POLISH FORCES IN SCOTLAND

during and after World War Two

 

SPECIAL TOPICS

LOCATIONS: POLISH ARMY IN SCOTLAND

Introduction

The four tables below indicate some of the locations in Scotland where units and formations of the Polish Army in Scotland were based between 1940 and 1945.

Four different dates are covered:-

Tables

February 1941

Table 1

I Polish Corps: unit/formation locations on 1st February 1941

During and after the War the Polish Army was quartered in different areas of Scotland. Initially it was based in camps located south-east of Glasgow. (see OB for August 1940) but in October 1940 moved to the east coast of Scotland, to Fife, Angus and Perthshire.

January 1942

Table 1a

I Polish Corps and other unit/formation locations on 15th January 1942

Polish troops were located in the same counties as in February 1941.

The Cadre Rifle Brigades had been converted into two officer training battalions whilst the 4th Cadre Rifle Bde was renamed 1st Para Bde. The 1st Tank Regiment expanded into the 16th Tank Bde, with three tank battalions and services. A Corps Machine-Gun Battalion was formed. The artillery of the 1st and 10th Brigades was expanded into an artillery regiment within each of the brigades.

With the order to form the 1st Polish Armd Div in February 1942, and the subsequent move of units which formed part of the Division in April 1942, Table 2 below shows the impact of these changes.

January 1943

Table 2

Polish Army in Scotland by the beginning of 1943 units/formations (battalion and above)

Major changes were made in the locations of the Polish Forces in Scotland in 1942 and by the beginning of 1943 their locations are shown in this table.

November 1944

Table 3

Polish formations and units (battalion and above) based in Scotland on 25th November 1944

With the 1st Polish Armoured Division fighting in Europe the Polish Army in Scotland still retained a number of units/formations based in Scotland.

April 1945

Table 4

Polish Army in Scotland as of 1st April 1945.

Polish formations and units (only battalion-sized or equivalent and above, incl Trg Centres) (listed in alphabetic order by location).

These tables may be regarded as 'snap-shots' of the geographical distribution of the Polish Army in Scotland. Between these dates troop transfers occurred and Polish Army units would be relocated. Not all locations are listed in the tables but the extent of the friendly "Polish Invasion" of the cities, towns and villages of Scotland is revealed.

Today, scattered throughout Scotland iin places where Polish Army units had been based are numbers of memorials, tableaux and plaques and other "souvenirs" left by Polish troops - very often as a 'thank you' for the hospitality and friendship they received from their Scottish hosts.

During the war many Scottish cities, towns and villages became very accustomed to seeing Polish soldiers with their distinctive POLAND shoulder flash. Several of the Polish Army units based in Scotland adopted unit badges which included a Scottish motif. Some Scottish towns and Scots presented standards to Polish units.

With the demobilising of the Polish Army through the Polish Resettlement Corps commencing in 1946 and the return of the 2nd Polish Corps from Italy, many other camps were set up, particularly in England, to house the returning troops.

Note

In the intervening period since the end of the war in Europe and by the summer of 1946, further major relocations took place of the Polish Army in Scotland. Many units of the 4th Infantry Division and the 16th Independent Tank Brigade were moved away from the central belt of Scotland to the north of Scotland, to the counties of Caithness, Nairn, Ross and Cromarty, Inverness, Banff, Moray and Aberdeenshire.

Table 1

February 1941

Location of units (organized by types) of the I Polish Army Corps in Scotland on 1st February 1941 (minor units and establishments excluded).

Principal counties where Polish troops were located at this time: Angus, Fife and Perthshire.

 

Unit/Formation

Location area

Corps

 

HQ I Polish Army Corps

near Bridge of Earn

Infantry

 

1st Rifle Bde

Cupar (Infantry Battalions based at Cupar, St Andrews and Tentsmuir)

3rd Cadre Rifle Bde (Btl)

Cowdenbeath

4th Cadre Rifle Bde (Btl)

Leven

5th Cadre Rifle Bde (Btl)

Broughty Ferry

7th Cadre Rifle Bde Detachment

Kirkcaldy

7th Cadre Rifle Bde (Btl)

Dunfermline

10th Armd Cav Bde

Forfar (Regiments based at Arbroath, Buddon Camp and Forfar)

Tank/A-Tk Units

 

1st Tank Rgt

Blairgowrie

two A-Tk companies

Dairsie or Osnaburgh and Arbroath

armoured train group

Perth

Recce Units

 

Corps Recce Group

Perth

two recce dtchmts

Ceres and Forfar

Artillery/A-A Art Units

 

medium artillery group

Dundee

two field artillery battalions

St Andrews and Glamis

three A-A artillery companies

Burrelton and Coupar Angus

Engineer Units

 

engineer battalion

Dundee

two engineer companies

Tayport and Carnoustie

Signals Units

 

three signals companies

Springfield, Fife; Forfar and Bridge of Earn

Training Centres

 

Central Trg Camp HQ

Alyth

Specialist Troops Centres

Blairgowrie, Dundee, Dunfermline, Alyth-Meigle, Alyth and Coupar-Angus

Officer's Camp

Rothesay

Clearing Office

Abernethy

three motor transport companies

Ladybank, Kirriemuir and Blairgowrie

Table 1A

January 1942

Location of units (organized under their higher formation) of the I Polish Army Corps in Scotland in January 1942 A number of training establishments existed, but these are not shown, as are minor units.

