I met Martin Patterson at the St Georges Crypt on Tuesday evening. He's
a great guy and does wonderful work. St George's takes in homeless
people from the streets of Leeds and gives them food and shelter.
Approx. 50 people are in residence and up to 160 can be fed, showered
and kept warm for a few hours. Martin is really passionate about the
work he does and is committed to seeing through the search for
information about Marian Wojcicki and hopefully to return the documents
It was fascinating to see Marian's documents and they contained some
useful information, in Polish, which Martin was unable to decipher. My
Polish skills are limited so I suggested that every page of the
documents should be scanned and requested copies so that they can be
studied in more detail. This will be completed a.s.a.p.
So what do we know up to now...
Marian Ignacy Wojcicki was born 27 July 1905 religion R.C. to parents
Ludwik and Katarzyna in the small town of Baligrod, Lisko pow. Lwow
woj. Baligrod is actually quite a few miles from Lwow and is in fact in
Poland. It lies in the mountains right in the very southeast corner of
Poland just south of Sanok (which is below Przemysl).
The oldest booklet amongst his possessions was one showing that he was
a reservist in 1930. His civilian occupation was a shoemaker (Szewc),
or cobbler, before the war. A French card, dated May 1940, was issued
to Marian by Franco-Polish forces. There is in his possessions a small
prayer book (printed in Palestine 1940 and very similar to one
belonging to my father) and bearing an inscription with his name and
that it is "a souvenir from Palestine". He was a Starszy Saper in 3DSK,
quite small in stature, 161cm (5ft 4in in old money) and fought in
Tobruk. He has the Legytimacja (Award Card) for the Monte Cassino
Cross. He was also awarded the Africa, France and Italy Stars. His Army
Book shows that he was a bachelor.
It would, therefore, appear that Marian was not in fact deported to
Siberia, but managed to escape and cross the mountain border into
Czechoslovakia and make his way to France, where he joined up at the
age of 35. From there he was (presumably) posted to Anders Army in the
Middle East around 1942/43. His Service Record will, however, confirm
his exact movements.
In a small wallet were some teeth (his?), a miniature Jerusalem Cross
and an old photo of two children, a boy and a girl, aged about 6 and 8
After arriving in England with the PRC and demobilisation, Marian took
work in Castleford and lived in a hostel there until the mid 1950's.
Around that time he moved to the Leeds area and later received a Police
conviction for sleeping rough at the rear of a property (can't remember
the exact address). There are no records of employment for this time
and his Post Office Savings book has only regular withdrawals.
He left his papers and documents (for safe keeping?) at St George's
Crypt in 1960. He never returned for them and his movements are unknown
from then until his death in the Church Army Hostel, The Calls, in
Leeds on 28 April 1984 from heart problems. He was buried at Lawnswood
Cemetery, Leeds on Tuesday 8 May 1984 at 11.00am. There is no headstone
on his grave, which is located in Section Z, Plot 715. I plan to visit
his grave and lay some flowers on Sunday.
Investigations are still being made. I am also trying to make contact
with Baligrod to find out if any Wojcicki's are living there today. I
will keep you posted.