Campaign goes on for statue of Polish war hero

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Duns continues to support plans for a bronze statue of Stanislaw Maczek, the general in charge of Polish troops based in Berwickshire during the Second World War.

Commander of the 1st Polish Armoured Division and appointed by Winston Churchill to defend Scotland’s east coast from invasion, Maczek played a key role in the Battle of Normandy and liberating parts of France, Belgium and Holland.

However, at the end of the war, he was stripped of his Polish citizenship by the post-war Communist regime in Poland, and Maczek spent the rest of his life in Scotland and his distinguished military career went unacknowledged by many. However, in 2015, a project to install a bronze figure of the general in Edinburgh was formally launched in the Scottish Parliament.

Dariusz Adler, Polish consul general in Edinburgh, said: “It is extremely important to see General Maczek commemorated.

“He was a hero and a father figure for many Polish soldiers who fought with him during the Second World War.”

Maczek was made an honorary freeman of the district of Berwickshire, and in 1981 he joined Lord Home at the unveiling of a Polish memorial statue in Duns Public Park.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, it was easier for Poles to communicate with western Europe, and Duns is now twinned with Zagan in Poland, providing an opportunity for Duns residents to tell people in the Polish town about Maczek and his troops.

The bronze statue and its installation will cost around £100,000. Some £28,000 has been raised so far, and the unveiling of a maquette of the statue in March this year gave fundraising efforts a boost.

Duns Twinning Association is holding a coffee morning in Duns Parish Church on Saturday, May 27, from 10am to 11.30am. Donations can be made to the General Stanislaw Maczek Memorial Trust via account number 10810625, with the sort code 83-44-00.

Maczek died in 1994 at the age of 102.