ITALY TO GLASGOW - by Józef (Ziutek) Raginia

 

Like hundreds of thousands of Poles Józef (Ziutek) Raginia had been arrested by the Soviets in 1940, interrogated and deported to Siberia.  Following Germany's attack on the Soviet Union he joined gen. Anders' 2 corps.  Ziutek kept a diary which is currently being translated and which will be published on this website in due course.  The following is a part of that diary, written on the back of a 1946 calendar, in which he describes his journey on board the "Cilicia", sailing from Naples to Glasgow.  The story, photo and medals were found after Ziutek's death on 27/3/2009 when your webmaster, who had known Ziutek personally for many years, helped Ziutek's family from Poland clear his house.  The diary is being published with the consent and encouragement of his family.

 

Józef (Ziutek) Raginia

 

 

 

21st July;-  we left Senigallia for Falconara which we left at 10:40 at night for Naples, arriving in Naples at 14:00 on the 22nd and stayed in a camp in Naples until the 25th , watching Vesuvius and swimming in the swimming pool.

25th;- at 12:20 we left the soil of Italy and boarded the English ship Cilicia.  At 16:30 that day the ship left the shores of Italy for England.  As we sailed away we watched the port and town of Naples and Vesuvius, famous for its effects.  We all felt a sense of sadness as we left the shores of Italy because during two and a half years we had grown accustomed to the beautiful and sunny Italy that we once knew only from songs and stories.  Most importantly we were parting from surroundings to which we had grown accustomed and where we experienced the most beautiful days of our wanderings, leaving behind a wealth of lovely memories – farewell beloved Italy.  As we left the shores of Italy we had the most beautiful Italian weather.

 
 

26th;- beautiful weather, the sea is calm, a pleasant journey.

27th ;- two hours of fog followed by fine weather, we watched many dolphins as they chased the ship.  As evening approached we could see the shores of Spain.

28th;- Holy Mass on board ship.

 

Ziutek with comrades awaiting departure from  Senigallia

 

 

28th;- today we sailed past the shores of Portugal and we could see land.  In the afternoon that is at 15:00 we entered an area of very rough sea and sea sickness swept the ship, but I emerged victorious.

29th;- the day was uneventful, the sea had calmed down somewhat.  When we left the shores of Italy, in beautiful weather on the 25th , we sailed past the island of Capri, once known from songs.

30th;- the sea is very rough, sea sickness.

31st;- the sea is calm.  From early morning we can see the shores of Ireland. At 11:00 we saw the shores of Great Britain.  From 17:00 we are sailing close to the Scottish shore, we can see very nice seaside villas making a “pleasant impression”.  During the night of 31st July to 1st August we enter the Scottish port of Glasgow where we are to disembark.

1st August;- at 10:35 my foot touched the soil of Scotland for the first time at the port of Glasgow, while going to customs clearance.  At 20:00 we left Glasgow by train to our new place of residence.

2nd;- at 09:00 we arrive at Keele Hall, our new place of residence.

 

 

2nd August;- having arrived from sunny Italy I was unpleasantly touched by the English weather, because here, during the nicest English month of August I found days of drizzle, cloud and mist and the sun is a rare visitor – dear Italy I pine for you.

3rd October;- I went to Liverpool, it’s a large port city, quite pretty and very busy.

3rd December 1946;- we gave up all our weapons.

31st December 1946;- learned from Józef Grygiel’s letter about the terrible death of aunt Malwina and Czesia Litwinionkówna.  I also received photographs of …… (difficult to read possibly ‘Benia’).

Year 1947

1st January;- received my first letter and Christmas card from Hela Putkiewiczówna in Poland.

2nd January;- sent my first letter to Koziełłów in Poland.

 

 
22nd March 1947;- I leave to go on holiday to Józio Grygiel in a place called Bury St. Edmunds.

25th March;- Józio and I go to London, sightseeing.

26th March;- Sightseeing in London.

27th March;- leave London and arrive back in Keele Hall.

29th May;- I go to work at a ceramic factory (pottery) in Stoke-on-Trent.

23rd July;- I have demobilised myself to the reserves.

 
Below are some of Ziuteks' Medals and Badges.
 

 

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