A delegation from Poland was in Gibraltar yesterday to mark the 75th anniversary of the death of General Władysław Sikorski, who was Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile and Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces during World War II.
General Sikorski died in Gibraltar in 1943 in a plane crash that also killed those accompanying him.
The Polish delegation included war veterans who fought for a free Poland, led by Jan Józef Kasprzyk, the Head of the Office of War Veterans.
The events included a memorial mass in the Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned and a short ceremony at the Sikorski memorial at Europa Point, which was attended by dignitaries including the Governor, Lieutenant General Edward Davis and his wife Lorraine; Mayor Kaiane Aldorino Lopez; Culture Minister Steven Linares; GSD MP Elliott Phillips; Bishop Carmel Zammit,; and Wing Commander John Kane, the Staion Commander at RAF Gibraltar.
Also present was the Honorary Polish Consul in Gibraltar, Anthony Lombard.
For Poland, General Sikorski is not just a political leader but a symbol that united Poles in the fight for independence.
The casualties of the 1943 crash were Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army and Prime Minister of the Polish Government-in-Exile Gen Władysław Sikorski; Chief of Staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces Brig Gen Tadeusz Klimecki; adviser to the viceroy of India Brig John Percival Whiteley; British liaison officer and member of the British parliament Col Victor Cazalet; head of the Third Operational Department of the Chief Commander’s Staff Col Andrzej Marecki; adjutant of the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces cf. navy Józef Ponikiewski; daughter of Gen Sikorski Lt Zofia Leśniowska; representative of the British Ministry of Transport in the Persian Gulf Walter H. Lock; head of the Royal Navy telegraph station in Alexandria Harry Pinder; secretary of the Commander-in-Chief Adam Kułakowski; courier of the Home Army Jan Gralewski; second pilot of the plane Major William S. Herring; navigator Lewis Zalsberg; ship mechanic Francis Kelly; and two radio-rifle operators, George B. Gerry and Dobson Hunter. The only survivor of the crash was Cpt Pl Eduard Prchal.
Pics by Johnny Bugeja