Remembrance Sunday Commemoration 2022
Sunday 13th November 2022
The Polish Shrine at St John's Cathedral Norwich where a short ceremony was held in memory of Poles who had lost their lives fighting with Britain in World War II and those who had lived in East Anglia after the war had ended
Tina Shepherd (NPHG Treasurer) and
Christina Arthurton (NPHG Friend and Supporter)
lay their wreaths at the Polish shrine in
St John the Baptist cathedral, Norwich
The NPHG wreath (left) and one handmade by
Christina Arthurton. After a few days at SJB cathedral, the wreaths will be taken and laid at the War Memorial in front of Norwich City Hall
The Polish Shrine dedicated to
Our Lady of Częstochowa
After Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany, thousands of Polish military personnel escaped to France, and later the UK.
Polish ground forces also fought in the North Africa campaign, the Italian campaign most famously at Monte Cassino, the Normandy campaign following on from D Day and in the Battle for Berlin. 26,830 Polish soldiers were declared KIA or MIA or had died of wounds by 1945.
Polish personnel served in all RAF commands and across all operational theatres and were some of the most experienced Allied pilots and their contribution to the Battle of Britain was considered invaluable. Twenty-nine Polish pilots lost their lives during the Battle of Britain and 2,408 Polish airmen were killed during the war.
Polish Navy vessels, which had escaped to the UK on the eve of war, also fought alongside the Royal Navy throughout the entirety of the war, supplemented by a number of British ships and submarines crewed by Polish personnel. Over 4,000 seamen were active in the defense of Britain and further afield and 450 lost their lives in action.
The Polish Armed Forces in the West fought under British command and numbered 195,000, 172,000 in the Polish Army, about 20,000 in the Polish Air Force and 3,000 in the Polish Navy.
This shrine is in memory of Polish men and women who died for our freedom between 1939 and 1945 and especially for those who gave their lives operating from East Anglia in grateful thanksgiving from those Poles who found hearth and home here.
"Today we honour those brave Polish men and women to whom we owe so much".
"Dla odważnych Polaków i Polek którzy walczyli o naszą wolność i którym tak wiele zawdzięczamy".