Gen. Maczek and me

Below we present a story of Mr Leon Zawadzki, a son of the 1st Polish Armoured Division soldier, Josef Zawadzki, who is searching for a very special war photo of him and Gen. Stanisław Maczek. If anyone can help, please, write to Mr Zawadzki:

Leon (Fred) Zawadzki

I was born on the 29th May 1944, in Nethermains Cottages in Chirnside, Scotland. one week before D Day. My father 7953 Plutonowy Josef Zawadzki was at the time serving with 10 Bacnu Dragonow. One week after my birth, my mother along with my elder sister Sandra moved from Nethermains Cottages to Bridlington in Yorkshire to be closer to where my father was stationed.

Leon Zawadzki 3 years old with his sister Sandra

At some time during the period 6th June – 30th July 1944, General Stanislaw Maczek addressed the 10th Dragoons and other members of the 1st Polish Armoured Division in the Bridlington area. While addressing his men, he took me into his arms and raised me up, for all to see and stated ‘THIS IS WHAT WE ARE FIGHTING FOR’ I was being used as an inspiration to the members of the 1st Polish Armoured Division in the coming fight against the Nazi Armed Forces in Normandy. I fully understand the statement as at the time the General must have known that his Polish Army had very little chance of ever seeing or returning to Poland once the war was over.

I am proud to have been that child in the Generals arms and being an inspiration to the Polish Armed Forces even though I was only a few weeks old at the time. I know this happened as on a number of occasions, I met up with General Maczek at the Polish Club in Kennsington (Sikorki Museum) where he always told me about the occasion in great detail.

I have no documented evidence that what I have wrote is true. I have written to the editor of the Bridlington Echo, as I know the occasion would have been covered by the local newspaper, but alas no comeback to date. I also know that photographs of the occasion would have been taken and documented by members of 10th Dragoons, but where do I go to find out?

I know in my heart, that photos were taken of the occasion and it would surly be a miracle if I could get my hands on one or two of these photo’s which could also show a photo of my mother with Gen Maczek and myself.

I am also in contact with Karolina Maczek, the granddaughter of Gen Maczek, who is also trying to find out more details of the event for me, but in all honesty, I believe that somewhere in your records, details of the event would have been recorded. Is there any chance that someone could check out your records for me. I would be very grateful if this was possible.

Leon Zawadzki

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