Finding Information On Polish Military Ancestors

When exiled Polish soldiers came over from the USSR to the UK, the Polish Army operated as an extension of British forces. The poles kept their own military records, but at some point, these records were handed over to the UK MOD.

There is an extremely good chance that your Polish Relatives records are here in the UK. We will show you how to get these records and then how to get records from Poland as well.

The records in Poland are harder to get and not always there, but it is worth trying, we show you how below.

Some extremely useful facebook groups are included as well, most of them I am a member on so I hope to see you there!

Getting Your Polish Relatives Military Records From The UK MOD

Details To Include In Your Application

When you write to request your relative's military records please include:

  • The name of your relative (including all variants)
  • Their date of birth
  • Military unit (if known)
  • Proof of kinship i.e all birth certificates leading back the way to the one that named your relative.
  • Death certificate of your relative

Address

Margaret Goddard / Barbara Kroll

APC Polish Enquiries, Building 60, RAF Northolt

West End Road, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 6NG

Email: margaret.goddard135@mod.uk

Tel: 0208 833 8603 (If abroad use 0044 208 833 8603)

How Long Till You Get The Military Records?

It will take up to 3 months for you to get the records. It's a long wait...but remember, patience is a virtue!

What Records Will You Receive From APC Disclosures (MOD)?

The wait for your relatives records can be a very tense and exciting time, wondering what you will receive. Here I will tell you what will be received so that you can be prepared.

Zeszyt Ewidencyjny

A "Zeszyt Ewidencyjna" is a small booklet or notebook containing the military history, units served in, battles fought in, military medals etc. The booklet I had for my own grandfather was very basic and contained some information that was also on the Karta Ewidencyjna

Karta Ewidencyjny

A "Karta Ewidencyjna" is sheets of paper that contain much more information that the Zeszyt Ewidencjtny. Be warned, you need a polish war historian to help you decipher much of this as it contains military abbreviations etc that mean very little to the common man.

Military Card

You will also receive a military card with some very basic info about the polish soldier. A formal photograph is normally attached to the front of this. I was so delighted when I got my grandfathers, to see how he looked all the years ago..You will enjoy getting your Polish relatives as well.

Central Military Records (Warsaw)

It might be possible that records from your Polish relatives time in the Polish forces within Poland are on file. Here is the detail you require:

Address

Central Military Archives
ul. Pontonierow 2A
00-910 Warsaw 72
Poland

tel. +48 261-814-637
fax + 48 261-813-749
e-mail caw@wp.mil.pl
www.caw.wp.mil.pl

Information To Provide

Remember to include:

  • The name of your relative (including all variants)
  • Their date of birth
  • Military unit (if known)
  • Proof of kinship i.e all birth certificates leading back the way to the one that named your relative.

Facebook Groups For Polish Military Ancestry Research

Kresy-Siberia

A group of 1600 focused on the deportations of kresy poles in 1940 to Siberia and Kazakhstan. Fantastic support from all and a very knowledgeable team. Quite a lot of Polish Soldiers in the UK history is discussed as well. 

Facebook Link

Polish Genealogy

Currently 15K members with a depth of knowledge that includes military history.

Lots of members swapping notes here and all members seem willing to help.

Facebook Link

Descendants of 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade

A group of 42 (and growing). Being one such descendant myself I just had to join!

I hope to be a major contributor to this group so stick around and hopefully, some good content will be posted up by me soon.

Facebook Link

Polish Forces In North East Fife

Another good resource covering North East Fife where mainly the 4th Cadre Rifle Brigade and the 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade were based.

Link To Facebook Page

Kresy Family

Another useful facebook group focusing on Kresy and the deportations etc

Facebook Link

Kresy Siberia Polish Descendants

If you are a descendant of the Polish Kresy deportees this could be a group well worth joining

Facebook Link

Index Of The Repressed - Memorial Website (USSR)
Locate Your Relatives Deportation Warrant & Pardon

Russia's deportation and repression of Polish people goes further back than 1939. Cutting an extremely long story short, an official agency was appointed to address the matter of the poles who were wrongly convicted and deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan. As a result of this, the original charges that they were arrested and deported on have now been published on the website of Memorial (You can read their front page here: https://www.memo.ru/en-us/). Following the collapse of communism in 1989, the former deportees were "pardoned" (another long story!), except the term "rehabilitation" was used.

If your relatives were deported to Siberia or Kazakhstan then you will be able to locate a copy of the charge and also the pardon. Unfortunately, all the text is in Cyrillic (a Belarussian language as that is where the matter orginates).

Follow the steps below and you will be able to see the information on your relatives.

Step 1
Convert Name To Cyrillic

  • To convert the Polish surname to Cyrillic we have to go Latin to Cyrillic
  • To get your relatives name converted Latin to Cyrillic: Click here
  • Type their name into the RIGHT box in English. In the left box will be the Cyrillic
  • Keep this window open whilst we now go to the Memorial website

Step 2
Going Cyrillic

  • Take your time on this bit, you may not get it right first time...
  • Go to: Memorial website
  • At the top will be the Cyrillic letters of the alphabet. From the conversion in step 1, locate the first letter and press it on the Memorial website.
  • This will open up a subset directly below containing the first 3 letters of the name in Cyrillic. Find yours and press.

Step 3
Getting To Surnames

  • Now `we need to browse the Cyrillic website, deep breaths...
  • This will open up data in the left hand pane, select the Cyrillic version of the name, normally first 3 letters (i.e compare the conversion above to the side pane)
  • Then you can do a CTRL-F in the main page that now displays (and paste the Cyrillic name there) to narrow down the name.

Step 3
Locating Your Family Name

Some listings will come up, you will need to compare the cyrillic names to locate your relative.

If you have a vast amount of names you may have to go back to the beginning of these instructions and convert the entire name to Cyrillic so that you can do a better CTRL-F search at this stage.

Step 2
Translating From Cyrillic To English

Hopefully you will have located the Cyrillic text now with your relatives details.

You now need to copy this.

Then paste the cyrillic data here http://translit.cc/ and click LATIN to convert it (because Polish uses the Latin alphabet).

Step 3
Insights

Rehabilitation - So, you were expecting to see that your relative was "pardoned"? Not so. Russia uses the expression "rehabilitation" meaning that the prisoner has repented of their former ways, given them up and conformed. A slap in the face? Looks like it. But this is as close to a "pardon" as you will get.

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