EAST MOOR page 2


A short history of the Skotny Family - information contributed by Beata Hanks.

Grandfather was granted 16 hectares of land round about 1923/24. This land was just south of the small town of Cuman a few kilometres north west of Rowne, the Osada was called Jagiellonów (Dubiszcze) - the correct address was Osada Jagiellonow, Luck, Wolyn. They lived there until 1938 but moved to Osada Stepanówka, Zdolbunów because the land wasn't good (my uncle Kasik said it was too sandy).

My grandparents were Michał and Rozalia Skotny, they originaly came from Czyżki, a village on the outskirts of Lwów which, before WW2, was part of Poland. They had 10 children, Stasia, Andrzej, Mietek,  my mother Ludka, Tadzik, Marysia, Kazik, Franek, Marian and Joasia.  Andrzej  was killed fighting in the Polish Resistance, we never found out were he was buried.  Luckily the rest of the family survived the ordeal of war, deportations and exile.

The  journey to England was traumatic and harrowing it started on the 10th of February 1940 when the NKVD ( Soviet security service, precursor to the better known KGB) carried out mass deportations of the Polish civilian population to the depths of Siberia. On that day over 100,000 people were displaced. People including my grandparents were given 1hr. to gather up their belongings, whatever they could carry, and were taken to railway stations where they were crammed into cattle trucks just like animals. Men, women, children, young and old, had to endure extreme cold, hunger and fatigue while being transported into exile in various parts of  Siberia, many did not survive the journey.


After a three week journey our family arrived at  Szyczenga, Wołogodskaja Oblast. On March 3rd that year my grandmother gave birth to her last child Jadzia.  I cannot imagine how it must been for her when you consider the comforts we now have when we have our children.  They lived in primitive accommodation and all had to work in the forest just to earn enough to survive.  The men were chopping down trees and the women and children hacking away the branches. This went on for nearly 19 months.


With the German attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, came a short window of hope. General Władysław Anders organised a Polish Army in Russia and all able bodied men and women, and in many cases families, that were able to reach recruitment centres signed up and left Russia through Iran to join our British allies in the middle East.  My Grandfather, my mother Ludka and uncles Mietek, Tadzik and Kazik  also joined the Anders army ready to fight for their freedom.


 Seated are my grandparents Michał and Rozalia Skotna nee Lecyk with their children.

Marian the youngest son standing by my grandfather, behind him is Marian, , Marysia

Mietek. Ludka my mother,and Stasia. The two girls are Jadzia and Teresa.

Franek Skotny, Marysia Baran nee Skotna, Mietek Skotny, my mother Ludka Nikiel nee Skotna,  my grandmother Rozalia  Skotna nee Lecyk,  Stasia Bogacz nee Skotna, children Jadzia born in a labour camp Szyczenga and Teresa, Stasia's daughter, born in Africa.


My mother and two of her brothers joined Gen. Anders' army as cadets (Junacy) and were sent to Palestine. Mum eventually was promoted to Sergeant in the WAAF and stationed at RAF Newton in Nottinghamshire.  Her brother Mietek fought at Monte Cassino and, until his death in 2007, carried a bullet near his spine as a memento.

With the Polish army came thousands of civilians, women, children and the elderly, all making a bid for freedom. They were dispersed into Displaced Persons camps throughout Africa and India. My grandmother with the younger children Marysia, Franek, Marian and Józia were sent to Africa and spent the rest of the war in a refugee camp called Tengeru in Tanganyika (now Tanzania).

Rozalia Skotna with her daughter Stasia Bogacz and Stasia's son Zbyszek. In the background is their Nissen hut.

Stasia Skotna and her brother Kazik Skotny

Marysia Skotna.  Standing in the nissan hut door is Stasia Bogacz nee Skotna and my "Babcia" grandmother Rozalia Skotna.

My grandparents and the younger children sailed to England from Mombasa on the Empire Ken arriving in Southampton on 4th December 1948. They were housed in a Nissen hut at East Moor camp in Yorkshire, on the photos you can see the huts the family lived in, and eventually settled in Leeds.

Andrzej Skotny in East Moor Camp.

Stasia Skotna nee Stanisławska with her first baby Andrzej and nephew Zbyszek Bogacz.

Every six weeks or so, my parents would take my sister and I to Leeds to visit the family and, oh boy, was it rowdy. The food was non stop, the songs were non stop the joy at being together was only tempered by the underlying sadness of the lost years. My one regret is that I did not listen closely when they talked about the deportation to Russia.

Plan of East Moor Polish Camp

Some of the East Moor Polish Site Residents

Please Note:  This is an approximation of the layout drawn from memory

Below are residents my uncle Kazik remembers living on the various sites.

Site 3
Site 4
Site 5
Site 6
Site 7
Site 8

Mr Kurtjanek lived and worked on Sick Bay

Thank you to Beata Hanks for the information and photos.

Article and Photo from The Yorkshire Herald dated Friday July 7th 1950


Polish girls from the East Moor Camp who danced in their national costumes at Newburgh Priory field day of the North Riding British Red Cross Society.

If you lived in the camp and would like to share your memories and photos please  contact
  Page 1  East Moor camp
  Page 2   Current Page
  Page 3  Anna  PRZYSZLAK memories and photos.
  Page 4  East Moor Photo sents in by Teresa BIELIŃSKA     
  Page 5  Sutton on the Forest cemetery

Life in a typical Polish DP Camp Northwick Park

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