Marsworth Polish Hostel

To find out more about the hostel, choose one of the topics listed below.  

Why and How the Poles Came to Marsworth

It is well known that Germany invaded Poland in 1939, but what followed is less well known. 


The story of why and how the Poles came to the UK comes as a surprise to many people.

About the Hostel

The hostel made a significant impact on the village as it accommodated about 700 people.


They lived in buildings scattered over four sites that had previously been occupied by the American airforce during the war. 

Life at the Hostel

Living conditions at the hostel were very basic, but they offered peace and stability following the grim events of the war. 


The Poles worked hard to create normal lives for themselves and to preserve important aspects of their culture.


Although they worked hard, the Poles also found time for leisure through the creation of various clubs  and sporting events.  There were also dances and film shows, which the English locals could also attend. 

Childhood and Friendships

Children started school in Marsworth often only knowing Polish, but they quickly picked up English and made friends with the local children. 


Now, as adults, they remember their time in Marsworth with great fondness.


The Poles were mainly Catholic and this was an important part of their identity.  They created a church in a Nissen hut at the hostel and had their own priest. 


Festivals were celebrated in the Polish way and Corpus Christi included a parade around the various sites of the hostel.  

Polish Graves at All Saints Marsworth Churchyard

Although the Poles had their own church at the hostel, burials took place in the churchyard at All Saints, where the graves remain well tended to this day.

Marsworth Village and the Hostel

Marsworth residents initially opposed plans to resettle several hundred Poles in their small village.  However, once the Poles arrived and the locals learned of the newcomers' desire to make new lives in Britain, attitudes mellowed.

Families and Individuals

Every Pole who came to Marsworth had his or her own unique wartime story.  This website contains a number of first hand accounts not only of wartime experiences but also of their life in Marsworth.

Commemorative Board - Unveiling and Exhibition 


On 5th October 2019 the commemorative board telling the story of the Marsworth Polish Hostel was unveiled.


This was accompanied by an exhibition about the Hostel in All Saints church.


This website has been produced as part of that project.


If you have any more information about the hostel and/or the people who lived there, please tell us about it.


We would especially like to hear from or of other individuals or families who were at Marsworth Hostel, but whose stories have not been included. Please do send them so that they can be added.


Please contact:


The information in these web pages has been gathered from a variety of sources including personal interviews, books and other websites. 


Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information is correct, if you are aware of any inaccuracies, please contact the authors using the email address above. 


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