Daniel Kawczynski MP, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland in the UK Parliament, has initiated a debate on the Polish contribution to the British World War II efforts. The debate will take place on the 2nd July at 2.30pm in Westminster Hall. Westminster Hall debates touch upon issues that are important to Members of Parliament. Polish community is encouraged to contact their local MPs asking to join the parliamentary discussions.
The following letter was sent by Daniel Kawczynski MP to other Members of Parliament:
As the first ever Polish born British Member of Parliament I am passionate about promoting Anglo-Polish relations and highlighting the contribution that one million Poles make to our country today.
Many British Poles who reside in Britain are here as a result of their ancestors fighting alongside British forces during WW2 and settling here after 1945.
Whether it was with the British 8th Army fighting through North Africa and Italy, in which Poles played a major role in breaching the Gustav Line and of course Monte Cassino. Whether it was playing their unique and recognised role in the Battle of Britain where the Polish 303 Squadron shot down more enemy air craft than any other squadron. Whether it was on the beaches of Normandy during the D Day landings which were the beginning of the liberation of our continent or whether it was during the Arnhem landings and Operation Market Garden fighting alongside British forces in liberating the Netherlands. The Polish contribution to the war effort cannot be overstated. Indeed, whilst I have had the opportunity to visit numerous war cemeteries in Libya, I have not yet had the opportunity to visit the Tobruk War Cemetery where hundreds of British and Polish Soldiers lie side by side.
In addition to soldiers, a large number of Polish mathematicians and cryptographers worked at Bletchley with their British counterparts to break the enigma codes and, in doing so, significantly reduced the length of the war. Despite all of this the Labour government of Clement Attlee refused to allow Polish soldiers to participate in the victory parades in London for fear of offending Joseph Stalin who by then had seized control of Poland and installed a puppet communist regime. Even today, whilst Poles are very proud of their comradeship with their British counterparts, they still have a lingering sadness that they were not allowed to join in the victory parades
I have secured a one and a half hour debate on the Polish contribution to the British war effort on July 2nd at 2.30pm in Westminster Hall. I would be extremely grateful to you if you would be so kind as to join me in this debate and share some of your recollections and tributes of the Polish war effort to the cause.
Wherever I go in the UK people of all generations talk to me about the unique contribution of Poles which fills me with great pride and I will be sharing the video of this debate to our friends in Warsaw within government and media. I want them to understand that we appreciate and thank them for their contribution. We celebrate their contribution to our country today and in the post Brexit world we must work to nurture and constantly improve bilateral relations with this key European partner and NATO ally.
I look forward to hearing from you.
My very best wishes
Daniel Kawczynski MP
Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury and Atcham”