Sunday, August 4, 2013

Polish War Memorial

Driving towards Ruislip, one of the suburbs of the British capital, one comes across the Polish War Memorial. This memorial commemorates the 2165 Polish airmen who lost their lives in W.W. II, fighting alongside the Western Allies.




The Polish Air Force in Great Britain was formed in 1940, from airmen who after the fall of Poland in 1939, had escaped to France where they fought until its collapse, and from Poles living in the USA, Canada, Argentina and other countries. Their ranks were increased by Poles released from the Soviet Labour Camps and Siberian exile. In all, some 17.000 men and women served in the Polish Air Force, which comprised 16 operational flying squadrons.





The memorial was erected in 1948 and substantially restored in 1996 from public donations. It is adjacent to the Royal Air Force Station Northolt, which was the main base for the Polish Fighter Squadrons during the Battle of Britain. 



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