaps, but created more questions. I guess I'll have to wait for the MoD.

                              I'd love to see the background notes you have. I have tried to send this via your email but it hasn't worked so would you send them via mine? scrivs@... <mailto:scrivs%40xtra.co.nz> (no 'e' in xtra).

                              Again, many thanks for your help. And nothing is trivial!
                              - Barbara

                              (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                              Auckland
                              New Zealand

                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: John Halucha
                              To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 12:27 AM
                              Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                              Barbara:
                              I haven't read The Black Devils March yet myself, but it comes highly recommended and I echo Sheila's recommendation.
                              If you haven't already, you could also contact the British Ministry of Defence for information about both your grandfathers. Suggestions and contacts can be found in the Kresy-Siberia forum archives. Contacting the MoD was most rewarding for me, since I got not only many pages of documents related to my father's military service but also medals to which he was entitled.
                              Also, if you haven't already, contact Irana Czernichowska at the Hoover Institution Archives. Again, there are lots of details and suggestions in the KS archives. Hoover may not have much information about your maternal grandfather since he moved to the 1st Polish Armoured Division, but probably will have some about your paternal grandfather since he stayed with Anders in the 2nd Corps. I had a similar circumstance, in that my father moved to the 1PAD (no information) but my uncle stayed in the 2nd Corps (lots of information, including a deposition in his own handwriting and a copy of the Soviet release document that got him out of the USSR).
                              Sorry that I can't shed any direct light on the death of your maternal grandfather, Wladislaw Surowiec, at Gonny sur Somme on Sept 2, 1944. As you say, the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 gives little information on that date.
                              You may already know that his name appears at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic..php?f=52 <http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic..php?f=52&t=150880&start=0> &t=150880&start=0 (and http://sart53atzec.mojeforum.net/lista-polskich-zolnierzy-poleglych-w-europie-zach-cz2-temat-vt162.html). There were six other 1PAD soldiers noted killed on that date, two of them at Gonny sur Somme. I can't find that location precisely, but it appears to be on the Somme River near Abbeville. One of the men killed on the same day died at Cailly-Abbeville, which indicates it was west of Abbeville, so it seems he and perhaps your grandfather died in the battle to liberate the Abbeville region. However, this is pure conjecture on my part and others on this forum who are far more knowledgeable may be able to offer a better explanation.
                              Your grandfather's rank is listed as "bomb.", which translates to Senior Gunner. Again, perhaps more knowledgeable members of this forum can give you some idea of his duties and what he may have been doing at the time of his death.
                              I saw the photo of your grandfather's grave at http://www.polishwargraves.nl/fran/1352.htm, which I assume you already have. (See also, http://www.beskid.com/base/note.php?id=812target=) As you noted, he is listed as having been born at Bratkowice (Rzeszow), which is about 100 kilometres west of my father's birthplace at Mlodow (Lubaczow). The Lwow area, where your grandfather moved and was captured, is about 70 kilometres east of my Dad's home town. Your grandfather was about 7 years older than my Dad and in a different unit (my father was in the 10.Komp.Zaop, 10th Supply Company), but considering their apparently similar routes from Poland through the Soviet gulags, to Anders and then the 1PAD it is very likely they knew each other.
                              My father and uncle were together in the Soviet gulags and made their way south to Anders together. They went separate ways after they reached Persia, presumably as your grandfathers did. I am not sure whether my father volunteered to go to the 1PAD or was assigned because of his background. I have some background notes on the process that I would be happy to share with you off-forum, if you like.
                              One thing that puzzles me is your grandfather's army number, 2444. My Dad's number was 26216, and several others who I know made a similar switch from Anders to the 1PAD around the same time in 1942 have numbers in the same range, which led me to think that the numbers were assigned more or less in order. However, your grandfather's number is so small that this would indicate he was enlisted into the 1PAD much earlier, perhaps going there from France in 1940 rather than from Uzbekistan. Since that does not jibe with what you have been told, perhaps others here can venture an explanation.
                              The only other thing I can tell you is trivial -- Sept. 2, 1944 was a Saturday. And there was a full moon.
                              Best of luck in your quest for more information.
                              John Halucha
                              Sault Ste Marie, Canada
                              Kresy - Mlodow/Lubaczow
                              USSR - Brygytka/Starobielsk/Pechorlag (Pieczorlag)/Abez’ (Abiez)

                              ________________________________
                              From: Sheila Bannister <sheila@... <mailto:sheila%40sheila74.wanadoo.co.uk> >
                              To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 3:40:49 AM
                              Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                              Hi

                              Have you read "The Black Devils March-A Doomed Odyssey" by Evan McGilvray-The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-45?

                              Sheila Bannister
                              Chesterfield, England
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: Barbara Scrivens
                              To: Kresy-Siberia@ yahoogroups. com
                              Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:40 AM
                              Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                              Dear John,

                              A rainy Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I've just finished trying to gain information regarding the 1st Polish Armoured Division through their website http://dragoons10. tripod.com/ main.html. I have been trying to find out two things: the circumstances of my maternal grandfather' s death on Sept 2, 1944 in Gonny sur Somme. His name was Wladislaw Surowiec and I have been puzzled regarding how he came to be with the 1st Division in France when my mother last saw him in a camp in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately my email to the 'contact us' link on the above site was returned. I was disappointed but knew that the thought was out there.

                              And a few moments later, as I'm catching up on emails, yours is the first I open - and the first I have seen mentions my grandfather' s division! Thanks dziadek!

                              I've carefully read the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 on the above, trying to find out exactly what happened on Sept 2, 1944.. No mention of Gonny sur Somme, only that they had done what they had to at Falaise and were on their way to Abbeville via Bouchy-Blame.

                              My grandfather moved with his family from Bratkowice to Zaleszczyki, Lwow, which village was taken by the Soviets on Feb 10, 1940. My mother was only six at the time, and says she does not remember much except the last time she saw her father was in Uzbekistan when he and other Polish men joined the Polish Army.

                              I have just finished reading General Anders' book 'An Army in Exile', as my paternal grandfather, Stanislaw Niescior, was part of the Polish 2nd Corps. Logically, from where my grandfather Surowiec started out, I had thought they would have taken the same road. Obviously they did not.

                              Did your late father tell you much?

                              I have been given the chance to visit Vienna in September and am trying to decide whether to visit Bratkowice, where I still apparently have relatives (not contacted), or follow the route of Monte Cassino to Bologna (where my paternal grandfather is buried) or to investigate the French connection (my maternal grandfather is buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Calais).

                              Kind regards,
                              Barbara Scrivens (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                              Auckland
                              New Zealand

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                            • loasby@gmail.com
                              Barbara, I ve scoured my trusty Michelin map book from the source of the Somme to the sea. The nearest I can find to that place name is Gouy, about 3km to the
                              Message 14 of 29 , Jun 26, 2009
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                                Barbara,

                                I've scoured my trusty Michelin map book from the source of the Somme to the
                                sea. The nearest I can find to that place name is Gouy, about 3km to the
                                west of Abbeville. No other place name near the Somme is similar, even if
                                transliterated into English or Polish.

                                The nearest I can get is that there are a number of places called Gournay,
                                including one suburb of Le Havre, and one about 70km east of Paris
                                (Gournay-le-Guerin). None of them are likely to be anywhere near the action
                                at that stage of the campaign apart from two which are about 70km west of
                                Falaise, and near Verneuil (Gournay -en-Bray and, confusingly, Gournay are
                                only about 10km apart).

                                Ken Felstyn's page shows the three casualties on 2/9/44 -
                                st.ul. Popczyk,Kazimierz,Gonny sur Somme Fr 02/09/44
                                plut. Szyszko,Tadeusz,KW,Gonny sur Somme Fr 02/09/44
                                bomb. Surowiec,Wladyslaw,Gonny sur Somme Fr 02/09/44

                                And the Beskid site (http://www.beskid.com/base/note.php?id=810target=)
                                shows all three as being interred in the Canadian cemetry at Calais.

                                As they were with the Canadian Army, might they have some record?

                                If you are visitng France, I can recommed the Canadian D-Day museum at Juno
                                beach, by the way.

                                Rob
                                Nottingham UK


                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com]
                                On Behalf Of julie sheppard
                                Sent: 26 June 2009 07:42
                                To: KS Group Kresy-Siberia Group
                                Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division




                                Barbara and any other KS members looking for places in France, the 'via
                                michelin' website is an excellent site for locating places in France and for
                                planning travel within the country. There are no more detailed maps of
                                France than the Michelin ones. If you type in 'sur somme' or 'somme' in the
                                search map section, it will list all the places in France with sur somme or
                                somme in the title. Alas it doesn't list anywhere called Gonny sur Somme.
                                Are you sure of the 'Gonny' bit Barbara?



                                Regards,



                                Julie (Jachimiak) Sheppard











                                To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com

                                From: scrivs@...

                                Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 13:12:58 +1200

                                Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                Dear Zdzis,

                                Apologies for taking so long to reply. All I can say is that my time at the
                                computer is currently exasperatingly limited.

                                Thank you so much for that information. Since setting out on my mission of
                                discovery about my grandfathers, I'm inhaling every scrap of information. I
                                feel so guilty at my naivety and not doing this earlier.

                                I realised that his date of death was probably September 2, 1944, but
                                although that is on his tombstone, I'm questioning it myself. I haven't
                                received the official records from the MoD yet, but have been combing
                                through the 'After Normandy' chapter in The Black Devil's March - A Doomed
                                Odyssey - by Evan McGilvray, which I received yesterday.

