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.
Since 1947 Polish restaurant Daquise, at 20 Thurloe Street, London SW7, has welcomed many esteemed guests such as Roman Polański and Edward Raczyński, President of Poland in Exile, who played a part in the history of both Polish London and Poland. A favourite haunt of Polish émigrées and their British friends since World War II.
Daquise Anniversary 1947-2017 ()"Good evening Your Highness, my Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen and distinguished Guests.
I am delighted to welcome you here at the 70th Anniversary of Daquise in South Kensington. It is heartening to see so many guests that have an historical link with Daquise, many of you have said that you remember coming here with your parents or when you were younger, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for attending tonight and for supporting this iconic Polish venue.
Polish immigration to the UK goes back as far as 1831 after the November 1831 uprising against Imperialist Russian rule in Polish lands. Most of us though will be more familiar with the Polish exiles of WWII and EU accession of Central European states.
This Polish diaspora in the UK post WWII, was made up of writers, poets, military leaders, politicians, presidents, artists and professionals from all walks of life, who played an important role in the creation of a large and vibrant Polish community. Witness to their achievements can be seen in buildings, statues, plaques, monuments, former military installations, churches, cemeteries, organisations, clubs and societies all over the UK. For this reason, The Polish Heritage Society was set up to help protect that heritage and ensure that these historical assets are remembered and if possible protected or refurbished.
Since 1947, Daquise has welcomed many esteemed guests such as Ambassador Edward Raczyński, President of Poland in Exile, who played a major part in the history of both Polish London and Poland, General Kukiel, General & Mrs Anders, Artists: Felix Fabian and Feliks Topolski, Marian Hemar, Irena Delmar who is here tonight, Feliks Konarski (Ref-Ren), Wlada Majewska, Toncio from “Fala Lwowska”, Kardynal Rubin, Juanita and The Ganjou Brothers, the film director Roman Polański, Amasador Tadeusz de Virion and his wife, members of MI6, MI5, GCHQ, and more recently, the late AA Gill and Jeremy Clarkson. It was a favourite haunt of Polish émigrés and their British friends since all those years and was always cherished by impoverished writers who can spin out a cup of coffee for the time it takes to compose a spy story.
Since the formation of PHS as a British charity, we have worked on projects ranging from a major Chopin statue in September 2011 in the centre of Manchester; the 2011 refurbishment of a 1975 Chopin statue at Southbank, missing for 40 years and unveiled by HRH the Duke of Gloucester at Royal Festival Hall. Bronze busts of Chopin, in Ealing Town Hall and Trinity Laban College of Music in Greenwich, unveiled in 2011 by HRH the Duke of Kent.
To celebrate the 2012 centenary of Marie Skłodowska-Curie, the only woman to win two Nobel prizes, PHS donated two bronze busts, one to a Hospice in Hampstead and the other to an Oncology Hospital in Wimbledon. In 2012, we positioned a plaque to General Sosabowski in West London where he lived and in 2013 we produced a documentary film on General Sosabowski and the Polish Independent Parachute Brigade in Arnhem and Driel in September 1944
Our two largest donations to date went towards saving Ognisko Polskie -The Polish Hearth Club from a possible sale in 2012 and in 2013, when The Polish Heritage Society fully refurbished the front façade (FASAD) of this iconic Grade II listed building in Exhibition Road at a PHS UK cost of over £22,000 pounds. In 2013 in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, PHS renovated the Kensal Rise grave of Krystyna Skarbek-Granville, an SOE agent during the WWII, and Churchill’s favourite spy. This was followed by the renovation of the grave of Prince Poniatowski, equerry to Napoleon, followed by a spectacular operatic concert with stars from Italy, France, Australia, UK, Portugal, and Poland.
Other unique PHS plaques can be found at the former London Headquarters for of the Polish Navy during WWII; for the Polish Enigma Code Cryptographers in Boxmoor and for our great Symphonic Composer - Sir Andrzej Panufnik in Twickenham, during his commemorative year in 2014".
At the Daquise Restaurant, 27th April 2017.
Dr Marek Stella-Sawicki MBE, Chairman of the Polish Heritage Society UK