Ted showed an interest in a potential commemorative board from early in 2019, and it was his making a very generous donation towards it which showed the Parish Council how important it could be to many in the Polish community.
Ted was born in 1952 and lived at Marsworth Camp until March 1959 when the family moved to Dunstable, where he still lives now. Being so young when he moved away,
Ted remembers only a few things from that time:
Ted’s father - Władyslaw Łyjak
Władysław was born in Chełm, in modern Poland, but close to the Ukrainian border. After the Soviet invasion of Eastern Poland he was taken to Siberia and forced to work logging. Following the release of Poles from Siberia, he joined General Anders’ Army in Persia and fought at Monte Cassino in Italy before being brought to England, where he started work in Bedford at the brickworks.
Ted’s mother – Julia Węgrzyn
Julia also lived near the Ukrainian border at Budy Łańcuckie. Her family too was taken to Siberia after the Russians invaded. The family included her parents Franciszek and Anna, and her sisters Stefa and Maria, and brothers Józef and Antoni. In Siberia they suffered hardship and starvation, and Franciszek died there.
When the Poles were freed and made their way to Persia, the women in the family were evacuated to Kenya to Rongai (outside Nairobi), where they lived in mud huts and trained to become nurses.
In 1948 they came to England and ended up in Marsworth. Because of the language barrier Julia was unable to continue her nursing career. Instead, she found work as a seamstress in Leighton Buzzard.
Wladyslaw meets Julia
Regular Saturday night dances used to be held at Marsworth Camp to which Poles from other areas were invited and bussed in. That is how Władysław met Julia after being bussed in from Bedford. The photo shows their wedding at St Joseph’s Church in Aylesbury in 1949. Julia’s sister Maria (left) and sister-in-law Halina (right) were the bridesmaids.
After they were married Władysław moved to Marsworth Camp and got a job at the cement works in Pitstone.