                                I've a rare day to myself and have spent the morning on Google maps, with
                                the book, trying to find place names to match the actions of what was called
                                the 1st Squadron, which I've had to assume was what you called the 1st
                                Anti-tank Regiment. Unfortunately, there is no record of soldiers dying on
                                that date. There was mention of Polish casualties amounting to 'two wounded
                                men and one damaged Cromwell tank' (p62). In fact, although I have read just
                                a section of the chapter (my need for discovery means I have to read
                                'relevant' things first, then read the book again in full) there is not a
                                death mentioned in several days' fighting. That's either very lucky, or the
                                word 'wounded' is sometimes a euphemism for 'dead', especially since several
                                of the other wounded were listed by name.

                                Thanks to gentle prodding from John, I have re-established contact with a
                                distant relative in London (his father's mother and my grandfather's mother
                                were sisters) and you could be right about the strategic need for soldiers.
                                According to my relative, it seems his father found my grandfather in
                                England through the Red Cross.

                                In the meantime, I'm planning a route for my pilgrimage to his gravesite
                                this September, hopefully via the areas the 1st Armoured Division passed by.
                                I have still not found Gonny-sur-Somme. I've spent ages scouring the Somme
                                River for an area called Gonny with no luck yet. However, I am tenacious and
                                have no doubt I'll find it.

                                Again, many thanks for your help,

                                Barbara
                                Auckland, New Zealand.
                              • Barbara Scrivens
                                Hi Julie, I’m not sure of anything. I’ve had the inkling that it may be a hill or a particular valley. However, now that I’ve again looked at where I got
                                Message 15 of 29 , Jun 26, 2009
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                                  Hi Julie,



                                  I’m not sure of anything. I’ve had the inkling that it may be a hill or a particular valley. However, now that I’ve again looked at where I got the name from, I realise I could have assumed it was the place of his death. It was from the Polish War Graves website under the heading ‘date of death’ and just said ‘2.9.44, Gonny sur Somme, France’. He’s in grave 3 and I looked up the names of the other 19 Polish soldiers in the cemetery, hoping to find what, I don’t know, a lead, something, this was Anzac Day, 2007. Anyway, the man in the next grave, Karol Dudek, also died on the same day and also had Gonny sur Somme in the same place, so I just assumed they were the two who died on that day. Every theory has to be based on an assumption, and assuming things is the human way. I could easily have fallen into the trap.



                                  I’ll go back and check further. Thank you for the thoughts. Members’ kindness and generosity within their own busy lives is one of the amazing things I’ve discovered about K-S.



                                  As for the maps, I’m waiting for our daughter’s boxes to arrive home. She bought detailed maps of France for a road trip last month, so at least I’ll be able to spread it out and not move inch by inch across a screen!



                                  Thank you again,

                                  Barbara Scrivens

                                  Auckland

                                  New Zealand







                                  From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of julie sheppard
                                  Sent: Friday, 26 June 2009 6:42 p.m.
                                  To: KS Group Kresy-Siberia Group
                                  Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division









                                  Barbara and any other KS members looking for places in France, the 'via michelin' website is an excellent site for locating places in France and for planning travel within the country. There are no more detailed maps of France than the Michelin ones. If you type in 'sur somme' or 'somme' in the search map section, it will list all the places in France with sur somme or somme in the title. Alas it doesn't list anywhere called Gonny sur Somme. Are you sure of the 'Gonny' bit Barbara?

                                  Regards,

                                  Julie (Jachimiak) Sheppard





                                  To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                  From: scrivs@... <mailto:scrivs%40xtra.co.nz>
                                  Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 13:12:58 +1200
                                  Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division









                                  Dear Zdzis,

                                  Apologies for taking so long to reply. All I can say is that my time at the computer is currently exasperatingly limited.

                                  Thank you so much for that information. Since setting out on my mission of discovery about my grandfathers, I’m inhaling every scrap of information. I feel so guilty at my naivety and not doing this earlier.

                                  I realised that his date of death was probably September 2, 1944, but although that is on his tombstone, I’m questioning it myself. I haven’t received the official records from the MoD yet, but have been combing through the ‘After Normandy’ chapter in The Black Devil’s March – A Doomed Odyssey – by Evan McGilvray, which I received yesterday.

                                  I’ve a rare day to myself and have spent the morning on Google maps, with the book, trying to find place names to match the actions of what was called the 1st Squadron, which I’ve had to assume was what you called the 1st Anti-tank Regiment. Unfortunately, there is no record of soldiers dying on that date. There was mention of Polish casualties amounting to ‘two wounded men and one damaged Cromwell tank’ (p62). In fact, although I have read just a section of the chapter (my need for discovery means I have to read ‘relevant’ things first, then read the book again in full) there is not a death mentioned in several days’ fighting. That’s either very lucky, or the word ‘wounded’ is sometimes a euphemism for ‘dead’, especially since several of the other wounded were listed by name.

                                  Thanks to gentle prodding from John, I have re-established contact with a distant relative in London (his father’s mother and my grandfather’s mother were sisters) and you could be right about the strategic need for soldiers. According to my relative, it seems his father found my grandfather in England through the Red Cross.

                                  In the meantime, I’m planning a route for my pilgrimage to his gravesite this September, hopefully via the areas the 1st Armoured Division passed by. I have still not found Gonny-sur-Somme. I’ve spent ages scouring the Somme River for an area called Gonny with no luck yet. However, I am tenacious and have no doubt I’ll find it.

                                  Again, many thanks for your help,

                                  Barbara

                                  Auckland, New Zealand.

                                  From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of Jess
                                  Sent: Monday, 15 June 2009 12:03 p.m.
                                  To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                  Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                  Barabra,

                                  Just to add a little more detail, Wladyslaw Surowiec was KIA on 9 February 1944 in Gommy sur Somme, France. He was a Bombardier (Corporal) in the 1st Anti-tank Regiment of the 1st Polish Armoured Brigade.
                                  I looked up the cemetery site in French and there are a couple more details:
                                  His service number is given as: ew 2444 (but this could also be the number assigned to his grave by the War Cemetery Commission)
                                  He he was born on 7 March 1908 in Bratkowice, Rzeszow.

                                  As for how he ended up in 1 PAD, well, he could simply have requested a transfer to that Division, or he could well have been assigned to it as a result of the strategic need for soldiers in a particular unit. It happens a lot, a relative of mine enlisted with Anders but did most of his service in North Africa while his brother was posted to the Polish Air Force in England.

                                  I'm a bit pressed for time at the moment but I'll dig around in the French sites as soon as I can.

                                  Regards,

                                  Zdzis

                                  Runaway Bay, Queensland
                                  Australia

                                  From: Barbara Scrivens
                                  Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 8:48 AM
                                  To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                  Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                  Hi John,

                                  Thank you so much for taking the trouble to do this for me. I will go onto Amazon today for the book.

                                  I have sent a request to the MoD (thanks to Henry of the Fallen Soldiers website who also put me in touch with K-S) regarding my paternal grandfather, as they were under the 8th Army, but in my naivety, somehow figured that if my maternal grandfather was in a Canadian War Cemetery, the British would not have information on him. It was only when the papers were in flight, that I figured I should have asked for both. I have since made a second request.

                                  I will be contacting Ms Czernichowska. Many thanks for that - and the prod to delve further into the K-S website. I'm afraid I haven't done enough exploring of that yet. I'm a bit of a ditz when it comes to computers and have already managed not to be able to get into the Yahoo groups K-S page. It was only when I was printing out Mark's comprehensive reply to Danuta re: 1st and 2nd corps (Monday 1 June 2009 for me but it could be a day earlier for you) that I saw a sidebar that doesn't come up on my emails.

                                  I hadn't seen the picture of his grave till this morning. That was the first site I found (on our New Zealand Anzac Day last year) which gave me any details on him. Last time I was there, there was just a general picture of the cemetery. How thoughtful of the photographer to take individual pictures. I really appreciate that, and the other site, which I would most probably not have found on my own.

                                  Could his service number be listed incorrectly? One of the things I found out from my mother only a year ago was that her dad was with them in Siberia and Uzbekistan. As a child I had always thought that the men went to war and it was just my grandmother and four children who were shunted off in the cattle trucks. Unfortunately, I don't know when she last saw him. I know she, her surviving brothers and her mother ended up in Gwelo, then Southern Rhodesia, through Tanganyika. Anders' book has filled in a lot of gaps, but created more questions. I guess I'll have to wait for the MoD.

                                  I'd love to see the background notes you have. I have tried to send this via your email but it hasn't worked so would you send them via mine? scrivs@... <mailto:scrivs%40xtra.co.nz> <mailto:scrivs%40xtra.co.nz> (no 'e' in xtra).