Principal counties where Polish troops were located at this time: Angus, Fife and Perthshire.

ADV GHQ

Perth, south west of

HQ I ARMY CORPS

Bridge of Earn

 

 

HQ 1ST RIFLE BDE

Cupar

1st Ind Bde Recce Gp

Ceres, Fife

1st Rifle Bn

Cupar

2nd Rifle Bn

Tentsmuir

3rd Rifle Bn

St Andrews

HQ 1st Fd Arty Regt

St Andrews, Batteries at St Andrews and Newport

1 Lt AA Bty

Kelty

1st A Tk Bty

Newburgh

1st Indep Bde Gp Sigs Coy

Springfield

1st Engr Coy

Tayport, Westmuir

1st Bde Ord Wksp

Kingskettle

1st Bde Train

Ladybank

1st Fd Amb

[to be added]

 

 

HQ 10TH ARMD CAV BDE

Forfar

10 Bde Recce Coy

Forfar

10th Mtd Rifles Regt

Arbroath

Bn of the 14th Lancers Regt

Brechin

24th Lancers Regt

Montrose

10 Fd Arty Regt

Arbroath, Troops at Marykirk; Inverarity, west of

HQ 16th Fd Arty Bty

Glamis

10 Lt AA Bty

Cowdenbeath

10th A Tk Bty

Friockheim

10th Indep Bde Gp Sigs Sqn

Forfar

10th Engr Coy

Carnoustie

10th Bde Train

Letham

10th Bde Ord Wksp

Forfar

10 Fd Amb

Forfar, near

 

 

HQ 16TH TANK BDE

Blairgowrie

65 Tk Bn

Blairgowrie

66 Tk Bn

Rattray

67 Tk Bn

Alyth

16 Indep Bde Gp Sigs

Alyth

16 Sply Coy

Alyth

 

 

HQ 1 PARA BDE

Leven

1 Para Bn

Largo

2 Para Bn

Elie

 

 

HQ TRAINING BDE

Broughty Ferry

1 Offrs Trg Bn

Dunfermline

2 Offrs Trg Bn

Dundee

 

 

Corps Units

 

1st Recce Bn

Perth

HQ 1st Med Arty Regt

Coupar Angus, other elements at Meigle; Kinrossie; Burrelton

1 Med AA Arty Bty

Cowdenbeath, elts in Dundee

HQ 1 MG Bn

Newport, Companies at Dairsie, Tentsmuir, Arboath and Ferryden

11 Corps Sigs Coy

Bridge of Earn

11 Corps Engr Coy

Buddon Camp

11 Corps Fd Pk Coy

Buddon Camp

11 Fd Amb

Kenmore

11 Wksp Coy

New Scone

1 MAC

Newburgh

 

 

HQ 4 Armd Tr Gp

Perth

Armd Train No 10 "J" "Warszawa"

Stirling

Armd Train No 11 "L" "Wilno"

Aberdeen

Armd Train No 12"K" "Krakow"

Longniddry

HQ 1st 2nd, 3rd Armd Train Gps

Various locations in England

 

 

Mil Hosp No 1

Kenmore

Mil Hosp No 2 "SEFA"

Perth, south of

Central Officers Depot

Rothesay

 

 

Table 2

January 1943

By the beginning of 1943 formations and units (approx.battalion and above) of the Polish Army in Scotland were located as follows (in alphabetic order of location). Principal counties where Polish troops were located:

Principal counties where Polish troops were located in January 1943:

Berwickshire, Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian, Perthshire, Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire, Stirling.

NOTE: Units of the 1st Polish Armoured Division are shown below in red.

Plotting on a map the territory of the Division shows a split into a northern and southern group.

MAJOR HEADQUARTERS are shown in BLOCK CAPITALS.

In the case of 1st Polish Armd Div there were a number of its smaller company/squadron sized units

located in Chirnside, Dalkeith, Galashiels, Gosford, Haddington, Melrose, Musselburgh, Newton, Ormiston and Sunlaws.

