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The Polish Heritage Society UK


The Polish Heritage Society

The 51st Annual Ceremony of Homage to Polish Airmen who Fell in the Second World War


PAF Commemorative Programme CoverFor the first time, the Polish Heritage Society took part in this long-standing ceremony and was honoured to lay its wreath in homage. The 51st Annual Ceremony of Homage to Polish Airmen who Fell in the Second World War took place at the Northolt Memorial standing on the outskirts of the west London aerodrome, home base to the Polish Wing and so closely connected with the Polish Squadron 303, the best performing squadron in the Battle of Britain.

The weather lived up to its traditional perfection on this day. At exactly noon a Hurricane of the Memorial Flight started the first of three passes directly overhead. The ceremony has been changed this year. For the first time ever a delegation of cadets of Polish Air Force Academy at Deblin attended. Their traditional "Apel Poleglych" invoking the presence at roll-call of those departed was very moving.

Wreaths were laid on behalf of the two nations by the Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Hillingdon and by HE the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland and on behalf of the Lords Mayor of the Councils of Hillingdon, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham.  These were followed by those laid on behalf of the Royal and Polish Air Forces, Polish ex-combatants' organisations, the Polish Social & Cultural Centre (POSK) and the Polish Scouting Association.

Polish 315 Squadron emblemNo. 315 Polish Squadron emblemAfter the Annual Lunch at The Polish Social & Cultural Centre  there was a screening of "Tailwind", a documentary made for the Irish Film Board and BBC Northern Ireland about the little-known role of the Province in providing a wartime base for so much of the war effort.  In his introduction the producer-director, John Davis, dwelled in particular on the archival footage from the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum which provided so much valuable material for the section devoted to No. 315 (City of Dęblin) Polish Fighter Squadron (315 Dywizjon Myśliwski "Dębliński") which was based for period in 1943 at Ballyhalbert, Co Antrim in Northern Ireland - our first PHS connection with the north of the Emerald Isle.



PHS_logo_subheadPolish Air Force Memorial, Northolt