We are grateful to Barbara Winnik who has supplied a considerable number of photos, not only of her family, but others showing aspects of life at Marsworth Hostel. These have added considerably to our understanding of how it was.
Wojciech was born in Poland on 1st October 1917.
When the war broke out I was a farmer married to Anna and working on my family's land. In February 1940 my wife and I and the rest of our family were transported to Russia.
In April 1942 we were released and made our way with others to Persia (Iran). Here I was called up to join the Polish Free Army. The army went on to Palestine and Iraq to be trained by the Allies, mainly British, and then took aprt in the fighting in Italy at Monte Cassino, Bologna and Ancona.
The families and dependants of the soldiers and others released from internment by the Russians were sent on to East Africa, India, Lebanon and Palestine, wherever there were places offered by those countries. The British dispersed these people to safe places. At the end of the war I went to England in 1946 with the rest of the 2nd Corps, 3rd Division Carpathian Rifle Brigade.
I was awarded medals for fighting during the war and hold the Defence Medal with Silver Laurel Leaves with the King's Commendation for brave conduct.
I was demobbed in 1947, found work and was then reunited with my wife Anna who had been in South Africa. The families and dependants were brought over to join the soldiers returning from duty in Europe or ending their service in the Army. We were housed with our firstborn (Barbara) in 1948 at a resettlement camp near Colchester.
From here I moved to Marsworth Camp near Tring, where I found work and settled in Dunstable where I eventually bought a house. I am an active member of the Polish community today.
From"Dunstable and District at War".