Do you have a Polish tale to tell Kasia?
I was interested to hear from Kasia McCabe, who tells me she is gathering material for a project for the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, at Wigston Magna, about the Polish community in Leicestershire, focussing on Poles who settled in the county in the post-war years.
Kasia, who is from Poland, says that when the project is completed, the information gathered will be displayed in an exhibition and on the internet.
As an example of her research, Kasia has sent me an interesting story of upheaval in the lives of Jozefa Szromek and her late husband, Alojzy Migdal, which brought them to Leicestershire.
"Jozefa was born in Eastern Poland in 1927," explains Kasia. "When the Russians invaded in 1940, her whole family, including her parents and seven children, were deported to Siberia.
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"The journey, in cattle trucks, took about three weeks, with little food or water. They lived and worked in Siberia for two years, under harsh conditions.
"Following the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement, many Poles could leave Siberia.
"However, they had no money or transport, so Jozefa's family travelled by foot and train to the Caspian Sea, where they got a ship to Iran. Most suffered typhus and other illnesses.
"From Iran, they travelled by ship to a temporary refugee camp in Pakistan and later, were shipped to a camp in Uganda.
"While in Iran, Jozefa's father and older brother joined the Polish Army, serving under British command.
"After more than four years in Uganda, Jozefa, her mother and siblings came to Britain in 1948, to be reunited with her father. For about 18 months, she lived in a Nissen hut at the Polish camp in Melton Mowbray, formerly an RAF airfield, while working at Wolsey's, in Leicester.
"In 1949, Jozefa moved to Derby with her husband, Alojzy Migdal. After his death in the 1960s, she returned to Leicester, where she has lived ever since."
If you have any information that could aid Kasia McCabe's project, please call 0116 257 1080 or e-mail: