Polish Army in Perth during WW2

Last night I went to Perth to this talk organised by the Friends of Bydgoszcz. Perth is twinned with Bydgoszcz and the organisation promotes social and cultural exchange between the two cities and generally celebrates Polish culture in Scotland.

There were around 4,000 Polish troops in the area between 1940-1942. Poles were based in Blairgowrie, Alyth, Coupar Angus, Abernethy, Bridge of Earn, Burrelton and probably a few other places. The records of where photos were taken are rather vague for security reasons at the time but I’m sure there are still many people out there that remember the Poles on training exercises or being billeted in the area.

According to letters and documents, they were extremely well behaved and welcomed but I think there is a hint of propaganda in the glowing reviews from the Chief Constable and other high ranking folks of Perth; there are certainly other stories of fights with knives and rifles in the pubs of Perth! And, of course, there was much charming and romancing of local lasses and, hopefully, many happy and long lasting marriages too.

The AK Bell Library has a small collection of books donated to them by the Poles which are freely accessible.

My job now is to head off to locate all the plaques and traces of the troops scattered around Perthshire. I think that means lots of beautiful scenery, picnics and wonderful photos! Do get in touch if you have any photos or stories you would like to share.

~ by marysia on 22 February 2012.

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