other stories
June 1941

Brief resume of my Father and Grandfather's Fates

KAREN GLADYSZ-GRYFF relating to STANISLAW AND MIECZYSLAW G-G

My Father Mieczyslaw Kazimierz Stanislaw Gladysz-Gryff was born in 1911 in Czestochowa. He had graduated as a teacher and then attended Officer Training School (Cavalry) in Grudziadz – passing out as a Second Lieutenant. Pre-war as a reservist, my Father was in the 4 Pulk Ulanow Zaniemenskich, 13 Pulk Ulanow Wilenskich and 17 Pulk Ulanow Wielkopolskich. In October 1939, my Father and his Father Stanislaw Gladysz were arrested by the NKVD in Wilno. My Grandfather was Head of Finance for the Polish National Railways (PKP). My Father also worked for PKP. Both my Father and Grandfather were imprisoned for some considerable time. On 25th June 1941, my Grandfather died on a forced evacuation march from Stara Wilejka prison (now in Belarus). The Germans were approaching from the West and the Soviets wanted to move the prisoners further east. Unfortunately, the local railway station had been bombed, so the prisoners had to walk a great deal further to the next railway station. Sadly it would seem that my Grandfather could not keep up as the pace was set by the younger healthier men. My Father was sentenced as a political prisoner by the NKWD and imprisoned in various prisons (Bialystok , Wilejka-Powiatowa, Molodeczno) between 18th October 1939 and February 1941. He was taken to a forced correctional labour camp near Arkhangelsk from February 1941 – September 1941. On the basis of the Sikorski-Maisky agreement of 30th July 1941, my Father was released for the purpose of joining the Polish Armed Forces. Having reported to Buzuluk, he was posted to the Cavalry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division. Together with the Polish Army units, he crossed the Soviet-Iranian border , was evacuated to Iran , thereby coming under British command with effect from 1st April 1942. He travelled via Iraq and was transferred to Palestine. On 1st July 1943, my Father was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and in April 1946 he was nominated for promotion to Rotmistrz (Captain in the Cavalry).

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