Gallery 9. Diaspora
You are in: Room 9b.
Forever in the West (1946-)
Key Facts & Figures
- By May 1945 Polish Armed Forces serving under British command totalled 194,460 with an additional 46,618 civilians and dependents
- Yalta and Potsdam conferences in February and July 1945 respectively marked the beginnings of the Polish exile in the West by conceding Poland’s Eastern territories to the USSR
- Whereas the other Allied armies eagerly anticipated their demobilisation, the future for the Poles seemed far from certain
- By 1945 there was increasing anti-Polish sentiment in G.B.
- On the 20th March, 1946, British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, issued a note to the Polish forces strongly recommending that the Poles should return to Poland to help in the country’s reconstruction
- 105,000 returned to Poland; 123,000 did not and stayed in the West – a further 21,000 were recruited from Polish communities around the world and they returned home after demobilisation
- In the 1947 the British Parliament passed the Polish Resettlement Act. The disbandment of the Polish Armed Forces began apace and the Polish Resettlement Corps was formed.
- 114,000 Poles joined the PRC
Wojtek the Bear boarding the ship with Polish soldiers to G.B. Source: Sikorski Museum 13th Battalion lads in England 13th Battalion parade with General Anders. Source: Sikorski Museum PRC Dances and Weddings, 1948 Tells of meeting Australian soldiers in Cairo and moving to Australia after the War Tells of establishing his life in post-war Australia Photographs TestimoniesForever in the West (1946-) - the script for the audio narration
PRC – Polish soldiers at Cannon Hall camp after the WarThe Polish refugees largely settled in G.B. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and S.A.
Soldier, Polish 2nd Corps, Polish Resettlement Corps in the UK