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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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PAF Roundel
Discharge from PAF and Marriage

Chapter 6

Even if Zenon had acquired a skill in the Resettlement Units it is doubtful whether he would have found a job at the beginning of 1949 that demanded it. The only jobs offered at that time was in coal- mines, steel works and textile factories. This was partly because British trade unions resisted other jobs being offered to non-British nationals or even permitted them to join unions and partly due to the large number of workers seeking jobs after demobilisation from the armed services. 80 Zenon joined other Polish associates that were already at work in textile factories at Spondon on the western outskirts of Derby in Derbyshire.

This soon led to a strong enclave of Polish workers in the Derby area and in 1950 a Derby branch of Polish airmen was set up and another in Nottingham. Later 92 Osmaston Road was purchased as the headquarters of the local Polish Air Force Association to be called "Dom Polski" that existed for some 36 years. During those years it became the centre for the whole Polish community in Great Britain. It is assumed that Zenon frequented this centre many times in the 5 years he lived in Derby.

Zenon acquired lodgings at 104 Arthur Street in Derby (shown left) where 2 elderly ladies lived, one named Emily and the other Florence, known as Emmy and Flo. Here he lived and worked at the silk factory. What is known is that he desperately wanted to marry Raymonde and settle in France so as soon as he could he applied for a visa. By 1951 he most probably could wait no longer and presumably asked Raymonde to come to England and be married in Derby.

The event took place at St Mary's Catholic Church, at Chapel Bridge Gate, Derby on 31 March 1951. Michel was of course present and so was Raymonde's oldest brother Marcel and her aunt Marguerite’s husband. Mr Krawczyk was also there.

The couple went to live at 104 Arthur Road while they waited a further two years for the granting of a visa to move to France. During his period Raymonde relentlessly chased up the appropriate ministry departments to bring this about despite the fact that she became pregnant. On I October 1952 she gave birth to a son who they named Jan Arthur, Jan after his Polish Grandfather, and Arthur after Raymonde's cousin, the 20 year old son of her aunt Marguerite, who was killed in a motor cycle accident.

Armed with the necessary papers and a very young son, the Bartkowiak family set forth to France during 1953 but had to return because Zenon did not have a French sponsor that could give him work for two years. For this he sought the help of M Stephan Krawczyk at Marles les Mines where he worked in 1944 when in hiding. This was willingly given and was eventually accepted by the authorities and permission was granted for them to take up residency in France. So in April 1954 they finally left England at Dover on SS “Cote d’ Azur". (shown right)

Zenon’s father Jan also saw service with the Polish Resettlement Corps from 5 December 1946 and was finally discharged on 5 March 1949. He took up a post as caretaker at a private school in Worksop until he retired in 1960.

Introduction - Overview
Chapter 1 - Early years and escape from Poland
Chapter 2 - Zenon joins the RAF
Chapter 3 - A life changing flight
Chapter 4 - In hiding
Chapter 5 - Return to England and his squadron
Chapter 6 - Discharge and marriage
Chapter 7 - Life in France

Life in France - the final chapter

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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