The Buczak Family

 

Szczepan, Katarzyna, Stefania, Edward, Zofia, Kazimierz

 

Our thanks to Lilian Buczak, daughter of Edward, for supplying this informatyion and a great many photographs.

Szczepan was in the 2nd Polish Corps and was part of the British 8th Army. Edward's elder brother Kazimierz also fou

To get to England, Edward travelled from Poland with his mother and two sisters (Zofia and Stefania) to Uzbekistan, from there they crossed the Black Sea to Pahlavi, then by truck through the mountains from Ashgabat to Tehran where they stayed before going to Iran. They then went to India. After Arriving in Karachi they sailed to Bombay, stayed there and then travelled to Mombasa, through Nairobi to camp Kampala. They lived in the camps set up by the Red Cross and went to a school organised for the children in Africa.

They took the ship Carnarvon Castle to Southampton and arrived in the UK on 4th May 1948. In Karachi my aunt Zofia became lost among the orphan children, who were to sail out on the next ship bound for Australia. Luckily my dad found her in the orphans’ camp and stole her out of it, so she could return to her family and travel with them across India, Kenya and Uganda to finally reach England.

 

 

 

Edward was 16 at the time of arrival at Marsworth Hostel.  His parents had added an extra year onto his age, perhaps to protect him from being separated from the family.

 

Arriving in England

 

The family were allocated to Marsworth Camp. Szczepan and Kazimierz were already in England. Szcsepan and other officers were given the choice either to return to Poland - which was not an option - or arrange for the family to come to England. Edward and his family would probably have been reunited with his father and brother in May 1948.

 

Life at Marsworth Camp

 

The family lived at Site 7, in a Nissen hut. There were washrooms - nobody had their own bathroom; there was a laundry room as well. When the camp was closing my dad and his family were allowed to take the furniture left behind by the American forces with them to their new home.

 

 
 
The families could cook for themselves and grew vegetables on site.
 
Here they are sitting around the table in their Nissen hut. 

 

 

 

Edward loved cycling, fishing, walking by the canal, watching films in the hall, dances at the Hostel hall and socialising with friends and family at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here he is seen cycling with a friend on the Hostel site.

 

 

 

Edward with his bicycle outside a hut.

 

 

 

 

Edward eventually bought a motorbike. Here he is by two of the huts.

 

 

 

 

Edward learnt the piano accordion and harmonica. He would go with his dad and brother to the Red Lion pub in Mrsworth village for a pint of beer and to date girls.

 

He attended church and festivals or Polish national feast days.

 

 

Edward played in the band for local dances at the Hostel hall.

 

The English national anthem was always played first at the start of a dance, then the Polish anthem.

Edward at Betta Manufacturing

 

 

 

Finding work

At first Edward was not old enough to work in a factory, so did odd jobs – he worked on Grove Farm (Ivinghoe) and cycled there. After work he would climb Ivinghoe Beacon and sunbathe.

 

At the age of 17 he went to Betta Manufacturing Company in Eaton Bray where he worked for 32 years. A bus would come and take them to work and return them home

A wedding reception in the family hut

Leaving the Camp

The family left the camp in 1961 and moved to Pitstone.

 

Edward got married, had two children and moved to Dunstable in 1976. He worked four years past retirement age.

Stefania Gierszewska with daughter Alina on visit to Marsworth

 

 

 

 

Other family members came to visit.

 

 

 

 

 

Zofia Buczak by one of the reservoirs.

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