A Register of Polonica of the physical manifestations of the Polish presence in Scotland






Plaque commemorating the sojourn of the 1st Medium Artilllery Regiment in Coupar Angus


The metal plaque was placed on the outside wall, on the left of the front door, of the former town council headquarters in Union Street, Coupar Angus.













    Photo Copyright © R Ostrycharz 2013










Both Polish and local Scottish newspapers covered the unveiling of the plaque which took place on Sunday 13th September 1942 at the Victorial Hall. There was a large number of Polish soldiers and townspeople to witness Colonel Marian Korewo (C.O) of the Regiment unveiling the plaque.  The Provost of Coupar Angus – Provost John Davidson presided and thanked the Poles for their handsome gift.


In unveiling the plaque, Colonel Korewo spoke of the great hospitality and many kindnesses they had received during their stay in Coupar Angus.

In return, Colonel Korewo was presented by the Provost with a red-green silk pennant with the Coat of Arms of Coupar Angus embroidered on one side and on the other, the initials of the Regiment.


Afterwards the Council and Polish representatives were entertained to tea by Mrs Davidson.

[Above picture courtesy of Dziennik Żołnierza. 17 Oct 1942]


There is a splendid picture of the unveiling of the Polish plaque in the 16th September 1942 issue of the Perthshire Advertiser.

























Photograph Courtesy of Coupar Angus & District Heritage Association


Polish officers and the Provost admiring the new plaque which had just been unveiled.  The Polish officer on the Provost’s right shoulder is Colonel Korewo.

The soldiers of the 1st Medium Artillery Regiment were not the first Polish soldiers to be stationed in Coupar Angus during World War Two.  A number of different Polish Army units were located in the vicinity of the town.



In late October 1940, the Polish AA Artillery Training Centre and Regt HQ and one troop moved to this area.  Initially accommodation for the AA troops in Coupar Angus was not ready and repairs still had not started by 25 October.  The Commandant of the Central Training Camps requested the GOC Polish Troops to intervene  to speed up the repair of quarters.  Another AA troop was located at Burrelton.  An ordnance park was also located in Coupar Angus.



By 1st February 1941, the two AA Artillery Companies in Coupar Angus, the 10th and 11th had reached strengths of 8 Officers and 175 Other Ranks and 15 Officers and 108 Other Ranks respectively. The 1st AA Artilley Company was located at Burrelton with a strength of 8 Officers and 177 Other Ranks.  The strength of the AA Artillery Training Centre on that same date stood at 57 Officers and 24 Other Ranks.


In an article in the Dundee Courier of Friday 7th March 1941, Provost Davidson, on behalf of the town,  accepted from the Polish troops plaques of Polish Coats of Arms, along with a Polish knight representing a soldier from the Middle Ages.  The gifts to the town were in appreciation

of the hospitality and kindness shown to the soldiers during their stay in Coupar Angus.  *(see Notes at foot)


[Author: An outline history of the 1 AA Arty Regt notes that between the 21st October 1940 and 1st March 1941, Polish AA troops were based in Coupar Angus and Burrelton, before they moved to the east coast of Scotland.  It is quite possible that these items came from Polish AA (infantry) units on leaving the area].


Around March 1941, the 1st Medium Artillery Battery moved to Coupar Angus. The unit was subordinated to the Ist Polish Corps. (It was not till later that the unit was expanded into a regiment).  The unit was equipped with 4.5-in howitzers, later increased to 12. By the end of 1941 its strength amounted to 640 men.

A Polish Town Major Coupar Angus existed in Causewayend and a NCO Artillery School operated at Lintrose House.

The 2nd course of the Officer Cadet’s Artillery School completed at Lintrose House on 12th June 1941.  [See MEMORIES section below]


A new course, the 3rd course began at Lintrose on 27th June 1941 and finished on 15th December 1941.  Sixty cadets graduated. The 4th course commenced on 5th January 1942 and ended on 17th June 1942, with 59 graduates.  By the time of the start of the next course on 16th October 1942, (a preparatory course for the 5th course) the school had moved to Fife.


