top of page

Remembrance Sunday Commemoration 2023
Sunday 12th November 2023

Rembembrance Sunday 12.11.2023.jpg

Friends and Supporters of the NPHG at our annual gathering at the Polish Shrine at St John's Cathedral Norwich when they remembered those Poles who had lost their lives fighting with Britain in World War II and those who had lived in Norfolk after that conflict had ended.

Remembrance Sunday 2 12.11.2023.jpg
The beautifully decorated Polish Shrine  is dedicated to Our Lady of Częstochowa

We had a good turnout on a cold but bright day for this year’s commemoration at the Polish Shrine. We were reminded that around 6 million Polish citizens perished during World War II: about one fifth of the pre-war population. Nearly 17,000 men and women from the Polish Airforce arrived in this country in early 1940 to help Britain fight the Nazi oppression. 

Polish ground forces arrived here in 1945-1946 after having fought with the British Army in the North Africa campaign, the Normandy campaign, in the Battle for Berlin and particularly at Monte Cassino during the Italian campaign. By 1944 Polish Armed Forces in the West numbered 195,000 personnel but there is no total finite figure regarding the number of deaths of soldiers, sailors and airmen from that cohort.  There were 3,000 Polish military personnel who remained in Norfolk after the war and the shrine in St John’s Cathedral was conceived and constructed in 1981 by some of those who stayed. 

World War II was a period of great violence and evil but man’s preference for fighting and aggression rather than choosing  harmony and peace continues eighty years on as we witness the terror and destruction in Ukraine, Israel and Gaza and 30 other major conflicts across the world ranging from South America, through Africa to Asia. It's almost too much for us to cope with but at this commemoration  our group focused on those Poles who died fighting for this country during WW2 while celebrating the lives of those who stayed in Norfolk after the conflict and for the many thousands who make it their home today.

After the commemorative gathering, there was an Anglo-Polish takeover of the Kofra Cafe in St Giles with stimulating conversation and chatting with new supporters of the NPHG, all in an atmosphere of camaraderie and goodwill.


bottom of page