MARKET HARBOROUGH POLISH CAMP

 also known as LUBENHAM

 
 

Just off the main road between Market Harborough, Leicester Road and Lubenham village was a WW2 airfield build around 1941-2  known as RAF 14 OTU 9 (Operational Training Unit 9). In 1948 the now disused RAF quarters of the airfield were taken over by the National Assistance Board and later by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government for housing displaced Polish families, some of which were were still living there in 1958.

 

The buildings were typical of 1940's military corrugated metal Nissen huts and concrete and asbestos barracks, heated only by coke burning potbellied cast iron stoves. One of the barracks was converted into a church and a priest served the spiritual needs of the people. One of the larger barracks served as an entertainment hall where shows, national celebrations and dances  were held. Life in the camp did not differ in any significant way from life in other Polish camps scattered through the UK after WW2.

 
 
Leszek  Bychowiec lived in Market Harborough ( Lubenham ) camp from 1948 for about ten years, with his parents Janina and Andrzej  and his two sisters Izabella and Basia. The  following photographs sent in by Leszek depict a small aspect of life in the camp..
 

Children and Teachers - Polish school and Nursery pre 1953

 Just some of the names:- Mrs. Biernacka, Czesiek Mańko, Danuta Dutczak, Piotr Kaniewski and  Leszek Bychowiec, Krystyna Bialek.early 1950s

Mr. Kaniewski (headteacher), Mrs. Biernacka, Danuta Dutczak, Leszek Bychowiec, Piotr Kaniewski, Alpejka Kaniewska,Krystyna Bialek..

 

First Holy Communion

Fr. Franciszek Dziduszko with children and Parents

 

Inside the church: second from the right:- Iza Bychowiec, in the background is Mrs. Bychowiec holding baby Basia in her arms, the lady in a beret is Mrs.Gorna- 1958

Fr. Alojzy Finc, Iza Bychowiec is on the right, can you name any one else? - 1958

 

Corpus Christy Processions from various years.

Mrs. Janina  Bychowiec, Mrs. Mańko carrying the banner

Fr. Rataj officiating at one of the Corpus Christy altars.

 

The tall girl in the middle is Urszula Pieczara, Leszek Bychowiec is in the dark suit.

The procession winding its way around the camp buildings.

 

A visitation by Prelate Bronisław Michalski, in the middle with Fr. Rataj and some of the parishioners are; Mr. Kaniewski, Mr. Andrzej Bychowiec, Mr. Sikora the church organist, Mr. Piechota and Mr. Ślizowski.

Ladies from the camp with Fr. Rataj in front of the camp church.

 

Polish dignitaries like General Władyslaw Anders and  Prelate Bronisław  Michalski paid a visit to the camp in the early 1950s to give the people moral and spiritual support which in those hard times for the Polish people was very welcome.

 

General Władyslaw Anders visiting the camp about 1953

Mr. Smolicz, Mr.Utzig, Mr. Masalski, Mr. Andrzej  Bychowiec welcoming the general.

General Anders in the middle with Mr. Masalski, Mr.Andrzej Bychowiec, Mr. Utzig, Mr. Ciepielewski, Fr. Edward Frąckowiak, Mr. Jurek Kowalski, Franek Pluta, Waldek Gorka, Ryszard Godlewski and  Mr. Rutkowski.

 

Children with General Anders:- Wanda Utzig, Piotr Kaniewski, Alpejka Kaniewska, Franek Masalik, Marian Utzig, Urszula Pieczara, Czesiek and Alina Manko, Waldek Gorka, Czesiek Suchocki and Mr. Piechota.

 

A bit of fun with an egg and spoon race.

Family and friends.

Left:- Jerzy Mordak, Leszek's Uncle, two Wierzbicki brothers and Andrzej Byczyński.

From left;- Mr. Wietrzyk, Mr. and  Mrs. Sikora, unknown, Mr. Mańko with his children Czesiek and Alina, Man at the end unknown.

 

One of the many plays put on by the local amateur dramatics group.

 
If you lived in the camp and have photos and information please contact zosia
 
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  Page 2  Photos sent in by Tadeusz Sebastiański  >
   
 

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