For a short period in the summer of 1941, HQ 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade and 10 Signals Company were located at Coupar Angus.  Towards the end of July 1941, the 10th Recce Company moved to Bandirran House, south of Coupar Angus and near Balbeggie, until mid October when it returned to Forfar.



Around the summer of 1942, the artillery regiment left Coupar Angus. (It was later reorganised in November 1943 as the 2nd Motorised Artillery Regiment of 1st Polish Armoured Division.  The town of Derby in England presented a standard to the Regiment.)

Up to 10th January 1943 there was an AA Art Training Centre in Coupar Angus in which from the beginning of 1942 there functioned an Officer Cadet Anti-Aircraft Artillery School.  Its first course completed on 14th June 1942.  By the end of 1942 an order was given to disband the Centre, with resources and the remaining strength transferred to Fife.



It was not until 1945 that Polish troops returned to Coupar Angus, this time in the shape of the 7th Workshop Company.


On 14th May 1945, a 17-year old Polish Grenadier of the 1st Grenadier Battalion (based in Alyth) drowned in the River Isla, probably near Couttie Bridge. His name was Edward Kolat and he was born in Złoczów, in the Province of Tarnopol, which today now lies in Ukraine.  He is buried in Perth Wellshill Cemetery.


An accommodation forecast prepared by Scottish Command in September 1945 notes the use of Truscotts Jam Factory by Polish troops and the requirement that it be derequisitioned after 1st January 1946.   As noted by Jim Thomson of Coupar Angus & District Heritage Association the jam factory today is now a chicken processing plant employing many Polish nationals.



In January 1946, the workshop company left for Broughty Ferry.

A company of the Infantry Training Centre could be traced at Balbeggie from May 1946. [Note: it Is possible that the unit was located at Bandirran.]  This unit was a holding unit for officers and was previously based at Dunblane.




Before the existence of the Coupar Angus Sub Branch of the Scottish-Polish Society, Scots and Poles were already socialising. 

In late January 1941, a Polish-Scottish variety concert was held in aid of ...  To complete

[Source Dundee Courier 27th January 1941]


The Dundee Courier also ran an item on the town’s aid for war charities.  The 22nd February 1941 edition of the paper wrote of a dance in aid of Polish war charities held at the Victoria Hall.  An organising committee of ten Scotswomen made the necessary arrangements.   A band from Perth supplied the music.  Two Polish lieutenants contributed to the decorations in the hall.  The article reports that many donations were received from farmers and friends as well as a large donation from Major Angarman (sic).  [Note: this officer may have been Kazimierz Angerman, who later commanded the 8th AA-Arty Regiment in Italy]


At the end of March 1941, E.N.S.A. presented a Polish concert party in a programme of Polish music, songs, dances, and poetry in the Victoria Hall ... ”  To complete

[Source Dundee Courier 31 March 1941]


A number of branches of the Scottish-Polish Society existed in the towns and villages of Perthshire.

Coupar Angus had its own branch of the Scottish-Polish Society.  The Society aimed to foster good relations between the Scots and the Poles.  Numerous social and cultural functions were organised by the district branch during its existence.  Below is a flavour of some of the events organised by the Coupar Angus Branch.



In October 1942, the Branch invited a Scottish soldier, formerly of the Black Watch, who was formerly resident in Poland before the war to speak about Poland and the Poles at the Town Hall.

The soldier had been part of a Mission to Poland after the 1914-1918 war.

That same year a Hallowe’en party, complete with witch, chappit potatoes, guisers with turnip lanterns and ghost stories was held with Polish soldiers present as guests.  The evening’s events showed the interested guests something of this old Scottish custom.



In April 1943, at one of the Branch’s monthly meetings at the Victoria Hall a talk was given by Lt Kazimierz Michalski about the Polish character. This was followed by a Polish tenor singing a selection of Polish, Scottish and Spanish songs.  Miss Nan Scott, an elecutionist, presented an item.  A collection was taken in aid of the Polish Red Cross fund.

