73 years ago, the British Labour government, under pressure from Stalin, did not invite the Polish Armed Forces, who fought with the Allies, to the Victory Parade in London. The parade took place on 8 June 1946 to celebrate the victory over Germany during World War II.
Polish soldiers were one of the largest national formations fighting against Germany. More than 200,000 members of the Polish Armed Forces in the West had fought under British High Command. None of them has been invited to the Parade. Finally, after many complains and protests of a number of MPs and figures in the RAF, 25 pilots from the Polish Fighter Squadrons in the Royal Air Force, who fought in the Battle of Britain, got an invitation.
These last-minute invitations were declined in protest against the omission of the other branches of the Polish forces. Their efforts had not been recognised.
British government apologised in 2005 and Polish veterans took part in a British Victory Parade for the first time, 60 years after the war had ended.
In 2016 there were 4 proud Polish Veterans and 26 members of the Friends of the Polish Veterans Association at the Remembrance Sunday commemorations and parade at the The Cenotaph in Whitehall. It was Marzenna Schejbal, Janusz Kacprzyk-Kent, Zygmunt Tylunas and Otton Hulacki.
Colonel Otton Hulacki, soldier of the 2nd Corps of General Władysław Anders, hero of of the battle of Monte Cassino said: “I am 94, and this is the first time that I have marched past the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday”.
Pictures: British Polish archivesHistory