                                  Again, many thanks for your help. And nothing is trivial!
                                  - Barbara

                                  (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                                  Auckland
                                  New Zealand

                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: John Halucha
                                  To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 12:27 AM
                                  Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                  Barbara:
                                  I haven't read The Black Devils March yet myself, but it comes highly recommended and I echo Sheila's recommendation.
                                  If you haven't already, you could also contact the British Ministry of Defence for information about both your grandfathers. Suggestions and contacts can be found in the Kresy-Siberia forum archives. Contacting the MoD was most rewarding for me, since I got not only many pages of documents related to my father's military service but also medals to which he was entitled.
                                  Also, if you haven't already, contact Irana Czernichowska at the Hoover Institution Archives. Again, there are lots of details and suggestions in the KS archives. Hoover may not have much information about your maternal grandfather since he moved to the 1st Polish Armoured Division, but probably will have some about your paternal grandfather since he stayed with Anders in the 2nd Corps. I had a similar circumstance, in that my father moved to the 1PAD (no information) but my uncle stayed in the 2nd Corps (lots of information, including a deposition in his own handwriting and a copy of the Soviet release document that got him out of the USSR).
                                  Sorry that I can't shed any direct light on the death of your maternal grandfather, Wladislaw Surowiec, at Gonny sur Somme on Sept 2, 1944. As you say, the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 gives little information on that date.
                                  You may already know that his name appears at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic..php?f=52 <http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic..php?f=52 <http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic..php?f=52&t=150880&start=0> &t=150880&start=0> &t=150880&start=0 (and http://sart53atzec.mojeforum.net/lista-polskich-zolnierzy-poleglych-w-europie-zach-cz2-temat-vt162.html). There were six other 1PAD soldiers noted killed on that date, two of them at Gonny sur Somme. I can't find that location precisely, but it appears to be on the Somme River near Abbeville. One of the men killed on the same day died at Cailly-Abbeville, which indicates it was west of Abbeville, so it seems he and perhaps your grandfather died in the battle to liberate the Abbeville region. However, this is pure conjecture on my part and others on this forum who are far more knowledgeable may be able to offer a better explanation.
                                  Your grandfather's rank is listed as "bomb.", which translates to Senior Gunner. Again, perhaps more knowledgeable members of this forum can give you some idea of his duties and what he may have been doing at the time of his death.
                                  I saw the photo of your grandfather's grave at http://www.polishwargraves.nl/fran/1352.htm, which I assume you already have. (See also, http://www.beskid.com/base/note.php?id=812target=) As you noted, he is listed as having been born at Bratkowice (Rzeszow), which is about 100 kilometres west of my father's birthplace at Mlodow (Lubaczow). The Lwow area, where your grandfather moved and was captured, is about 70 kilometres east of my Dad's home town. Your grandfather was about 7 years older than my Dad and in a different unit (my father was in the 10.Komp.Zaop, 10th Supply Company), but considering their apparently similar routes from Poland through the Soviet gulags, to Anders and then the 1PAD it is very likely they knew each other.
                                  My father and uncle were together in the Soviet gulags and made their way south to Anders together. They went separate ways after they reached Persia, presumably as your grandfathers did. I am not sure whether my father volunteered to go to the 1PAD or was assigned because of his background. I have some background notes on the process that I would be happy to share with you off-forum, if you like.
                                  One thing that puzzles me is your grandfather's army number, 2444. My Dad's number was 26216, and several others who I know made a similar switch from Anders to the 1PAD around the same time in 1942 have numbers in the same range, which led me to think that the numbers were assigned more or less in order. However, your grandfather's number is so small that this would indicate he was enlisted into the 1PAD much earlier, perhaps going there from France in 1940 rather than from Uzbekistan. Since that does not jibe with what you have been told, perhaps others here can venture an explanation.
                                  The only other thing I can tell you is trivial -- Sept. 2, 1944 was a Saturday. And there was a full moon.
                                  Best of luck in your quest for more information.
                                  John Halucha
                                  Sault Ste Marie, Canada
                                  Kresy - Mlodow/Lubaczow
                                  USSR - Brygytka/Starobielsk/Pechorlag (Pieczorlag)/Abez’ (Abiez)

                                  ________________________________
                                  From: Sheila Bannister <sheila@... <mailto:sheila%40sheila74.wanadoo.co.uk> <mailto:sheila%40sheila74.wanadoo.co.uk> >
                                  To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 3:40:49 AM
                                  Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                  Hi

                                  Have you read "The Black Devils March-A Doomed Odyssey" by Evan McGilvray-The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-45?

                                  Sheila Bannister
                                  Chesterfield, England
                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: Barbara Scrivens
                                  To: Kresy-Siberia@ yahoogroups. com
                                  Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:40 AM
                                  Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                  Dear John,

                                  A rainy Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I've just finished trying to gain information regarding the 1st Polish Armoured Division through their website http://dragoons10. tripod.com/ main.html. I have been trying to find out two things: the circumstances of my maternal grandfather' s death on Sept 2, 1944 in Gonny sur Somme. His name was Wladislaw Surowiec and I have been puzzled regarding how he came to be with the 1st Division in France when my mother last saw him in a camp in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately my email to the 'contact us' link on the above site was returned. I was disappointed but knew that the thought was out there.

                                  And a few moments later, as I'm catching up on emails, yours is the first I open - and the first I have seen mentions my grandfather' s division! Thanks dziadek!

                                  I've carefully read the Armoured Division Operational Reports of Aug 7 - Oct 6 1944 on the above, trying to find out exactly what happened on Sept 2, 1944.. No mention of Gonny sur Somme, only that they had done what they had to at Falaise and were on their way to Abbeville via Bouchy-Blame.

                                  My grandfather moved with his family from Bratkowice to Zaleszczyki, Lwow, which village was taken by the Soviets on Feb 10, 1940. My mother was only six at the time, and says she does not remember much except the last time she saw her father was in Uzbekistan when he and other Polish men joined the Polish Army.

                                  I have just finished reading General Anders' book 'An Army in Exile', as my paternal grandfather, Stanislaw Niescior, was part of the Polish 2nd Corps. Logically, from where my grandfather Surowiec started out, I had thought they would have taken the same road. Obviously they did not.

                                  Did your late father tell you much?

                                  I have been given the chance to visit Vienna in September and am trying to decide whether to visit Bratkowice, where I still apparently have relatives (not contacted), or follow the route of Monte Cassino to Bologna (where my paternal grandfather is buried) or to investigate the French connection (my maternal grandfather is buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Calais).

                                  Kind regards,
                                  Barbara Scrivens (researching Niescior-Szumska & Surowiec-Sochacka)
                                  Auckland
                                  New Zealand

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                                • Barbara Scrivens
                                  Hi Rob, I have been thinking the name Gonny sur Somme was somehow incorrect, and after you gave me two more men who died on that day, I went through all 19 of
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Jun 26, 2009
                                  View Source
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Hi Rob,



                                    I have been thinking the name Gonny sur Somme was somehow incorrect, and
                                    after you gave me two more men who died on that day, I went through all 19
                                    of the Polish soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery. Dudek, Popczyk,
                                    Surowiec and Szyszko all have the same date of death and Gonny sur Somme
                                    within their details. Either the name is correct and has changed, or no
                                    longer exists, or a mistake was repeated. I'll wait to see what I get from
                                    the MoD.



                                    As for the others, two died in Abbeville on the 1st September, five died in
                                    Abbeville on 4th September (bit strange for them to have hung around for all
                                    that time) and five died in Blendecques/ Westhove, on 5th September. It's
                                    been a sobering morning, looking at their graves. My grandfather was 36 when
                                    he died. Josef Brezniak was 37 and Creslaw Zyzyk was 34. There was a
                                    19-year-old, looking so tough in his picture. The majority were in their mid
                                    20's, all younger than my children. What a waste. Before I go, I'll print
                                    details of all of them and pay my respects to all of them.



                                    I'm not sure about managing to get to Juno. Already I feel I'm stretching my
                                    dear (very English) husband and we'll be travelling to Calais via Abbeville
                                    mainly because I'm the navigator in our team. I'm not sure whether he'll
                                    accept my inability to know my left from my right has got as bad as
                                    accidentally landing up in Juno!



                                    Then again, who knows?



                                    Barbara Scrivens

                                    Auckland

                                    New Zealand





                                    From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com]
                                    On Behalf Of loasby@...
                                    Sent: Friday, 26 June 2009 11:03 p.m.
                                    To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division








                                    Barbara,

                                    I've scoured my trusty Michelin map book from the source of the Somme to the
                                    sea. The nearest I can find to that place name is Gouy, about 3km to the
                                    west of Abbeville. No other place name near the Somme is similar, even if
                                    transliterated into English or Polish.

                                    The nearest I can get is that there are a number of places called Gournay,
                                    including one suburb of Le Havre, and one about 70km east of Paris
                                    (Gournay-le-Guerin). None of them are likely to be anywhere near the action
                                    at that stage of the campaign apart from two which are about 70km west of
                                    Falaise, and near Verneuil (Gournay -en-Bray and, confusingly, Gournay are
                                    only about 10km apart).

                                    Ken Felstyn's page shows the three casualties on 2/9/44 -
                                    st.ul. Popczyk,Kazimierz,Gonny sur Somme Fr 02/09/44
                                    plut. Szyszko,Tadeusz,KW,Gonny sur Somme Fr 02/09/44
                                    bomb. Surowiec,Wladyslaw,Gonny sur Somme Fr 02/09/44

                                    And the Beskid site (http://www.beskid.com/base/note.php?id=810target=)
                                    shows all three as being interred in the Canadian cemetry at Calais.

                                    As they were with the Canadian Army, might they have some record?

                                    If you are visitng France, I can recommed the Canadian D-Day museum at Juno
                                    beach, by the way.

                                    Rob
                                    Nottingham UK

                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                    [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                    <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> ]
                                    On Behalf Of julie sheppard
                                    Sent: 26 June 2009 07:42
                                    To: KS Group Kresy-Siberia Group
                                    Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                    Barbara and any other KS members looking for places in France, the 'via
                                    michelin' website is an excellent site for locating places in France and for
                                    planning travel within the country. There are no more detailed maps of
                                    France than the Michelin ones. If you type in 'sur somme' or 'somme' in the
                                    search map section, it will list all the places in France with sur somme or
                                    somme in the title. Alas it doesn't list anywhere called Gonny sur Somme.
                                    Are you sure of the 'Gonny' bit Barbara?

                                    Regards,

                                    Julie (Jachimiak) Sheppard

                                    To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>

                                    From: scrivs@... <mailto:scrivs%40xtra.co.nz>

                                    Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 13:12:58 +1200

                                    Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                    Dear Zdzis,

                                    Apologies for taking so long to reply. All I can say is that my time at the
                                    computer is currently exasperatingly limited.

                                    Thank you so much for that information. Since setting out on my mission of
                                    discovery about my grandfathers, I'm inhaling every scrap of information. I
                                    feel so guilty at my naivety and not doing this earlier.

                                    I realised that his date of death was probably September 2, 1944, but
                                    although that is on his tombstone, I'm questioning it myself. I haven't
                                    received the official records from the MoD yet, but have been combing
                                    through the 'After Normandy' chapter in The Black Devil's March - A Doomed
                                    Odyssey - by Evan McGilvray, which I received yesterday.

                                    I've a rare day to myself and have spent the morning on Google maps, with
                                    the book, trying to find place names to match the actions of what was called
                                    the 1st Squadron, which I've had to assume was what you called the 1st
                                    Anti-tank Regiment. Unfortunately, there is no record of soldiers dying on
                                    that date. There was mention of Polish casualties amounting to 'two wounded
                                    men and one damaged Cromwell tank' (p62). In fact, although I have read just
                                    a section of the chapter (my need for discovery means I have to read
                                    'relevant' things first, then read the book again in full) there is not a
                                    death mentioned in several days' fighting. That's either very lucky, or the
                                    word 'wounded' is sometimes a euphemism for 'dead', especially since several
                                    of the other wounded were listed by name.

                                    Thanks to gentle prodding from John, I have re-established contact with a
                                    distant relative in London (his father's mother and my grandfather's mother
                                    were sisters) and you could be right about the strategic need for soldiers.
                                    According to my relative, it seems his father found my grandfather in
                                    England through the Red Cross.

                                    In the meantime, I'm planning a route for my pilgrimage to his gravesite
                                    this September, hopefully via the areas the 1st Armoured Division passed by.
                                    I have still not found Gonny-sur-Somme. I've spent ages scouring the Somme
                                    River for an area called Gonny with no luck yet. However, I am tenacious and
                                    have no doubt I'll find it.

                                    Again, many thanks for your help,

                                    Barbara
                                    Auckland, New Zealand.



                                    Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                    Version: 8.5.374 / Virus Database: 270.12.92/2202 - Release Date: 06/25/09
                                    17:58:00



                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • loasby@gmail.com
                                    Barbara, Did some more digging and found this: ...the 1st Polish Armoured Brigade acted as a wedge into the German western lines with the Canadian Army
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Jun 26, 2009
                                    View Source
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Barbara,

                                      Did some more digging and found this:

                                      "...the 1st Polish Armoured Brigade acted as a wedge into the German western
                                      lines with the Canadian Army initially operating towards the rear of the
                                      ‘wedge’. With orders to move into the Somme area, the division liberated
                                      Amiens and on 1st September pursued the collapsing Germans towards Abbeville
                                      and over a nine day period covered some 400Km liberating St. Ômer, Ypres and
                                      the difficult battle for Roulers with the capture of prisoners and equipment
                                      enroute. To slow the advance, the German army stubbornly defended woodland
                                      and hills while systematically destroying all bridges in their path.
                                      Although a number of counter-attacks made by units led with Panzeri> Mk III
                                      & IV, the Poles fought hard for every kilometre gained, took on well dug in
                                      infantry supported by embedded anti-tank guns and the devastatingly
                                      effective Panzerfaust in their defensive positions."

                                      http://www.polandinexile.com/marchtogermany.html

                                      My guess is that they were in an armoured vehicle (possibly a Sherman tank)
                                      which was hit while attacking Abbeville. The dates can be explained by it
                                      taking a few days to clear Abbeville of German resistance.

                                      As for Juno, believe me, it is well worth a visit. (If you husband likes
                                      seafood, he'll love the local restaurants!) It was also quite interesting to
                                      note that there are dozens of Polish names among the members of the Canadian
                                      Legion who contributed to its building.
                                      (http://www.junobeach.org/Centre/index.html)

                                      Rob

                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com]
                                      On Behalf Of Barbara Scrivens
                                      Sent: 26 June 2009 23:48
                                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division


                                      Hi Rob,



                                      I have been thinking the name Gonny sur Somme was somehow incorrect, and
                                      after you gave me two more men who died on that day, I went through all 19
                                      of the Polish soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery. Dudek, Popczyk,
                                      Surowiec and Szyszko all have the same date of death and Gonny sur Somme
                                      within their details. Either the name is correct and has changed, or no
                                      longer exists, or a mistake was repeated. I'll wait to see what I get from
                                      the MoD.



                                      As for the others, two died in Abbeville on the 1st September, five died in
                                      Abbeville on 4th September (bit strange for them to have hung around for all
                                      that time) and five died in Blendecques/ Westhove, on 5th September. It's
                                      been a sobering morning, looking at their graves. My grandfather was 36 when
                                      he died. Josef Brezniak was 37 and Creslaw Zyzyk was 34. There was a
                                      19-year-old, looking so tough in his picture. The majority were in their mid
                                      20's, all younger than my children. What a waste. Before I go, I'll print
                                      details of all of them and pay my respects to all of them.



                                      I'm not sure about managing to get to Juno. Already I feel I'm stretching my
                                      dear (very English) husband and we'll be travelling to Calais via Abbeville
                                      mainly because I'm the navigator in our team. I'm not sure whether he'll
                                      accept my inability to know my left from my right has got as bad as
                                      accidentally landing up in Juno!



                                      Then again, who knows?



                                      Barbara Scrivens

                                      Auckland

                                      New Zealand





                                      From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com]
                                      On Behalf Of loasby@...
                                      Sent: Friday, 26 June 2009 11:03 p.m.
                                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division








                                      Barbara,

                                      I've scoured my trusty Michelin map book from the source of the Somme to the
                                      sea. The nearest I can find to that place name is Gouy, about 3km to the
                                      west of Abbeville. No other place name near the Somme is similar, even if
                                      transliterated into English or Polish.

                                      The nearest I can get is that there are a number of places called Gournay,
                                      including one suburb of Le Havre, and one about 70km east of Paris
                                      (Gournay-le-Guerin). None of them are likely to be anywhere near the action
                                      at that stage of the campaign apart from two which are about 70km west of
                                      Falaise, and near Verneuil (Gournay -en-Bray and, confusingly, Gournay are
                                      only about 10km apart).

                                      Ken Felstyn's page shows the three casualties on 2/9/44 -
                                      st.ul. Popczyk,Kazimierz,Gonny sur Somme Fr 02/09/44
                                      plut. Szyszko,Tadeusz,KW,Gonny sur Somme Fr 02/09/44
                                      bomb. Surowiec,Wladyslaw,Gonny sur Somme Fr 02/09/44

                                      And the Beskid site (http://www.beskid.com/base/note.php?id=810target=)
                                      shows all three as being interred in the Canadian cemetry at Calais.

                                      As they were with the Canadian Army, might they have some record?

                                      If you are visitng France, I can recommed the Canadian D-Day museum at Juno
                                      beach, by the way.

                                      Rob
                                      Nottingham UK

                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                      [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                      <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> ]
                                      On Behalf Of julie sheppard
                                      Sent: 26 June 2009 07:42
                                      To: KS Group Kresy-Siberia Group
                                      Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                      Barbara and any other KS members looking for places in France, the 'via
                                      michelin' website is an excellent site for locating places in France and for
                                      planning travel within the country. There are no more detailed maps of
                                      France than the Michelin ones. If you type in 'sur somme' or 'somme' in the
                                      search map section, it will list all the places in France with sur somme or
                                      somme in the title. Alas it doesn't list anywhere called Gonny sur Somme.
                                      Are you sure of the 'Gonny' bit Barbara?

                                      Regards,

                                      Julie (Jachimiak) Sheppard

                                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>

                                      From: scrivs@... <mailto:scrivs%40xtra.co.nz>

                                      Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 13:12:58 +1200

                                      Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                      Dear Zdzis,

                                      Apologies for taking so long to reply. All I can say is that my time at the
                                      computer is currently exasperatingly limited.

                                      Thank you so much for that information. Since setting out on my mission of
                                      discovery about my grandfathers, I'm inhaling every scrap of information. I
                                      feel so guilty at my naivety and not doing this earlier.

                                      I realised that his date of death was probably September 2, 1944, but
                                      although that is on his tombstone, I'm questioning it myself. I haven't
                                      received the official records from the MoD yet, but have been combing
                                      through the 'After Normandy' chapter in The Black Devil's March - A Doomed
                                      Odyssey - by Evan McGilvray, which I received yesterday.

                                      I've a rare day to myself and have spent the morning on Google maps, with
                                      the book, trying to find place names to match the actions of what was called
                                      the 1st Squadron, which I've had to assume was what you called the 1st
                                      Anti-tank Regiment. Unfortunately, there is no record of soldiers dying on
                                      that date. There was mention of Polish casualties amounting to 'two wounded
                                      men and one damaged Cromwell tank' (p62). In fact, although I have read just
                                      a section of the chapter (my need for discovery means I have to read
                                      'relevant' things first, then read the book again in full) there is not a
                                      death mentioned in several days' fighting. That's either very lucky, or the
                                      word 'wounded' is sometimes a euphemism for 'dead', especially since several
                                      of the other wounded were listed by name.

                                      Thanks to gentle prodding from John, I have re-established contact with a
                                      distant relative in London (his father's mother and my grandfather's mother
                                      were sisters) and you could be right about the strategic need for soldiers.
                                      According to my relative, it seems his father found my grandfather in
                                      England through the Red Cross.

                                      In the meantime, I'm planning a route for my pilgrimage to his gravesite
                                      this September, hopefully via the areas the 1st Armoured Division passed by.
                                      I have still not found Gonny-sur-Somme. I've spent ages scouring the Somme
                                      River for an area called Gonny with no luck yet. However, I am tenacious and
                                      have no doubt I'll find it.

                                      Again, many thanks for your help,

                                      Barbara
                                      Auckland, New Zealand.



                                      Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                      Version: 8.5.374 / Virus Database: 270.12.92/2202 - Release Date: 06/25/09
                                      17:58:00



                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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                                    • Barbara Scrivens
                                      Hi Rob, Wow, what a magnificent-looking building! I can see I’m going to have to do some juggling of days and make the detour a definite. I’ve already been
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Jun 26, 2009
                                      View Source
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Hi Rob,



                                        Wow, what a magnificent-looking building! I can see I�m going to have to do
                                        some juggling of days and make the detour a definite. I�ve already been
                                        selling France as a wine tour. Good fish restaurants will go a long way to
                                        putting the cards in Juno�s favour. My man is an avid and able fisherman.
                                        He�s currently pottering about with his reels and boat (small enough to fit
                                        in the garage)and dreaming about better weather.



                                        I haven�t seen the Poland in Exile March to Germany site before. I�ll read
                                        it carefully. What I should do is read the various reports �as one�, so to
                                        speak, comparing what each says day by day. One can�t blame the Germans for
                                        doing what they had to do, but I have a great welling of pride in the
                                        stubbornness of the Poles � it�s a common theme. Your tank theory sounds
                                        valid.



                                        Keep well - Barbara



                                        From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com]
                                        On Behalf Of loasby@...
                                        Sent: Saturday, 27 June 2009 11:37 a.m.
                                        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division








                                        Barbara,

                                        Did some more digging and found this:

                                        "...the 1st Polish Armoured Brigade acted as a wedge into the German western
                                        lines with the Canadian Army initially operating towards the rear of the
                                        �wedge�. With orders to move into the Somme area, the division liberated
                                        Amiens and on 1st September pursued the collapsing Germans towards Abbeville
                                        and over a nine day period covered some 400Km liberating St. �mer, Ypres and
                                        the difficult battle for Roulers with the capture of prisoners and equipment
                                        enroute. To slow the advance, the German army stubbornly defended woodland
                                        and hills while systematically destroying all bridges in their path.
                                        Although a number of counter-attacks made by units led with Panzeri> Mk III
                                        & IV, the Poles fought hard for every kilometre gained, took on well dug in
                                        infantry supported by embedded anti-tank guns and the devastatingly
                                        effective Panzerfaust in their defensive positions."

                                        http://www.polandinexile.com/marchtogermany.html

                                        My guess is that they were in an armoured vehicle (possibly a Sherman tank)
                                        which was hit while attacking Abbeville. The dates can be explained by it
                                        taking a few days to clear Abbeville of German resistance.

                                        As for Juno, believe me, it is well worth a visit. (If you husband likes
                                        seafood, he'll love the local restaurants!) It was also quite interesting to
                                        note that there are dozens of Polish names among the members of the Canadian
                                        Legion who contributed to its building.
                                        (http://www.junobeach.org/Centre/index.html)

                                        Rob

                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                        [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                        <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> ]
                                        On Behalf Of Barbara Scrivens
                                        Sent: 26 June 2009 23:48
                                        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                        Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                        Hi Rob,

                                        I have been thinking the name Gonny sur Somme was somehow incorrect, and
                                        after you gave me two more men who died on that day, I went through all 19
                                        of the Polish soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery. Dudek, Popczyk,
                                        Surowiec and Szyszko all have the same date of death and Gonny sur Somme
                                        within their details. Either the name is correct and has changed, or no
                                        longer exists, or a mistake was repeated. I'll wait to see what I get from
                                        the MoD.

                                        As for the others, two died in Abbeville on the 1st September, five died in
                                        Abbeville on 4th September (bit strange for them to have hung around for all
                                        that time) and five died in Blendecques/ Westhove, on 5th September. It's
                                        been a sobering morning, looking at their graves. My grandfather was 36 when
                                        he died. Josef Brezniak was 37 and Creslaw Zyzyk was 34. There was a
                                        19-year-old, looking so tough in his picture. The majority were in their mid
                                        20's, all younger than my children. What a waste. Before I go, I'll print
                                        details of all of them and pay my respects to all of them.

                                        I'm not sure about managing to get to Juno. Already I feel I'm stretching my
                                        dear (very English) husband and we'll be travelling to Calais via Abbeville
                                        mainly because I'm the navigator in our team. I'm not sure whether he'll
                                        accept my inability to know my left from my right has got as bad as
                                        accidentally landing up in Juno!

                                        Then again, who knows?

                                        Barbara Scrivens

                                        Auckland

                                        New Zealand

                                        From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                        [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                        <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> ]
                                        On Behalf Of loasby@... <mailto:loasby%40gmail.com>
                                        Sent: Friday, 26 June 2009 11:03 p.m.
                                        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                        Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                        Barbara,

                                        I've scoured my trusty Michelin map book from the source of the Somme to the
                                        sea. The nearest I can find to that place name is Gouy, about 3km to the
                                        west of Abbeville. No other place name near the Somme is similar, even if
                                        transliterated into English or Polish.

                                        The nearest I can get is that there are a number of places called Gournay,
                                        including one suburb of Le Havre, and one about 70km east of Paris
                                        (Gournay-le-Guerin). None of them are likely to be anywhere near the action
                                        at that stage of the campaign apart from two which are about 70km west of
                                        Falaise, and near Verneuil (Gournay -en-Bray and, confusingly, Gournay are
                                        only about 10km apart).

                                        Ken Felstyn's page shows the three casualties on 2/9/44 -
                                        st.ul. Popczyk,Kazimierz,Gonny sur Somme Fr 02/09/44
                                        plut. Szyszko,Tadeusz,KW,Gonny sur Somme Fr 02/09/44
                                        bomb. Surowiec,Wladyslaw,Gonny sur Somme Fr 02/09/44

                                        And the Beskid site (http://www.beskid.com/base/note.php?id=810target=)
                                        shows all three as being interred in the Canadian cemetry at Calais.

                                        As they were with the Canadian Army, might they have some record?

                                        If you are visitng France, I can recommed the Canadian D-Day museum at Juno
                                        beach, by the way.

                                        Rob
                                        Nottingham UK

                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                        <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                        [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                        <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                        <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> ]
                                        On Behalf Of julie sheppard
                                        Sent: 26 June 2009 07:42
                                        To: KS Group Kresy-Siberia Group
                                        Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                        Barbara and any other KS members looking for places in France, the 'via
                                        michelin' website is an excellent site for locating places in France and for
                                        planning travel within the country. There are no more detailed maps of
                                        France than the Michelin ones. If you type in 'sur somme' or 'somme' in the
                                        search map section, it will list all the places in France with sur somme or
                                        somme in the title. Alas it doesn't list anywhere called Gonny sur Somme.
                                        Are you sure of the 'Gonny' bit Barbara?

                                        Regards,

                                        Julie (Jachimiak) Sheppard

                                        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
                                        <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>

                                        From: scrivs@... <mailto:scrivs%40xtra.co.nz>
                                        <mailto:scrivs%40xtra.co.nz>

                                        Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 13:12:58 +1200

                                        Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                        Dear Zdzis,

                                        Apologies for taking so long to reply. All I can say is that my time at the
                                        computer is currently exasperatingly limited.

                                        Thank you so much for that information. Since setting out on my mission of
                                        discovery about my grandfathers, I'm inhaling every scrap of information. I
                                        feel so guilty at my naivety and not doing this earlier.

                                        I realised that his date of death was probably September 2, 1944, but
                                        although that is on his tombstone, I'm questioning it myself. I haven't
                                        received the official records from the MoD yet, but have been combing
                                        through the 'After Normandy' chapter in The Black Devil's March - A Doomed
                                        Odyssey - by Evan McGilvray, which I received yesterday.

                                        I've a rare day to myself and have spent the morning on Google maps, with
                                        the book, trying to find place names to match the actions of what was called
                                        the 1st Squadron, which I've had to assume was what you called the 1st
                                        Anti-tank Regiment. Unfortunately, there is no record of soldiers dying on
                                        that date. There was mention of Polish casualties amounting to 'two wounded
                                        men and one damaged Cromwell tank' (p62). In fact, although I have read just
                                        a section of the chapter (my need for discovery means I have to read
                                        'relevant' things first, then read the book again in full) there is not a
                                        death mentioned in several days' fighting. That's either very lucky, or the
                                        word 'wounded' is sometimes a euphemism for 'dead', especially since several
                                        of the other wounded were listed by name.

                                        Thanks to gentle prodding from John, I have re-established contact with a
                                        distant relative in London (his father's mother and my grandfather's mother
                                        were sisters) and you could be right about the strategic need for soldiers.
                                        According to my relative, it seems his father found my grandfather in
                                        England through the Red Cross.

                                        In the meantime, I'm planning a route for my pilgrimage to his gravesite
                                        this September, hopefully via the areas the 1st Armoured Division passed by.
                                        I have still not found Gonny-sur-Somme. I've spent ages scouring the Somme
                                        River for an area called Gonny with no luck yet. However, I am tenacious and
                                        have no doubt I'll find it.

                                        Again, many thanks for your help,

                                        Barbara
                                        Auckland, New Zealand.

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                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Barbara Alison
                                          Hi Everyone   I’ve been following with interest your discussion about the 1st Polish Armoured Division and would like to make a small contribution.  My
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Aug 23, 2013
                                        View Source
                                         
                                        Hi Everyone
                                         
                                        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.   
                                               
                                        Best regards
                                         
                                        Basia Ryszkowska, London UK
                                         
                                        Barbara Alison
                                        Songwriter
                                         
                                      • Mark
                                        Nice story Basia, thanks Mark T. Canada From: Barbara Alison To: Kresy-SiberiaGroup Sent: Friday,
                                        Message 20 of 29 , Aug 23, 2013
                                        View Source
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Nice story Basia, thanks
                                           
                                          Mark T.
                                          Canada

                                          From: Barbara Alison <barb_001@...>
                                          To: Kresy-SiberiaGroup <Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Friday, August 23, 2013 5:40:00 PM
                                          Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division [2 Attachments]
                                           
                                           
                                          Hi Everyone
                                           
                                          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.   
                                                 
                                          Best regards
                                           
                                          Basia Ryszkowska, London UK
                                           
                                          Barbara Alison
                                          Songwriter
                                           
                                        • Lenarda Szymczak
                                          We live with heroes, be proud, I am honoured to read your story. Lenarda, Australia From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com]
                                          Message 21 of 29 , Aug 23, 2013
                                          View Source
                                          • 0 Attachment

                                            We live with heroes, be proud, I am honoured to read your story.

                                            Lenarda, Australia

                                             

                                            From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark
                                            Sent: Saturday, 24 August 2013 11:09 AM
                                            To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: Re: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division

                                             

                                             

                                            Nice story Basia, thanks

                                             

                                            Mark T.
                                            Canada

                                             

                                            From: Barbara Alison <barb_001@...>
                                            To: Kresy-SiberiaGroup <Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com>
                                            Sent: Friday, August 23, 2013 5:40:00 PM
                                            Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division [2 Attachments]

                                             

                                             

                                            Hi Everyone

                                             

                                            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.   

                                                   

                                            Best regards

                                             

                                            Basia Ryszkowska, London UK

                                             

                                            Barbara Alison

                                            Songwriter

                                             

                                          • george.marczak
                                            And here it is complete with Scull & Crossbones top left hand side of vehicle. http://www.preservedtanks.com/Handler.ashx?UniqueID=416&Size=P
                                            Message 22 of 29 , Aug 24, 2013
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                                            • 0 Attachment

                                              And here it is complete with Scull & Crossbones top left hand side of vehicle.

                                              http://www.preservedtanks.com/Handler.ashx?UniqueID=416&Size=P

                                              Regards

                                              George

                                              Harrogate UK

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                               


                                              --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, Barbara Alison wrote:
                                              >
                                              >  
                                              > Hi Everyone
                                              >  
                                              > 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.   
                                              >        
                                              > Best regards
                                              >  
                                              > Basia Ryszkowska, London UK
                                              >  
                                              > Barbara Alison
                                              > Songwriter
                                              > Website: http://www.songs-barbaraalison.com/
                                              > Web Page: www.songandmedia.com/Barbara-Alison.html
                                              >

                                            • Barbara Scrivens
                                              Hi Barbara, My 91-year-old para-trooper friend says his survival of the war was only because the big man hadn’t tapped him on the shoulder. Four other men
                                              Message 23 of 29 , Aug 24, 2013
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                                              • 0 Attachment

                                                Hi Barbara,

                                                 

                                                My 91-year-old para-trooper friend says his survival of the war was only because the big man hadn’t tapped him on the shoulder.

                                                 

                                                Four other men died on the same day and place as my grandfather and, because he was a gunner in the anti-tanks, I’m still assuming that they took a direct hit. My grandfather was 34 and still had a wife and three of his children alive in Africa at the time. The ages of the other three men were 29, 27, 26. There is an unnamed soldier at the end of their row in the cemetery in Leubringen. Did the Shermans take four or five? He may have been killed elsewhere.

                                                 

                                                The story of your dad jumping into another tank is an example of the casualties of Falaise in August. My grandfather was promoted on August 24, and I assume again it was because they lost so many others and he was older.

                                                 

                                                September 2 was so soon after Falaise, that I also wonder whether they relaxed a bit too much on their way to taking Abbeville, or just so tired. I can only speculate.

                                                 

                                                Thank you for introducing aka names to batteries. I will bear it in mind when I eventually get to trawl the records in London.

                                                 

                                                Cheers – Barbara

                                                 

                                                 

                                                 

                                                From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Barbara Alison
                                                Sent: Saturday, 24 August 2013 9:40 a.m.
                                                To: Kresy-SiberiaGroup
                                                Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division [2 Attachments]

                                                 

                                                 

                                                [Attachment(s) from Barbara Alison included below]

                                                 

                                                Hi Everyone

                                                 

                                                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.   

                                                       

                                                Best regards

                                                 

                                                Basia Ryszkowska, London UK

                                                 

                                                Barbara Alison

                                                Songwriter

                                                 

                                              • george.marczak
                                                Barbara Sherman tank had a crew of 5. Driver Co. Driver/ Lower Browning machine gunner Main Turret Gun and Browning machine gun loader Main Gunner Captain/
                                                Message 24 of 29 , Aug 25, 2013
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                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  Barbara
                                                  Sherman tank had a crew of 5.
                                                  Driver
                                                  Co. Driver/ Lower Browning machine gunner
                                                  Main Turret Gun and Browning machine gun loader
                                                  Main Gunner
                                                  Captain/ radio communications.

                                                  The regiment had 3 front line tank squadrons with 16 tanks per squadron. There was also a HQ squadron. The regiment lost 53 tanks during the course of their campaign. My father also had to bail out of his tank when they hit a landmine and shortly after a replacement was brought up for them. Seems to have been a popular occurrence.

                                                  In a sense many of the battles were establishing bridgeheads across rivers which were heavily defended by Germans.
                                                  The first few days of their campaign was getting through the defences around the river Laison - 189 1PDP killed.
                                                  From 14-18 Aug 44 river Dives at Jort - 199 killed.
                                                  19-22 August closing the gap Maczuga/Chambois - 135 killed.

                                                  On Sept 2nd the 1PDP was engaged in forcing a bridgehead over the river Somme at Abbeville.

                                                  Best Regards
                                                  George
                                                  Harrogate UK



                                                  --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, "Barbara Scrivens" <scrivs@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Hi Barbara,
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > My 91-year-old para-trooper friend says his survival of the war was only because the big man hadn’t tapped him on the shoulder.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Four other men died on the same day and place as my grandfather and, because he was a gunner in the anti-tanks, I’m still assuming that they took a direct hit. My grandfather was 34 and still had a wife and three of his children alive in Africa at the time. The ages of the other three men were 29, 27, 26. There is an unnamed soldier at the end of their row in the cemetery in Leubringen. Did the Shermans take four or five? He may have been killed elsewhere.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > The story of your dad jumping into another tank is an example of the casualties of Falaise in August. My grandfather was promoted on August 24, and I assume again it was because they lost so many others and he was older.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > September 2 was so soon after Falaise, that I also wonder whether they relaxed a bit too much on their way to taking Abbeville, or just so tired. I can only speculate.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Thank you for introducing aka names to batteries. I will bear it in mind when I eventually get to trawl the records in London.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Cheers â€" Barbara
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Barbara Alison
                                                  > Sent: Saturday, 24 August 2013 9:40 a.m.
                                                  > To: Kresy-SiberiaGroup
                                                  > Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division [2 Attachments]
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > [Attachment(s) from Barbara Alison included below]
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Hi Everyone
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > 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.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Best regards
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Basia Ryszkowska, London UK
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Barbara Alison
                                                  >
                                                  > Songwriter
                                                  >
                                                  > Website: http://www.songs-barbaraalison.com/
                                                  >
                                                  > Web Page: www.songandmedia.com/Barbara-Alison.html
                                                  >
                                                • Barbara Alison
                                                  George, thanks for attaching the photo of my dad s Sexton tank displayed outside the Warsaw Military Museum. Here are a couple of before and after photos I d
                                                  Message 25 of 29 , Aug 25, 2013
                                                  View Source
                                                  George, thanks for attaching the photo of my dad's Sexton tank displayed outside the Warsaw Military Museum.
                                                   
                                                  Here are a couple of before and after photos I'd like to share with the group, which I hope you will find of interest.
                                                   
                                                  The before one was taken during the Normandy Campaign (1944-45) with my dad on top of a tank named "Zboiska" in which he was the chief gunner and which was destroyed during the Battle of Falaise, and he was lucky to come out alive.
                                                   
                                                  The after one was taken in 1995 (50 years later) with my dad standing in front of the Sexton tank to which he was assigned for the rest of the Campaign, and which he named "Breda" after the city was liberated by the Division on 29 October 1944. It was taken when my dad was attending the dedication ceremony of 1PAD monument. He was very emotional when he saw his tank outside the museum and felt as if he was being reunited with an old friend.
                                                   
                                                  Best regards
                                                   
                                                  Basia Ryszkowska, London UK
                                                   
                                                  Barbara Alison
                                                  Songwriter
                                                   
                                                • Barbara Scrivens
                                                  Hi George, Thank you so much. And at last I know how many men were in a tank, and that some could escape. Because the other three killed on the same day (and I
                                                  Message 26 of 29 , Aug 25, 2013
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                                                    Hi George,

                                                     

                                                    Thank you so much. And at last I know how many men were in a tank, and that some could escape. Because the other three killed on the same day (and I have to assume the same time) were not ranked as captains, and I doubt that a captain would become an “unknown soldier’, and that a captain would get his men out first, I presume there wasn’t a captain in the tank but the radio communications operator. I hope the fifth man did get out... If indeed it was an actual tank and not part of the other transport paraphernalia.  

