Polish Graffiti

Today I went on a very exciting trip into Tentsmuir Forest following up a lead about some graffiti on a stone bridge near Kinshaldy Stables. What a find! Thank you very much local photographer David for the tip and for accompanying me with your scraper and wire brush. Yes the bridge was completely covered in moss but that didn’t stop us.

 

 

 

We found lots of  initials, Polish towns and dates during 1940 and 1941 …

 

 

… and this great head which I think has ‘Zakopane’ written next to it (couldn’t see the whole word) but I think must be a reference to the first Polish troops to arrive in the area which was a small Podhalan battalion: Podhale being a region in the south of Poland.

And then the owner of the stables showed us a tree which had initials and a 1940 date. The soldier who marked the tree actually came to see if it was still there a few years back and was impressed to see his mark remained!

The bridge is not far from the site of the Polish Camp and this whole area was used by the Poles. The crumbling buildings that remain in the camp were the shower blocks and kitchens but the fields around were filled with tents and nissan-type huts where the soldiers slept. These fields have since been taken over by the Forestry Commission and are covered with trees so it’s hard to find any evidence of the Poles … but I bet there’s a few more old trees that bear the marks of the Polish soldiers.

And not far from the bridge and the camp is this building that housed the water pump; apparently it has been bricked up for years so who knows what it hides inside.

But what about the monkey? Yes, the monkey. I understand the soldiers had a monkey with them in the camp that used to sit in a tree and throw things at them as they walked passed.  I’d love to know more about that.  Anyone got any information?

 

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~ by marysia on 27 August 2011.

One Response to “Polish Graffiti”

  1. Really interesting stuff, Marysia. Must make a visit one day. Hope your work for the festival is coming along.

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