NT4899 : Polish Paratroops plaque, Earlsferry Town Hall

taken 6 years ago, near to Earlsferry, Fife, Great Britain

Polish Paratroops plaque, Earlsferry Town Hall
Polish Paratroops plaque, Earlsferry Town Hall
Although this subject has been photographed by others, I've posted this image in order to provide an explanation.

During the Second World War Polish forces fought on in exile after the defeat of Poland in 1939, first in France and then as part of the Allied war effort in the West. With the eventual release of Polish troops from Soviet captivity, following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the Poles came to form the fourth largest contingent among the Allied forces after the U.S.S.R., U.S.A. and Great Britain.

At the time of the Fall of France in 1940 some 17,000 Polish troops were among those evacuated from Dunkirk and the ports of western France (this number grew to 26,500 by mid-1944). Directed to Scotland by the War Office, they were initially stationed in Lanarkshire and Peeblesshire but soon moved to more permanent bases in Fife, Angus and Perthshire. Regrouped as the 1st Polish Corps under their Commander-in-Chief General Sikorski, in October 1940 they were given the task of building up the defences of the coasts of Fife, Angus and latterly East Lothian from a possible invasion from German-occupied Norway. In 1941 the Corps was reorganised and gradually re-equipped for combat. One of the new units was the 1st (Polish) Independent Parachute Brigade under the command of Colonel, later Major-General Stanisław Sosabowski. The Brigade was based at Upper Largo, about 5 miles from Earlsferry, where an assault course and jump tower were constructed for training in the grounds of Largo House. Their intended mission was to land in Poland to join the underground Polish Home Army in the fight to liberate their country from Nazi occupation. However, in the summer of 1944 the Brigade, now numbering about 3,100 men, was moved to England and sent into action in September of that year in support of the British 1st Airborne Division at the battle of Arnhem. They suffered heavy losses in what has come to be widely regarded as a partly bungled British military operation.

The plaque expresses the Brigade's gratitude for the hospitality shown them by the people of Elie and Earlsferry during their time in Fife from 1940 to 1943.

For more on the Brigade's war record, see LinkExternal link and LinkExternal link
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NT4899, 71 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Thursday, 7 November, 2013   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 19 November, 2013
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  City, Town centre 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 4834 9992 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:11.3452N 2:50.0373W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 4833 9992
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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