A young teenager enlisted into the Polish Army in 1938. Deported to the Soviet Union and imprisoned in a Siberian prison camp, this audacious soldier became reunited with his compatriots in Scotland where he trained as a paratrooper and took part in the fated WW2 Operation Market Garden, Arnhem in 1944.
Fifty years later, then a patient in hospital, the soldier recounted his life’s experience to my father in the next bed, who had the forethought to record their conversation onto a Dictaphone machine. My father’s empathetic nature and harrowing childhood experiences of seeing HMS Foylebank destroyed by German bomber planes on his way to school in 1940 led to a unique and unlikely friendship.
The discovery of these recordings in 2020 inspired The Polish Voice, a fully researched historical record of both men’s lives, a tribute to them, reminding us of the importance to listen to one another and the legacy of a recorded voice.