                                                     

                                                    The ranks of the men killed on 2 Sept were: plut, kan, drag and bomb (my grandfather). Apologies – he was promoted on Aug 21 and he was 36 when he died. From other research, I got the ranks of the same people as a plut, two st.ul (including my grandfather) and an ulan. When they’re dead, there isn’t a way to ask directly. They were with 1 Dyon, ie 1st Self-propelled unit (SP), commanded by Captain Józef Jarosiński.

                                                     

                                                    You are quite right in saying the 1PAD was forcing a bridgehead over the Somme on 2 Sept. I have gone through the war diaries of the Divisional HQ, HQ Divisional Artillery, and of the II and IV batteries of the 1st Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment, sent to me by the PISM. Their dead in the above manoeuvres were classified as “1 offic, 1pdf i 2 szereg”. My assumption from that and reading the war diaries is that the II and IV were not near the I and the III.

                                                     

                                                    The archivist at the PISM said they do not hold the war diary of 1 battery. This was the sub-unit in which my grandfather served when he was killed on the road from Mianny to Gouy-Cahon. This is to the north-west of Abbeville, so before the river crossing. The archivist at PISM said that the 1st anti-tank regiment did not operate as a whole but individual batteries were attached to other formations, usually infantry. He said that if I could identify which unit the 1 battery supported on 2 Sept, they could check whether they hold the papers for that unit, which may lead to information about the battle at Gouy. As yet, I have not found the unit.

                                                     

                                                    The frustration of being half a world away. But, at least I know 1 Battery was called Bateria Smierci.

                                                     

                                                    Kind regards

                                                    Barbara Scrivens

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of george.marczak
                                                    Sent: Sunday, 25 August 2013 10:54 p.m.
                                                    To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                                    Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division : Losses

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    Barbara
                                                    Sherman tank had a crew of 5.
                                                    Driver
                                                    Co. Driver/ Lower Browning machine gunner
                                                    Main Turret Gun and Browning machine gun loader
                                                    Main Gunner
                                                    Captain/ radio communications.

                                                    The regiment had 3 front line tank squadrons with 16 tanks per squadron. There was also a HQ squadron. The regiment lost 53 tanks during the course of their campaign. My father also had to bail out of his tank when they hit a landmine and shortly after a replacement was brought up for them. Seems to have been a popular occurrence.

                                                    In a sense many of the battles were establishing bridgeheads across rivers which were heavily defended by Germans.
                                                    The first few days of their campaign was getting through the defences around the river Laison - 189 1PDP killed.
                                                    From 14-18 Aug 44 river Dives at Jort - 199 killed.
                                                    19-22 August closing the gap Maczuga/Chambois - 135 killed.

                                                    On Sept 2nd the 1PDP was engaged in forcing a bridgehead over the river Somme at Abbeville.

                                                    Best Regards
                                                    George
                                                    Harrogate UK

                                                    --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, "Barbara Scrivens" <scrivs@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > Hi Barbara,
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > My 91-year-old para-trooper friend says his survival of the war was only because the big man hadn’t tapped him on the shoulder.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Four other men died on the same day and place as my grandfather and, because he was a gunner in the anti-tanks, I’m still assuming that they took a direct hit. My grandfather was 34 and still had a wife and three of his children alive in Africa at the time. The ages of the other three men were 29, 27, 26. There is an unnamed soldier at the end of their row in the cemetery in Leubringen. Did the Shermans take four or five? He may have been killed elsewhere.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > The story of your dad jumping into another tank is an example of the casualties of Falaise in August. My grandfather was promoted on August 24, and I assume again it was because they lost so many others and he was older.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > September 2 was so soon after Falaise, that I also wonder whether they relaxed a bit too much on their way to taking Abbeville, or just so tired. I can only speculate.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Thank you for introducing aka names to batteries. I will bear it in mind when I eventually get to trawl the records in London.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Cheers â€" Barbara
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Barbara Alison
                                                    > Sent: Saturday, 24 August 2013 9:40 a.m.
                                                    > To: Kresy-SiberiaGroup
                                                    > Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division [2 Attachments]
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > [Attachment(s) from Barbara Alison included below]
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Hi Everyone
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > 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.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Best regards
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Basia Ryszkowska, London UK
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Barbara Alison
                                                    >
                                                    > Songwriter
                                                    >
                                                    > Website: http://www.songs-barbaraalison.com/
                                                    >
                                                    > Web Page: www.songandmedia.com/Barbara-Alison.html
                                                    >

                                                  • Zdzislaw Nowicki
                                                    Basia, I just had a quick look at a French historical site and according to it, the 8th and 9th Infantry battalions were operating in the Gouy area at the
                                                    Message 27 of 29 , Aug 25, 2013
                                                    View Source
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      Basia,

                                                      I just had a quick look at a French historical site and according to it, the 8th and 9th Infantry battalions were operating in the Gouy area at the time. On 2 September 1944, the Germans laid down a large artillery and mortar barrage on the Polish positions at Saint Valery from where they were advancing on the bridge at Gouy.   7 Poles were killed in this barrage. The next day, the Poles crossed the river Somme under heavy fire and went on to liberate Abbeville.  The unit that crossed the river was, according to the site, the Zawadzki unit. 
                                                      Hope this adds a little to your knowledge and I'll keep looking to see if I can dig out any more information.

                                                      Zdzis

                                                      Runaway Bay
                                                      Queensland
                                                      Australia


                                                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                                      From: scrivs@...
                                                      Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2013 11:41:36 +1200
                                                      Subject: RE: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division : Losses

                                                       

                                                      Hi George,

                                                       

                                                      Thank you so much. And at last I know how many men were in a tank, and that some could escape. Because the other three killed on the same day (and I have to assume the same time) were not ranked as captains, and I doubt that a captain would become an “unknown soldier’, and that a captain would get his men out first, I presume there wasn’t a captain in the tank but the radio communications operator. I hope the fifth man did get out... If indeed it was an actual tank and not part of the other transport paraphernalia.  

                                                       

                                                      The ranks of the men killed on 2 Sept were: plut, kan, drag and bomb (my grandfather). Apologies – he was promoted on Aug 21 and he was 36 when he died. From other research, I got the ranks of the same people as a plut, two st.ul (including my grandfather) and an ulan. When they’re dead, there isn’t a way to ask directly. They were with 1 Dyon, ie 1st Self-propelled unit (SP), commanded by Captain Józef Jarosiński.

                                                       

                                                      You are quite right in saying the 1PAD was forcing a bridgehead over the Somme on 2 Sept. I have gone through the war diaries of the Divisional HQ, HQ Divisional Artillery, and of the II and IV batteries of the 1st Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment, sent to me by the PISM. Their dead in the above manoeuvres were classified as “1 offic, 1pdf i 2 szereg”. My assumption from that and reading the war diaries is that the II and IV were not near the I and the III.

                                                       

                                                      The archivist at the PISM said they do not hold the war diary of 1 battery. This was the sub-unit in which my grandfather served when he was killed on the road from Mianny to Gouy-Cahon. This is to the north-west of Abbeville, so before the river crossing. The archivist at PISM said that the 1st anti-tank regiment did not operate as a whole but individual batteries were attached to other formations, usually infantry. He said that if I could identify which unit the 1 battery supported on 2 Sept, they could check whether they hold the papers for that unit, which may lead to information about the battle at Gouy. As yet, I have not found the unit.

                                                       

                                                      The frustration of being half a world away. But, at least I know 1 Battery was called Bateria Smierci.

                                                       

                                                      Kind regards

                                                      Barbara Scrivens

                                                       

                                                       

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of george.marczak
                                                      Sent: Sunday, 25 August 2013 10:54 p.m.
                                                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                                      Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division : Losses

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Barbara
                                                      Sherman tank had a crew of 5.
                                                      Driver
                                                      Co. Driver/ Lower Browning machine gunner
                                                      Main Turret Gun and Browning machine gun loader
                                                      Main Gunner
                                                      Captain/ radio communications.

                                                      The regiment had 3 front line tank squadrons with 16 tanks per squadron. There was also a HQ squadron. The regiment lost 53 tanks during the course of their campaign. My father also had to bail out of his tank when they hit a landmine and shortly after a replacement was brought up for them. Seems to have been a popular occurrence.

                                                      In a sense many of the battles were establishing bridgeheads across rivers which were heavily defended by Germans.
                                                      The first few days of their campaign was getting through the defences around the river Laison - 189 1PDP killed.
                                                      From 14-18 Aug 44 river Dives at Jort - 199 killed.
                                                      19-22 August closing the gap Maczuga/Chambois - 135 killed.

                                                      On Sept 2nd the 1PDP was engaged in forcing a bridgehead over the river Somme at Abbeville.

