The information on this page was kindly sent to us by Kathy Stanczak. Kathy's father and uncle spent some time in Marsworth before migrating onwards to Canada, where Kathy was born and now lives.
The picture below shows her father Juljusz (Julius) Stanczak and her uncle Tadeusz (Ted) Stanczak in front of a Nissen hut in Marsworth. Julius is standing on the left and Ted is on the right.
Julius Stanczak (1932 - 2021)
Julius, pictured here at the Red Lion bridge in Marsworth was born the fourth of five children to parents Antoni Stanczak and Pelagia Chudzynska in Osada Puzieniewicze, 75kms west of Minsk. He had one sister name Lodzia and three brothers, Tadeusz, Karol and Jan.
Julius had a happy childhood in Poland until September 1939 when his father was taken prisoner and later he was forced to leave Poland with his mother and four siblings. Surviving the labour camp in Siberia, Julius remained with his mother until April 1942. At this time, he was surrendered to the care of an orphanage while his mother was sent to work on a farm and his three surviving siblings joined the Army cadets.
Julius spent a brief period of time in an orphanage in Mashhad, Iran along with many other Polish children. Then he was moved to a larger facility in Jamnagar, India. Julius was ten years old. Although the facilities were basic and the orphans had to sleep on the floor, they were clean, warm, well fed and cared for. They even received a Polish education.
After two years Julius was reunited with his mother in a refugee camp in Tengeru Africa. They remained there until 1948 when he, his mother and brother Tadeusz relocated to England where they were sent to Marsworth Hostel. Julius remained there for two and a half years. He worked at several jobs, picking tomatoes, in a laundry and a clock factory. He was also a member of the Marsworth Hostel football team. He is circled in the picture below. More information about the football team and Julius's role in it can be found in the section about Leisure.
On December 4th 1951 Julius and his mother left England for Halifax, Nova Scotia. They then travelled by train to Windsor, Ontario where they were reunited with his older sister Lodzia and her husband. Despite no skilled trade and limited English, Julius worked hard to build a prosperous life for his wife and four children. He passed away at 89 years of age in 2021.
Tadeusz (Ted) Stanczak
Born on March 28th 1928 in Puzieniewicze, Poland (now Belarus), 75km west of Minsk. He was the second of five children of Antoni Stanczak and Pelagia Chudzynski. He had one older sister named Lodzia, and three younger brothers, Karol, Julius and Jan.
Ted had a happy childhood in Poland until September 1939 when his father was taken prisoner and he was forced to leave their home with his mother and four siblings. Surviving the harsh conditions in a forced labour camp in Siberia, Ted remained with his mother and three surviving siblings until April 1942. At that time, his mother was sent to work on a State Farm in Uzbekistan. Lodzia joined the female Army Cadets, Karol and Ted joined the male Army Cadets called the Junaks, and Julius, being too young for the cadets, was sent to an orphanage in Jamnagar, India.
Ted and Karol spent months training with the Junaks until Karol fell ill with dysentery and died in Tehran. Ted also had dysentery but recovered in hospital. Too weak to rejoin the Junaks, he was then sent to an orphanage in Isfahan where he was able to complete Grade 5. From here, the entire orphanage was transported to the Persian Gulf and sailed aboard the Dunera for Port Elizabeth, South Africa. All 500 children then travelled to an orphanage in Oudtshoorn where Ted stayed for one year. They were treated well and ate mostly ostrich meat and ostrich eggs. Ted attended Mechanical School while there.
Once his mother was located in a refugee camp in Tengeru, Kenya, Ted was sent to join her and his younger brother Julius who had also been reunited with his mother after spending two years in India.
Life in the camp was a happy time; it was like a typical Polish community. There were 4,000 Polish refugees living there, most of them children. Ted remained there for four years until 1948 when he, his mother and brother sailed to England aboard the SS Winchester Castle. They settled in a hostel for displaced persons in Marsworth, England where Ted worked at various jobs: picking potatoes, working construction and finally in a lipstick factory. Ted lived in Marsworth for five years.
He left England aboard the Columbia on May 16th 1954 bound for Montreal at the age of 26. In Windsor, Ontario, he was reunited with his mother, sister Lodzia and her husband, as well as his younger brother Julius. Ted loved Canada but always remained a proud Pole. He married and had four children. He passed away in 2019 at the age of 91.