When Soldier Military Records Lack In Info
Sometimes a soldiers military record has info gaps in it or unintelligible writing. Luckily this is not the only place that useful information about him may be.
If you are committed to the cause of fully understanding your relatives history then some further digging is in order. It is further complicated by the fact that the information is held in Polish handwriting, with its own reading and translation issues. However, it is well worth the effort.
Let me introduce you to "Daily Orders"...
What Were Daily Orders?
Every military unit kept an official book called a "Daily Orders" book. Upon receiving orders from the military command post, a high-up appointed official within each military unit would fill the "Daily Orders" book in.
The book could contain mundane detail, such as which soldiers were under restrictions for drinking alcohol whilst on duty to details of soldiers being transferred into and out of the military units and military unit movements.
This is why "Daily Order" books can be such a goldmine!
How To Access Daily Orders
As far as I am aware, very few "Daily Order" books survived for the entire Polish Army. Luckily, one book for the 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade (1 Samodzielna Brygada Spadochronowa) did survive. It's fairly basic but for the chance to even access one such book we have to be thankful.
All "Daily Order" books are held at PISM (Polish Institute & Sikorski Museum) in London.
How Can Daily Orders Be Used In My Ancestry Research?
Because the "Daily Order" books contain individual soldier names & movements, they can be used to:
- Cross check important details back to a soldiers own military record
- Fill in the blanks missing from a soldiers military record
Typically, on a soldiers military record there will be a date, some detail and then at the very end a reference i.e "K.U.Nr1 43/100".
In this example, "K.U.Nr1" is the name of the unit which here is "Komenda Uzupelnien Number 1". As to "Komenda Uzupelnien" this is a military draft office that instructed and authorised troop movements. "43/100" is order number 43 of 100.
If we now go to the "Daily Orders" book belonging to the military unit and lookup order 43/100 (which should hopefully be dated the same date as the soldiers military records) we will then be able to cross confirm the detail on the soldiers military record.
Bear in mind though there can be some "date slippage" where a soldiers records can be dated slightly out of sync with the dates recorded in the "Daily Orders" book. One must presume that sometimes due to troop movements or other matters, it was a few days later that the soldiers records were updated.
Komenda Uzupelnien Nr1 - K.U. Nr 1
You will see the abbreviation "K.U Nr 1" or K.U followed by some other detail in almost all soldiers military records pertaining to the 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade (1 Samodzielna Brygada Spadochronowa).
K.U stands for "Komenda Uzupelnien" which is a "military drafting office", "military replenishment council" or "army recruiting command" depending which description you come across. These were units located all over the place (and these units moved around whilst in the field) so thus we have; K.U Nr 1, K.U Nr 2 etc.
It would appear that the Komenda Uzupelnien offices were setup and covered regions/districts. K.U Nr 1 was located at The Rockingham Hotel in Kinghorn, Fife, Scotland and "rubber stamped" assignments/movements at Auchtertool distribution camp in Fife as well as Largo House, Lower Largo, Fife and likely other military units as well.
Location Of K.U Nr 1 Military Recruiting & Drafting c1942
The Rockingham Hotel, Kinghorn, Fife
Interestingly, The Rockingham Hotel in Kinghorn, Fife is also listed as being the site of a "Polish Resettlement Camp". We find this a little confusing because to have military command stationed at the same place as civilians (and soldiers) are living in a makeshift temporary camp does not seem to fit.
The only conclusion we can come to is the Komenda Uzupelnien moved out with the resettlement camp reusing the same site circa 1945 onwards.
Trying to pin down any real detail about Komenda Uzupelnien units is very hard, if not impossible but one thing is clear, they were very central to authorising the movement of soldiers into and out of the 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade (1 Samodzielna Brygada Spadochronowa).