Purpose Of Auchtertool Distribution Camp
The Auchtertool Distribution Camp located in Auchtertool, Fife, Scotland, was created specifically in 1942 for the reception of the "Polish Army In Exile" who came out of the USSR, through the Middle East and onward to Scotland.
The camp was governed by the "Polish Government In Exile" in London, specifically, General Sikorski. Here he is doing an inspection of the Polish Soldiers who were stationed there.
I believe this photo top have been taken on the Auchtertool to Lochgelly Road (close to the 3 very large field gates) on the approach to the field where the Polish camp once used to be. The 2 trees are still there and the hill-line lines up, therefore giving a high degree of confidence of where this photo was taken.
Auchtertool Camp Life
The camp was not though, somewhere for Polish soldiers to hang out with little purpose until re-assigned. According to the book "Lata Zanikajacej Nadziel" by Zbigniew S Siemaszko he himself was taught to shoot there (p159).
In February 2018 I visited the fields where the tents had been with the Landowner, Tom Mitchell. As we walked round he told me he recalled how many years earlier he had found large quantities of spent ballistics in the gorse. This would appear to have been the target practice area.
Other accounts refer to morse code being taught there as well as radio. Zbigniew also mentions on that same page being taught explosives although it is not clear if this was at the Auchtertool camp.
Of course, the main subject of this website, the 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade (1 Samodzielna Brygada Spadochronowa) were there as well, albeit this was before their training in the unit.
Photo alleges to be taken at Auchtertool Polish Camp. I'm not convinced, given the railway line nearby. It's possibly form another camp a few miles up the road towards Kirkcaldy.
Roll Call (And A Super Rare Photo!)
This is one of the very few photos that shows any sort of background of the camp in Auchtertool, Fife. I believe the buildings in the background (not including the Nissen hut) to be part of Auchtertool Distillery once inside the complex. This is based on a comparable picture of the working Distillery that a local provided to me.