Unit/Formation

Location area

1st Mot Arty Regt

Aberlady

1st A/Tk Regt

Aberlady

HQ 1ST INDEP RIFLE BDE

Alloa

One infantry battalion and a recce unit

Bridge of Allan

elements of a medium artillery regiment

Clackmannan

1st Armd Car Regt

Dalkeith

One rifle battalion

Dunfermline

16th Motor Bn

Duns

1st Armd Regt

Duns area

2nd Armd Regt

Duns area

14th Armd Cavalry Regiment

Earlston and area

2nd Para Bn

Elie area 

4th Para Bn

Elie area

3rd Para Bn

Falkland

HQ 10TH ARMD CAV BDE

Galashiels

24th Lancers Regt (less a Sqn)

Galashiels

10th Dragoons Bn

Galashiels

1st Sqn of 14th Armd Cav Regt

Greenlaw

1st Lt AA Arty Regt

Gullane

10th Mounted Rifles

Haddington

HQ SUPPORT GP

Haddington

HQ 16TH TANK BDE

Kelso

3rd Armd Regt

Kelso

One medium artillery regiment

Kincardine

HQ TERRITORIAL UNITS

Kirkcaldy

1st Para Bn (-)

Largo

3rd Sqn of 24th Lancers Regt

Lauder

HQ 1ST PARA BDE

Leven

HQ 1ST ARMD DIV

Melrose

ADV FD HQ C-IN-C

Perth, south-west of

Two Military Hospitals

Perthshire

HQ I ARMOURED MOTORISED CORPS

Stenhousemuir, near

One field artillery regiment and one infantry battalion

Tillicoultry

1st Rifle Bn/Support Gp

West Garleton

Table 3

Late November 1944

Polish formations/units (only battalion and above) based in Scotland in late November 1944 (listed in alphabetic order by location). There were many other Polish Army establishments, training centres and small units located in Scotland. The 1st Polish Armoured Division was on the Continent at this time and the 1st Indep Para Bde in England.

Principal counties where Polish troops were located: Berwickshire, Selkirkshire, Perthshire, City of Edinburgh, Stirlingshire

Unit/Formation

Location area

training battalion

Crieff

motorised artillery regiment and one battalion of an armoured anti-tank regiment

Duns

16th Tank Bde, one Tank Rgt and 14th Armoured Cavalry Regiment)

Earlston

HQ Polish Forces in Gt Britain

Edinburgh

HQ I Polish Corps

Falkirk

9th Lancers Rgt

Galashiels

reserve battalion

Gilmerton, near Crieff

HQ Grenadier Bde and one grenadier battalion

Kelso

Armoured Grenadier Division and one battalion of an AA-artillery regiment

Melrose

grenadier battalion

Selkirk

Table 4

April 1945

Polish formations/units (only battalion sized or equivalent and above, incl Trg Centres) based in Scotland in April 1945

(listed in alphabetic order by location). Counties where Polish troops were located:

Aberdeenshire, Angus, Ayrshire, City of Edinburgh, City of Glasgow, Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Fife, Kincardineshire, Kinross-shire, Morayshire, Perthshire, Roxburghshire, Stirling, West Lothian

Formation/units

Location areas

Inf Btl

Alva 

Gren Btl 

Alyth

Sigs Btl 

Arbroath 

Inf Btl

Banchory, Kincardineshire

1st Grenadier Bde

Blairgowrie, Coupar Angus

8th Infantry Bde, 9th Lancers, and one Inf Btl

Bridge of Allan 

4th Infantry Div (and numerous divisional units)

Broughty Ferry

Inf Trg Centre HQ

Crieff

2nd Infantry Bde

Culter, Aberdeenshire

Ordnance Trg Centre

Dalkeith

Hvy MG Btl

Dunblane 

Rear Services Trg Centre 

Dunfermline

Lt Art Rgt (mot) and Fd Art Rgt

Duns vicinity

Mil Hosp

Dupplin Castle (5m SW Perth)

14th Lancers Armd Rgt

Earlston

HQ Pol Units in Gt Britain (JWWB) and numerous military administration offices and establishments; Mil Pol units 

Edinburgh

Para Bde Rsvr Depot

Elie, Fife 

HQ I Corps and a number of Corps units, Trg Centres, Sigs Btl

Falkirk

Gren Btl 

Fordoun, Kincardineshire

Gren Btl

Forfar

Inf Btl 

Forres

Lt Art Rgt, 9 Lancers Recce Rgt 

Galashiels

Art Trg Centre 

Haddington

A-Tk Art Rgt

Hawick

Inf Btl

Invergordon 

Inf Btl

Inverurie, Aberdeenshire

Engr Trg Centre 

Irvine

16th Armoured Bde, Armd Rgt and other brigade units

Kelso

Signals Trg Centre

Kinross

two training centres

Kirkcaldy

Parachute Bde Gp HQ Depot 

Leven, Fife

Medical Services Trg Centre

Monkton, Ayrshire

elt Lt AA Art Rgt

Newport, Fife

Reception and Transit Camp

Polkemmet, nr Whitburn

A-Tk Art Rgt 

Rosemarkie, Ross and Cromarty

Fd Art Rgt

Selkirk

Inf Btl

Stonehaven

Mil Hosp

Taymouth Castle, nr Kenmore 

Inf Btl and a Fd Art Rgt

Tillicoultry

Fd Art Rgt 

Walkerburn, Peebles-shire

 

last modified 23 Jan 2014

Locations.htm

Copyright R M Ostrycharz 2001