Object Details

Polish airmen's memorial

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Makers
General Information
Classification
Object Parts
Object Condition
History
References
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:B2096 Darwell Hill
Town:Netherfield
Parish:Battle
Council:Rother District Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:TN33 9QL
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Road or Wayside
Access is:Public
Location note:Inside a gated clearing in the trees. Next to Doctor's Cottage.
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:80
Grid reference:D6
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.

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Makers

Name : Stanislaw Jozefiak
     Role:Designer
     Qualify:and

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General Information

Commissioned by: Stanislaw Jozefiak
Construction period:2000-2001
Unveiling date:28/05/2001
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Rother District Council
Object listing:Not listed
Description:Memorial to Polish airmen who died from a plane that crashed on the site. Stepped path and gate up to the monument. Upright dark grey brick monument with rounded edges facing the road. On the face is a large bronze plaque with an engraved Polish eagle and the names of the dead and two survivors. Above the plaque is a bronze cutout of a flying eagle. The monument is surmounted by a small metal crucifix.
Inscription:Engraved bronze plaque affixed to the front of the monument, image of an eagle followed by:

HERE ON 27/28 MAY 1941
A WELLINGTON BOMBER
NZ-N OF 304 POLISH SQUADRON
CRASHED AFTER BOMBING THE FRENCH
PORT OF BOULOGNE WHERE IT HAD BEEN
HIT AND BADLY DAMAGED

CREW WHO DIED
F/LT. KUSZCZYNSKI BRONISLAW (PILOT)
P/O. WOROCZEWSKI JAN STANISLAW (PILOT)
F/O. WIECZOREK CEZARY (NAVIGATOR)
SGT. DROZDZ JOZEF (AIR GUNNER)
DROWNED IN THE LA MANCHE CANAL

CREW WHO SURVIVED
SGT. NILSKI JOZEF (W/OP. AIR GUNNER)
SGT. JOZEFIAK STANISLAW (W/OP. AIR GUNNER)
BALED OUT

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Classification

Categories:Military, Roadside / Wayside, Free Standing, Commemorative
Object type1:War memorial
     Object subtype1:World War II
Subject type1:Non-figurative

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Object Parts

Part 1:Memorial
     Material:Dark grey bricks
     Height (cm):320
     Width (cm):145
     Depth (cm):45
Part 2:Plaque
     Material:Bronze
     Height (cm):90
     Width (cm):62
     Depth (cm):1
Part 3:Base
     Material:Stone
     Height (cm):10
     Width (cm):150
     Depth (cm):86

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Date of on-site inspection:20/02/2008

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History

History:The Wellington 1C bomber, number. R1392, took off from the 304 Polish Squadron at Syerston on 27 May 1941. It left for a bombing raid on the French port of Boulogne. The plane was hit by anti-aircraft guns shortly after releasing its payload and started to spiral out of control. The rear gunner, Jozef Drodz, baled out over the channel at that point and was never found. The pilot regained control but soon after the plane caught fire. Stanislaw Jozefiak managed to bale out and landed in trees at Hatfield. Josef Nilski also baled out and managed to survive. The remaining crew were killed when the plane crashed at Darwell Hole. They are buried in the Polish Air Force cemetery in Newark, Nottinghamshire. Jozefiak, originally from Poznan, managed to get to France following the German invasion of Poland. There he trained with other Polish airmen, coming to England early in 1940. By February 1941 about an eighth of the RAF Fighter Command was composed of eight Polish squadrons. Soon after there were four bomber squadrons. Josefiak completed 53 bombing operations, was promoted to Warrant Officer and decorated with the Virtuti Militari, the highest Polish military cross and four times with the Cross of Valour. He later trained as a pilot, flying Spitfires and Mustangs, posted at 317 Polish Spitfire Squadon in Germany. He wrote a book entitled, ‘God, Honour and Country’. In 2000 Josefiak travelled from his home in Derbyshire to attend a memorial service at Chailey to honour three Polish combat squadrons. With the help of David Martin, he was able to locate the exact site where his plane had crashed. The plane had crashed into a large oak tree that still stood on the site. He decided to build a memorial to his fallen friends and came down to the site on frequent occasions building the monument little by little. It was completed on the anniversary of the crash on 28 May 2001.
(Rowland, David. (2004). ‘Survivors’. Finsbury. Peacehaven.)

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:'Survivors'
     Type:Book
     Author:Rowland, David.
     Page:81-87
     Publisher:Finsbury. Peacehaven.


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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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