A message from our President, General Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank
'I am delighted to be associated with the work of the Polish Heritage Society and very honoured to serve as its President. The Society's work highlights the enormous contribution which generations of Poles have made to their adopted country. Preserving and celebrating that heritage will only further strengthen the ties between Poland and the United Kingdom.
I worked closely with the Society on the project to build a memorial to the Polish Forces at the National Memorial Arboretum and saw at first hand the energy and dedication of those involved.
I encourage you to explore this website and learn about the many other projects the Society has sponsored. Do please contact us if you would like to be involved in any way'.
General The Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE
A Debt of Dishonour is a unique documentary film dedicated Major General Sosabowski and all ranks who served in the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade Group and to their Comrades-in-Arms of the 1st British Airborne Division that fought in the ill-fated “Operation Market Garden” at Arnhem and Driel during September 1944.
Military historians and other scholars will explore the unique World War II institutions of the Polish Underground State at a special conference in London on Saturday 3rd June 2017, organised by the Polish Heritage Society (UK).
The Polish Underground State refers to multiple underground organisations on the ground in Poland during the war, both military and civilian, that were loyal to the Government of the Republic of Poland -in- Exile in London. Which was seen by its supporters as the legal continuation of the pre-war Government of Republic of Poland waging an armed struggle against the country's occupying powers, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
The civilian structures of the Underground State included education, culture and social services. Hundreds of thousands of people were directly involved with various agencies of the Underground State – the estimates for membership of the Armia Krajowa (Home Army) are often given at half a million people. After the Soviet-backed communist takeover of Poland at the end of the war and without the continuing support of Western Allies, all the key institutions of the Underground State were dissolved.
The conference will feature distinguished scholars covering topics such as a comparison of the Polish situation with what happened elsewhere in Europe, a look at British attitudes towards the Underground State, and a study of one of its key leaders, General Stefan Grot-Rowecki.
“The Polish Underground State was extraordinary not just in the scope of its activities and the widespread support it enjoyed, but for its durability during the extremely harsh conditions of occupation,” said Dr Marek Stella-Sawicki, PHS UK Chairman. “This conference sheds new light on this special period of Polish history.”