                                                      Best Regards
                                                      George
                                                      Harrogate UK

                                                      --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, "Barbara Scrivens" <scrivs@...> wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > Hi Barbara,
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > My 91-year-old para-trooper friend says his survival of the war was only because the big man hadn’t tapped him on the shoulder.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Four other men died on the same day and place as my grandfather and, because he was a gunner in the anti-tanks, I’m still assuming that they took a direct hit. My grandfather was 34 and still had a wife and three of his children alive in Africa at the time. The ages of the other three men were 29, 27, 26. There is an unnamed soldier at the end of their row in the cemetery in Leubringen. Did the Shermans take four or five? He may have been killed elsewhere.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > The story of your dad jumping into another tank is an example of the casualties of Falaise in August. My grandfather was promoted on August 24, and I assume again it was because they lost so many others and he was older.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > September 2 was so soon after Falaise, that I also wonder whether they relaxed a bit too much on their way to taking Abbeville, or just so tired. I can only speculate.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Thank you for introducing aka names to batteries. I will bear it in mind when I eventually get to trawl the records in London.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Cheers â€" Barbara
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Barbara Alison
                                                      > Sent: Saturday, 24 August 2013 9:40 a.m.
                                                      > To: Kresy-SiberiaGroup
                                                      > Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division [2 Attachments]
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > [Attachment(s) from Barbara Alison included below]
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Hi Everyone
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > 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.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Best regards
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Basia Ryszkowska, London UK
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Barbara Alison
                                                      >
                                                      > Songwriter
                                                      >
                                                      > Website: http://www.songs-barbaraalison.com/
                                                      >
                                                      > Web Page: www.songandmedia.com/Barbara-Alison.html
                                                      >


                                                    • Barbara Scrivens
                                                      Hi Zdzis, Thanks for this. Attached is one of the maps I got from the PISM, which shows their position on 2 and 3 Sept. The 8th and 9th, are shown exactly
                                                      Message 28 of 29 , Aug 25, 2013
                                                      View Source

                                                      Hi Zdzis,

                                                       

                                                      Thanks for this. Attached is one of the maps I got from the PISM, which shows their position on 2 and 3 Sept. The 8th and 9th, are shown exactly where you’re describing, that is that they are going north of Abbeville, with the 9th on the outer most northern flank. I’m afraid I can’t figure out the rest of the hieroglyphics.

                                                       

                                                      The suggestion that the Germans were coming in from Saint- Valery-sur-Somme is intriguing. I had heard of it before, but dismissed it as being too far away. However, it’s is only 13km from Cahon along the D3. Bearing in mind, the Germans could easily have left Saint Valery before 2 Sept, they would have been in a position that explains a frontal attack on the 1PAD group coming from the south.

                                                       

                                                      Having been along those roads, even on the main D3, the 13km wouldn’t have been easy and the Mianny- Gouy Cahon road was better suited to a horse and cart than a row of military paraphernalia. No three-point turns!

                                                       

                                                      Below is an extract from 2nd September Calendar of Operations of the Division. I’ve translated it as best I can, with what is in brackets my own interpretations. It does seem as if there was more than one thing going on on that day.

                                                       

                                                      ".....Po południu zgrupowanie 3. Bryg. Strz. otrzymało za­danie rozpoznania i sforsowania rzeki Somme, w wykona­niu czego B.S.P. otrzymał rozkaz samodzielnego działania na Abbeville, a 8. B.S. i 9. B.S. oraz 10. P. Drag. i  11. Komp. Sap., w kierunku na Gouy (2 km płn.-zach. od Abbeville).

                                                      W godzinach wieczornych doszły do linii rzeki Somme i intensywnie rozpoznawały przeprawę.

                                                      W ciągu dnia Artyleria Dywizyjna wspierała oddziały walczące o dojście do przepraw. "

                                                       

                                                                      “..... In the afternoon the 3rd Rifle Brigade Group (3rd Polish Infantry Brigade or 3 Brygada Strzelców) received the task of reconnoitring and taking by force the River Somme, (received orders to do a reconnaissance regarding the safe crossing of the River Somme), carried out by the BSP (three battalions of the Batalion Strzelców Pohdalanskich,  1st Polish Highland Riffle Battalion) received orders to make their way independently to Abbeville, and the 8th Polish Rifle Battalion (8 batalion strzelców) and 9th Polish Rifle Battalion (9 batalion strzelców, as well as the 10th Polish Dragoons Regiment (10 pułk dragonów) and 11th Engineers (11 Kompania Saperów, part of the saperzy dywizjni) in the direction of Gouy (2km, north-west of Abbeville).

                                                                      In the hours of the evening, got to the line of the River Somme and intensively reconnaissanced the crossing.

                                                                      During the day the Divisional Artillery (Artyleria Dywizyjna, which included the 1st Anti-Tank Regiment) supported the units battling for access to a crossing.

                                                       

                                                      Kind regards,

                                                      Barbara,

                                                      Still in Auckland

                                                       

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Zdzislaw Nowicki
                                                      Sent: Monday, 26 August 2013 12:26 p.m.
                                                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                                      Subject: RE: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division : Losses

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Basia,

                                                      I just had a quick look at a French historical site and according to it, the 8th and 9th Infantry battalions were operating in the Gouy area at the time. On 2 September 1944, the Germans laid down a large artillery and mortar barrage on the Polish positions at Saint Valery from where they were advancing on the bridge at Gouy.   7 Poles were killed in this barrage. The next day, the Poles crossed the river Somme under heavy fire and went on to liberate Abbeville.  The unit that crossed the river was, according to the site, the Zawadzki unit. 
                                                      Hope this adds a little to your knowledge and I'll keep looking to see if I can dig out any more information.

                                                      Zdzis

                                                      Runaway Bay
                                                      Queensland
                                                      Australia


                                                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                                      From: scrivs@...
                                                      Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2013 11:41:36 +1200
                                                      Subject: RE: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division : Losses

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Hi George,

                                                       

                                                      Thank you so much. And at last I know how many men were in a tank, and that some could escape. Because the other three killed on the same day (and I have to assume the same time) were not ranked as captains, and I doubt that a captain would become an “unknown soldier’, and that a captain would get his men out first, I presume there wasn’t a captain in the tank but the radio communications operator. I hope the fifth man did get out... If indeed it was an actual tank and not part of the other transport paraphernalia.  

                                                       

                                                      The ranks of the men killed on 2 Sept were: plut, kan, drag and bomb (my grandfather). Apologies – he was promoted on Aug 21 and he was 36 when he died. From other research, I got the ranks of the same people as a plut, two st.ul (including my grandfather) and an ulan. When they’re dead, there isn’t a way to ask directly. They were with 1 Dyon, ie 1st Self-propelled unit (SP), commanded by Captain Józef Jarosiński.

                                                       

                                                      You are quite right in saying the 1PAD was forcing a bridgehead over the Somme on 2 Sept. I have gone through the war diaries of the Divisional HQ, HQ Divisional Artillery, and of the II and IV batteries of the 1st Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment, sent to me by the PISM. Their dead in the above manoeuvres were classified as “1 offic, 1pdf i 2 szereg”. My assumption from that and reading the war diaries is that the II and IV were not near the I and the III.

                                                       

                                                      The archivist at the PISM said they do not hold the war diary of 1 battery. This was the sub-unit in which my grandfather served when he was killed on the road from Mianny to Gouy-Cahon. This is to the north-west of Abbeville, so before the river crossing. The archivist at PISM said that the 1st anti-tank regiment did not operate as a whole but individual batteries were attached to other formations, usually infantry. He said that if I could identify which unit the 1 battery supported on 2 Sept, they could check whether they hold the papers for that unit, which may lead to information about the battle at Gouy. As yet, I have not found the unit.

                                                       

                                                      The frustration of being half a world away. But, at least I know 1 Battery was called Bateria Smierci.

                                                       

                                                      Kind regards

                                                      Barbara Scrivens

                                                       

                                                       

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of george.marczak
                                                      Sent: Sunday, 25 August 2013 10:54 p.m.
                                                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                                      Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division : Losses

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Barbara
                                                      Sherman tank had a crew of 5.
                                                      Driver
                                                      Co. Driver/ Lower Browning machine gunner
                                                      Main Turret Gun and Browning machine gun loader
                                                      Main Gunner
                                                      Captain/ radio communications.

                                                      The regiment had 3 front line tank squadrons with 16 tanks per squadron. There was also a HQ squadron. The regiment lost 53 tanks during the course of their campaign. My father also had to bail out of his tank when they hit a landmine and shortly after a replacement was brought up for them. Seems to have been a popular occurrence.

                                                      In a sense many of the battles were establishing bridgeheads across rivers which were heavily defended by Germans.
                                                      The first few days of their campaign was getting through the defences around the river Laison - 189 1PDP killed.
                                                      From 14-18 Aug 44 river Dives at Jort - 199 killed.
                                                      19-22 August closing the gap Maczuga/Chambois - 135 killed.

                                                      On Sept 2nd the 1PDP was engaged in forcing a bridgehead over the river Somme at Abbeville.

                                                      Best Regards
                                                      George
                                                      Harrogate UK

                                                      --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, "Barbara Scrivens" <scrivs@...> wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > Hi Barbara,
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > My 91-year-old para-trooper friend says his survival of the war was only because the big man hadn’t tapped him on the shoulder.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Four other men died on the same day and place as my grandfather and, because he was a gunner in the anti-tanks, I’m still assuming that they took a direct hit. My grandfather was 34 and still had a wife and three of his children alive in Africa at the time. The ages of the other three men were 29, 27, 26. There is an unnamed soldier at the end of their row in the cemetery in Leubringen. Did the Shermans take four or five? He may have been killed elsewhere.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > The story of your dad jumping into another tank is an example of the casualties of Falaise in August. My grandfather was promoted on August 24, and I assume again it was because they lost so many others and he was older.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > September 2 was so soon after Falaise, that I also wonder whether they relaxed a bit too much on their way to taking Abbeville, or just so tired. I can only speculate.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Thank you for introducing aka names to batteries. I will bear it in mind when I eventually get to trawl the records in London.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Cheers â€" Barbara
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Barbara Alison
                                                      > Sent: Saturday, 24 August 2013 9:40 a.m.
                                                      > To: Kresy-SiberiaGroup
                                                      > Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] 1st Polish Armoured Division [2 Attachments]
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > [Attachment(s) from Barbara Alison included below]
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Hi Everyone
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > 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.
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                                                      > 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.
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                                                      > 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.
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                                                      > Best regards
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                                                      > Basia Ryszkowska, London UK
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                                                      > Barbara Alison
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                                                      > Songwriter
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                                                      > Website: http://www.songs-barbaraalison.com/
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                                                      > Web Page: www.songandmedia.com/Barbara-Alison.html
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