SPRINGHILL LODGES CAMP

Gloucestershire

 

Springhill Lodges camp build in the 1940s as part of the war effort,  is listed by English Heritage as Base Camp 185. The camp was used to house German POWs during WW2  and subsequently, in 1947, was turned into a Polish settlement administered by the National Assistance Board.

 

Arial view of Springhill camp from 1947

Thank you to Kazik Kapak for the image.

Map of the camp

 

The camp lay at the northern end of the Cotswolds hills close to the  western Cotswold escarpment at the cross roads of the A44  between Broadway and Moreton in Marsh and the  the B4081 some 2 miles west of Chipping Campden . Broadway tower which dominates the escarpment is just a mile away as the crow flies and Snowshill Manor a similar distance to the west

 

National Assistance Board at at the entrance to the camp

Photo on the right shows  some of the camp buildings which 

where mostly brick built barracks with just a few corrugated metal Nissen huts. 

 

The story of Springhill was no different to any of the other Displaced Persons camps that were scattered though out the UK. in the 40s and 50s.Life was hard, people  worn out by their ordeal, lived as best they could. Over the years building tight knit communities and preserving their culture and traditions. In the early years Springhill had a communal kitchen and dining hall, there was a small school that later moved to Northwick Park. The chapel and entertainments hall being the focal point of the camp.

 

From 1947/8 untill 1953/4 Springhill had a number of priests looking after the spiritual need of the community first there was Fr. Kopeć an excellent violinist. When he left  Fr Serafin Potoczny from Northwick Park camp took on a caretaking roll and in 1953/4 Fr. Józef Gołąb, who up until then was in  Stowell Park school were he tough religious knowledge and looked after the spiritual needs of the students, took up a permanent position at the camp This much loved priest diligently looked after the wellbeing of his flock  untill the camp finally closed in 1958. Fr. Gołąb moved to Redditch in Worcestershire were he looked after his Polish flock until his retirement in 1998.  Many of his parishioners had moved to Redditch from Springhill and Northwick camps and knew him well.  Fr. Gołąb died in 2000 and is buried in Redditch Cemetery.

 
Fr. Gołąb was born in Sieradz Poland. He spent the war imprisoned  in the notorious Dachau concentration camp in Germany. Released in  1946 he came to the UK with  the Polish 2nd. corps.
 
 

CHURCH TRADITIONS  and CELEBRATIONS

 

The Chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Ostrabrama

Bronek Duduk First communion

Unknown Jurek Biegus Unknown 1954

 

ALTER BOYS.1954/5

 

Fr. Gołąb outside the church with some of the altar boys;

 Zdzich Szewczyk, Staszek Hołaj, Kazik Żukowski,

Janek Szyszkiewicz, Czesław Patecki, Marian Zubek, Wacek Zawadzki, Tadek Strach, Janek Bołtryk, Bronek Duduk.

Janek Szyszkiewicz, Jurek Biegus, Jurek Bedryjowski    Kazik Żukowski  

 

CORPUS CHRISTI PROCESSIONS

 

Corpus Christi procession winding through the camp.

 

Flower girls at one of the outdoor altars

Corpus Christi 1954. Fr. J Gołąb some of the names, Basia Bedryjowska, Regina Fiedosiuk, Krysia Stawiarska, Bozena Wolbin, Jadzia Sawicka, Ula Szwabiak, Danusia Remizo, Danusia Aleksandrowicz, Krysia and Zosia Kania

 Fr. Gołąb and visiting priest;

Danusia Remizo, Bożena Wolbin, Janka Strach, Regina Fiedosiuk,

Teresa Małyszko-Sroka, Jadzia Sawicka, Krysia Stawiarska

 

Members of Sodalicja Mariańska  (Marian Sodality) outside the church. From left standing :- Józia Morek, Krysia Gieramowska, Aniela Bogacka, Stasia

Łyczko, Lodzia Nowakowska, Hania Pruszyńska, Priest, Sawicka, Danka Grula, Basia Staniaszek, Władzia Papuga, Lodzia Orlańska, Maria Rachwał,

Marysia Strach. 

Sitting are:- Janka Papuga, Halina Nikłowiecka, and Stasia Łyczko - 1952.

