Calverton Village Online

POLISH CROSS
Memorial service at the Polish Cross in Watchwood Plantation.  13th October 2015.

The excellent images, in this article, were all taken by village photographer, Stuart Noall.

"We will remember them"

F/O Jan Gebicki, Sergeant Edward Morawa and Sergeant Tadeusz Egierski were three Polish airmen who gave their lives in the allied cause in the fight against fascism in the Second World War.  

F/O Jan Gebicki's family from Poland and Australia, along with Notaries from Poland and Nottingham came to attend a service in Watchwood Plantation at the site of the Memorial remembering that fateful day when their forebears gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Back Row : Silvia Gebicki - Daughter in Law (wife of Professor Jan Gebicki), Andrew Gebicki - Grandson, Michael Gebicki Grandson, Barbara Baker-Richards - Grandaughter, Michael Gebicki - Great Grandson
Front Row : Ania Gebicka - Grandaughter, Marta Suchodolska - Grandaughter, Professor Jan Gebicki - Son, Jan Gebicki - Grandson, Kamila Gebicka - Great Grandaughter, Jackie Gebicki - wife of Jan Gebicki
Standard Bearer Simon Elmer - Representative of the East Midlands Polish Airforce Memorial Committee

Mr Lukasz Lutostanski- Consul General, Professor Janusz Gebicki - Son of airman F/O Jan Gebicki, Sue Bereznyckyj - President of the Calverton & Woodborough Branch of the Royal British Legion and Mr Mariusz Wisniewski - Deputy President of the City of Poznan, Poland
Commemoration at the Polish Cross (Report by Mick Lloyd of the Calverton & Woodborough Branch of the Royal British Legion)

From 9.15 the guests had started arriving. The number had increased from the original 100 to 112. Only four of the invited guests failed to turn up!

What a delight when Professor Janusz Gebicki, Michael and other family arrived, I believed that they were overwhelmed with the warmth and friendship of everyone there.

The Gebicki family had travelled far to be with us on this day. Janusz, Michael and his family from Sydney, Australia, cousin Marta from Poland, Jan and his family had come up from Gloucester and Ania from Sherwood, Nottingham.

The congregation had started to gather at the memorial when our parade marshall Steve Hill set out the Guard of Honour and positioned the Standard Bearers.

The service was conducted by the Venerable Robin Turner. Following the placing of wreaths Andrew Alison our bugler played the Last Post followed by Reveille. The Standard Bearers were exemplary. Representing their respective organisations, we cannot thank them enough for their attendance.

Richard Kornicki Chairman of the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee read out the prayer for the Fallen Airmen.

Following the conclusion of the service the congregation moved around the corner to where paths joined. At this point Janusz unveiled the interpretation panel.  The information on the panel gave details of 300 "Masovian" Polish Bomber Squadron and an account of the incident that led to the tragic deaths of the three aircrew. It was Byron Wibberley, a ranger with the forest commission that suggested a panel  Thanks to the Forest Commission, Calverton Parish Council and the Friends of the Royal British Legion that this was later achieved.  
On our return to the Miners Welfare speeches were given by our guests commencing with our Branch President Sue Bereznyckyj, Deputy Lieutenant Colonel Nigel Cullen, The General Consul Mr Lucas Lutostanski and Professor Janusz Gebicki. Our Mayor of Gedling Meredith Lawrence presented branch member and Life Vice President Michael Truman with a certificate of appreciation for his hard work in fundraising towards the Polish Cross and community projects over a number of years.

Our Branch Chairman Ernest Sturman introduced Cllr. John Clarke, who in turn introduced a delegation from the city of Poznan. The Branch Secretary Michael Lloyd presented Janusz with  a Royal British Legion wall plaque. Janusz said that he could not thank the branch enough, for their warmth and friendship and for looking after the memorial. Janusz then gave a toast to the aircrew and to all Polish servicemen and women who fought for the liberty of Europe.

​A vodka toast was a fitting tribute to the end of the speeches and the opening of the buffet. What a buffet Pat and Suzanne of Flavours really worked hard to give such an assortment of Polish and English cuisine. It could not have been better; everyone thoroughly enjoyed the selection, and  said so. It all contributed to a relaxed atmosphere. We have made great friends who have said that they would like to keep in contact.

The branch would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported us, particularly, and as they say "in no particular order" Andrew Carpenter Calverton Army cadets, F/O. Steve Dodds Carlton Air cadets, all of the Standard Bearers, Parade Marshall Steve Hill, Byron Wibberley Forest Ranger, Simon Elmer of the Polish Air Force Veterans Association, The County of Nottinghamshire Royal British Legion and Cllr. John Clarke and his public relations team at Gedling Borough and finally Calverton Parish Council.  If I have missed anyone I sincerely apologise - Mick Lloyd - R.B.L. Branch Secretary

All of these photos were snapped by local Photographer Stuart Noall

This article would not have been possible without using the expertise of Mick Lloyd, Stuart Noall and Dorothy Keig.