20 Nov 2017
For one who’s travelled to very few places across the world, I still tend to think of myself as a citizen of the Earth. Oh, I love my home town and my country- and I love the house I live in. But the world now – in my simple eyes and mind – is just one large community.
So, I welcome the integration of other nationalities who want to come to our wonderful homeland and share its principles with us, in the same way that many British citizens make the journeys to other countries and integrate there.
One such group welcome in this country are our Polish friends.
Grimsby and Cleethorpes has had a long relationship with the Polish nation, stretching back to at least the Second World War. Many Poles left their country after the German invasion. In fact, it was the German invasion of Poland that brought Britain into the war because of the treaty between the two countries.
Polish people came to Britain to enlist in our armed forces, and many of them became pilots, serving with great distinction in the Battle of Britain, and as bomber crew. Fighting alongside the allies were the Carpathian Lances.
With the Germans defeated, the Poles discovered that they had a new enemy in the form of the USSR (the Union of Soviet Socialist Republicans), who had invaded their country to impose communism on an unwilling nation.
Many Poles made their ways to the UK, and many of the Carpathian Lances camped in our own Weelsby Woods after they were ‘demobbed’.
As a child and even as late as an adult, I wasn’t really aware that these old, pre-fabricated huts in the woods had been ‘homes’ for our Polish friends.
Thankfully, many of them stayed in the area, and integrated with the local population.
A certain Captain Corsack, ex-Lancer himself, made quite a name for himself working on the Fish Docks. His office was on Fish Dock Road, near to Sam Chapmans. The dear man actually bought my wife and I a wedding Present. Small world, you see!
And now, if you take a walk to Weelsby Woods, you will see a tribute to those brave men who fought alongside the likes of my old dad, and two brothers.
A beautiful carving of the old regimental mascot, in the form of a brown bear is on display there, with information boards.
English or Polish – if you haven’t seen it then take a walk and enjoy the lovely surroundings of the woods. On a quiet, still night, you might even be able to hear those distant voices of the Carpathian Lancers reminiscing about their homeland and their beautiful Carpathian Mountains along the border of central Europe.
Written by the Fish Tales Man