POLONICA IN SCOTLAND

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

WORLD WAR TWO

CHURCH OF SCOTLAND KINGSKETTLE, FIFE

MEMORIAL

The plaque was the work of Lance Corporal (st.strz.) Mieczysław Podgrabinski, a soldier in the 1st Workshop Company.  It was cast in bronze  by the Edinburgh firm of Charles Henshaw and Son Ltd.

TO THE GLORY OF GOD

&

THE FREEDOM OF ALL NATIONS

KINGSKETTLE

1942

POLISH FORCES

KOMP.WARSZTATOWA 1.S.BRYG.STRZ

(Workshop Company of the 1st Independent Rifle Brigade)

BRIEF OUTLINE OF THE 1ST WORKSHOP COMPANY TO 1942

POLISH GIFT TO KINGSKETTLE

The unit was formed  and renamed as the 1st Vehicle Park before it eventually changed its name to that of a Workshops Company.  It moved in October 1940 to Kingskettle and occupied the factory of what was D. Beveridge and Sons Ltd (linen manufacturers) at the Arthurfield Works in the village.

 

A 1st Corps order in July 1941 authorised the commencement of a 5-month vehicle mechanic’s course aimed at soldiers serving in light aid detachments (LADs), workshops and transport companies.  The commandant of the course was Captain Hipolit Ciągliński.  The director of teaching was Major Groniowski.

 

The I Course ran from 15th July 1941 to 14th December 1941.  Of the 61 pupils, 56 completed the course.

The II Course commenced on 6th October 1941 and ended on 6th March 1942.  Of 82 pupils 60 completed.  A British Army progress report commented that at Kingskettle there is a  - ‘Corps Fitters’ School, where the course, for 82 all ranks, lasts 5 months.  Thorough instruction is given in all forms of motor engineering and repair.‘

A III Course started on 12th December 1942.  On 18th November 1941 the first technical course was ran for officers.

In December 1941 the Polish President visited the unit in Kingskettle. By a 1st Corps order of March 1942 the 1st Vehicle Park merged into the composition of the 1st Wksps Coy.

In May and June 1942, a number of distinguished visitors visited the unit, including Lord Winterton, General Maczek, and General Sikorski.

 

The Workshop Company’s stay in Kingskettle ended on the 30th November 1942 when it moved to Dunfermline. Courses continued to be run.

At mid-day on the 23rd March 1943 in the Church of Scotland there was a ceremony unveiling the souvenir plaque presented by 1st Workshops Company to the local community.

 

The plaque was unveiled by Major Ciągliński and dedicated by the minister of the parish, the Reverend William Flint.

Afterwards the troops were entertained to lunch by the ladies of the Kingskettle canteen.

The plaque is of bronze and bears replicas of the Polish Eagle and Scottish Lion.

 

A replica of the memorial, in the form of a paperweight  was gifted to Rev. Flint.

Created 1 May 2013

PolonicaKingskettle.htm

© Copyright R M Ostrycharz 2013