In June 1943, under the auspices of the Minister of War, the branch held a meeting at which a Polish airmen described his escape from the Nazis. Afterwards songs were sung by a Polish tenor.

In October 1943, a Scottish-Polish concert was held in the Victoria Hall in aid of the Relief Fund for Polish Children.


A report by the Honorary General Secretary of the Scottish-Polish Society of the 24th July 1943, notes that 7 sub-branches of the Scottish-Polish Society fell within Perthshire Branch.  The Honorary General Secretary of the Coupar-Angus Sub-Branch was Mr Alex. S. MacKay whose address was given as Athole St in Coupar-Angus.

Though figures were incomplete, Perthshire Branch in total had over 1,000 members.  This represented the second highest figure in Scotland for all the main branches (including sub-branches) of the Society.



In March 1945 a Scottish-Polish concerts was held at the Victoria Hall, with proceeds going to the General Sikorski Memorial Fund.  Following the Coupar Angus district branch’s AGM (Chairman – Provost Davidson) the previous month, an address was given by a Polish Army lieutenant about the “1st Polish Armoured Division in Action.”


On 12th December 1945 a dance party was organised by the Scottish-Polish Society.  The Polish 4th Infantry Division orchestra provided the music and monies raised went to aid Poles in Germany.





Around Christmas 1941, the 1st Medium Artillery Regiment organised a social evening for the local Scottish community. Soldiers of all ranks had the opportunity to invite their Scottish friends to the Town Hall.

The decorated stage and hall gave the Scottish guests an idea of ​​Polish traditions associated with Christmas. An artistically completed "Szopka'' (Nativity scene), as well as a tree dressed in the Polish tradition, met with the universal admiration of the Scots.  The event began with the choir singing a few carols. Then a lieutenant explained the content of the "Szopka" and in a few words sketched all the Polish customs and traditions during Christmas.  Then the commander of the regiment made a speech in English.  After the speech, there was a distribution of gifts. The Provost and head of the F.A.N.Y organization, Lady Napier [see Notes below] received from the regiment a beautiful commemorative gift.  The singing of a couple of carols ended the official part of the evening.  The assembled guests were treated to a free buffet and afterwards there was dancing with music supplied by a jazz band from one of the units of the regiment.  The non-alcoholic, yet cheerful and extremely friendly atmosphere of the evening left Scottish friends with fond memories of the soldiers, tightening the knots of friendship.  This had been tarnished recently by the criminal antics of some individuals who were unworthy of wearing the Polish uniform.  The article noted the exemplary behaviour of the soldiers.

[Source Dziennik Żołnierza 3 January 1942]



Lady Isabelle Napier along with other members of the Free F.A.N.Y.s (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry) undertook outstanding work with the Polish Forces. Their situation was unique, a Women’s Service, working with and for an Army of a foreign power. Lady Napier opened her first canteen and recreation centre in one of the Polish camps in Lanarkshire.  Their numbers grew to 22 canteens in different parts of Scotland.  After the war, General Anders in June 1963, decorated Lady Napier with the Polish Gold Cross of Merit for her services to Poland.



Marta Nordstrom-Bagot writing about her father, 2/Lt of the Artillery Wladyslaw Niedochodowicz, in the BBC’s WW2 People’s War, mentions his attendance at Lintrose House.






Provost Davidson and Colonel Korewo on the saluting platform await the parade down Union Street.

In the background Victoria Hall. Polish soldiers line the pavement. (no date known)


Photo from the collection of G Lapers


Colonel dypl. Marian Korewo, Commander of the 1st Medium Artillery Regiment (1 p.a.c) photographed on a saluting base in front of what was a branch of the National Bank of Scotland and latterly was the Royal Bank of Scotland in Union Street. (no date known)






* Information kindly supplied by the Coupar Angus & District Heritage Association

1 paplot 1 Dyw Panc – Zarys Historii 1939-1984, London, 1984. Ed. H.Kątny and others


I am grateful to Jim Thomson of the Coupar Angus & District Heritage Association for his assistance


Created/Edited 26 June 2013


© Copyright R M Ostrycharz 2013