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Exhibition remembers Polish wartime leader General Sikorski

By Josh Clarke

General Sikorski
General Sikorski

The 75th anniversary of the death of Polish wartime leader General Wladyslaw Sikorski is being commemorated in an exhibition.

It is currently at Newark Library but will be moved into the Chapel at Newark Cemetery on Thursday, June 28, where it will remain until the end of July.

It features photographs and information about General Sikorski, who was the Prime Minister of the Polish government in exile and commander of the Polish Armed Forces during the second world war.

He died in 1943, along with the rest of an 11 man crew, when the plane in which he was travelling plunged into the sea shortly after take off near Gibraltar.

General Sikorski had been returning to Britain after visiting Polish troops in the Middle East.

He was buried in the Polish War Graves section of Newark Cemetery on July 16, 1943, before being exhumed and repatriated to Poland in 1993 when the nation was freed from Soviet rule.

The grave of General Sikorski in Newark Cemetery in 1943.
The grave of General Sikorski in Newark Cemetery in 1943.

His body is now in the Hall of Kings in Wawel Cathedral, Krakow.

The cause of General Sikorski’s death was recorded as an accident, but rumours of assassination, sabotage and conspiracy remain today, with many believing that his death was not an accident.

Mrs Carol Bryan, a member of the Newark branch of the Royal British Legion and Friends of Newark Cemetery, said: "It is important that we remember the sacrifice made by many Polish soldiers who fought alongside our RAF during the second world war.

"There are a lot of Polish Servicemen who are buried in Newark Cemetery and, of course, we have a big Polish community here in Newark.

"It is just as important to remember those brave soldiers as it is our own."

Once in the chapel, the exhibition will be open every Thursday, from 11am to 3pm.

Members of the Friends of Newark Cemetery, which has organised the exhibition, will be available at the same time to help people to trace graves in the cemetery.


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