Corpus Christ  1950 At one of the altars. Ula Szwabiak, Jadzia Sawicka, Nena Grosicka,  Darak Żuryń, Antoś Starsiak, Andzej Obszynski., others not known.

 

FIRST COMMUNION

 
First Communion was celebrated each year by children who have  reached the age of eight or nine
 

Girls and boys that took their first communion in 1954

Fr.Jzef Gołab, Rysiek Gembarski ,Zdzich Szewczyk ,TadekStrach ,Wacek Zawadzki ,Bronek Duduk, Andrzej Obszyński ,Regina Fiedosiuk,

Basia Bedryjowska, Jadzia Łukasiewicz ,Teresa Małyszko-Sroka, Janka Strach ,Antek Starsiak ,Zosia Kania, Bystrzanowski

 

1955;- Darek Żuryń, Tadek Uzar, Hela Kłodawska, Stach Uzar, Danka Aleksandrowicz, Michał Serzeniewski, Fr. J. Gołąb, Zbigniew Kapak, Jadzia Sawicka, Rysiek Sozański, Danka Remizo, Bożena Wolbin, Jurek Uzarowski

Regina Fiedosiuk and Fr. Jzef Gołąb

 

EDUCATION

 

In 1949 a Polish school was opened in the camp with 16 children in attendance. By the the following year with the influx of many more families with children arriving  from Africa and India the little school grew in number to around 40, helped by children from Northwick Park Camp who were  taken first by taxi and later by bus to Springhill  In 1954 the roles were reversed, the school was transferred to Northwick Park Camp and the children from Springhill were bused by George Rouse busses.

 

1949 Children at play with the school building in the background

1949 One of the classrooms.

 

Children from both Springhill and Northwick Park1950 with parents, Fr. Potoczny and headmaster Mr. Waniewicz.

Children from both Springhill and Northwick Park1951 with Fr, Siemaszko headmaster Mr. Gilson and teaching staff.

Just some of the names:-Zosia & Krysia Kania, Basia Krasnodemska, Tadek & Janka Strach, Stach Bytnar, Inka Tunikowska, Janusz Remizo, Ula Szwabiak, Zosia Hartman, Marzena Brunicka, Kazik Kluk, Stach Rakowski, Tadek, Władek and StachUzar, Jurek Biegus, Kazik Żukowski, Krysia Starzyńska, 

Romek Górdak, Stach Bałdowski, Marysia Flondra, Janek Szyszkiewicz, Kazik Kapak, Dziunek Kiczma, Edmund Balawajder, Marian Zubek, Janek Bołtryk, Rysiek Sarul, Janusz Remizo,  Krysia Stawiarska, Boguś Poważa, Stachu Łapinski,  Władek and Antek Lichtar,  Kazia Liniewicz, Danka Borowska.

 

Winter 1952

Nursery school  children. 

 

General Anders Visit.

 

In the early 1950 many dignitaries, representing The Polish Government in exile, The Army and high ranking clergy  visited the camp. It was a  particularly cold day in 1953 when, dressed in their national costumes and welcoming bouquet of flowers in hand, people waited for the arrival of gen. Władysław Anders

 

Left;- 1953 Waiting for General Anders. Right;- Welcoming the  General.

 Some of the names on the photo. Mr. Szyszkiewicz, Danusia Remizo, Mrs. Grosicka, Jadzia Sawicka,Andzej Obszyński,Krysia Wierzynska, Me Ula with the flowers, Mrs.Szwabiak  Mr. Bedryjowski with daughter Basia. What a photo! enough facial expressions for everyone.

 

General Władysław Anders surrounded by Happy people from the camp.  Known names:-Mr. Pawlak, Romek Ażgin, Mr. Szydłowski, Bronia Sawicka, Basia Staniaszek, Stasia Morek, Jadwiga Biegus, Janka Sarnecka, Mr. Lewicki, Mr. Żelazny, Halina Staniaszek, Eugenia Grosicka, Halina Żelazna Mrs. Ażgin, Lodzia Nowakowska, Halina Nikłowiecka, Janka Papuga, Marysia Papuga, Lodzia Szczęsna and Władzia Papuga.

 

The general taking a stroll through the camp

General Anders with  Fr. Inf.  Bronisław Michalski  and Fr. Józef Gołąb

 
 
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