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Federation of Poles In Great Britain: Find out about the Polish community across Britain

Polish Connections: Your launch point to Poland on-line

Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Kidderminster: Serving the West Midlands

The Polish Community in Birmingham: In the heart of the English West Midlands.

Father Bernards Childrens Fund: In aid of Polish children

Kidderminster Community Info: Explore our local area

The Town of Kidderminster: The official Town page

Poland Comes Home: Campaigning in support of Polish Membership of EU and NATO.

Map of Poland: and the Polish National Emblem.

The Polish Second Corps: The victors of Monte Cassino commanded by General Anders

For Your Freedom & Ours: Poland's contribution in WW2

The Polish Soldier WW2: Polish units in WW2

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Polish Ex-Combatants
(Branch 215)

The Poles first arrived in Kidderminster at the end of the War when Polish Servicemen were demobilised from Army Camps in the area and housed at hostels at Summerfield, Drakelow and Mustow Green.

These 1,200 Poles had mostly served in General Ander's famous Polish 2nd Corps. Held against their will or imprisoned in Russia, after the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, they formed a new Polish Army on Russian soft following the Germany invasion of Russia. General Anders marched his army across the Soviet Union and out via Iran - his troops then serving with great distinction in the North African and Italian Campaigns. It was this army which stormed the ruins of Monte Cassino.

Other Poles arriving in Kidderminster had served on nearly every front of the war including the Polish Air Force; the Polish Navy; the Polish First Division of General Maczek; the Polish Independent Airborne Division; and the "silent and unseen" who were dropped into occupied Poland.

In 1946 demobilised Polish servicemen formed the S.P.K. (Polish Ex-Combatants Association) in this country to preserve their cultural identity and to work together for the welfare of Polish Servicemen who had decided to remain here, rather than return to a Poland betrayed at Yalta into the hands of a detested Russian puppet regime.

Locally the S.P.K. was active first at Tycross and then at the Summerfield hostel They launched self help schemes and worked with the Council's Advisory Committee to tackle the challenge of resettlement. In 1948 many were joined by relatives and by many other "displaced" Poles who had been dispersed far and wide by the harsh fortunes of war.

The first local Polish Club was at the YMCA in Kidderminster's Orchard Street, moving to Burlish Camp in 1952 where they started their own Chapel and school. Since the closure of the Burlish Camp in 1958 the S.P.K. has been based at its present home in St.George's Terrace in Kidderminster where the Club has hosted a wide range of cultural and social activity and welfare work as well as for many years Polish Scouts and Guides and a Saturday School. The Polish Roman Catholic Church of "Our Lady of Ostra Brama" was built in the early 1960s in Pitt Street and the S.P.K. has always been closely associated with its work.

After decades of struggle, culminating in active support for the Solidarity movement in the '80s the local S.P.K. were at last able to parade their standard on the streets of Warsaw in a free and independent Poland in 1992. 1996 saw the 50th Anniversary of the arrival of the Poles in Kidderminster. Today the S.P.K. in Kidderminster plays an active role in the local community here but as always continues also to work for Polish causes and for the welfare of their veterans. That work will continue into the future.

Where To Find Us

Stowarzyszenie Polskich Kombatantow
(Kolo 215 "Pomiarowiec") Kidderminster
Polish Ex-Combatants Association
(Branch 215 "Ordinance") Kidderminster

Chairman : Mrs Maria Lee

Polish Ex-Servicemens Club
Alpine House, 29a St. Georges Terrace
Kidderminster, Worcs. DY10 1QS,
Great Britain

Tel: 01562 740048
Tel (Outside UK): 00 44 1562 740048

Fax: 01562 861146
Fax (Outside UK): 00 44 1562 861145

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