Polish military forces
Polish Military Forces in Fife collection
One of the best collections of Polish military objects in Scotland is held by Fife Council Museums. Many Poles were based in the east of Scotland during the Second World War and this collection of over 200 objects helps to tell their story. Polish forces built coastal defences in Fife and units also trained in preparation for the invasion of Europe in 1944.
Most of the collection was donated by members of the Polish Museum in Fife Committee in 2000. This group of ex-servicemen had gathered together a range of material form the war. Other items have been donated since then by a number of private donors. The collection is held at St Andrews Museum – a few items are on long term display and more are brought out for show in temporary exhibitions. Researchers can also contact the museum to find out more details.
The collection includes a number of uniforms, military headgear, medals & badges, personal documents, equipment and general memorabilia (for example, commemorative plates/plaques, cookery books, programmes and invitations). The collection also includes over 100 photographs featuring Polish troops stationed in Fife. Most of these relate to the St Andrews area.
Of particular interest is a photo album with images of the Ist Independent Polish Parachute Brigade in training around the Largo area and a rare Polish naval uniform, consisting of a jacket, shirt and hat. There is also a large contemporary painting by Marie Louise Wrightson of a Polish paratrooper surrounded by some of the objects from the collection. This was purchased with assistance from the National Fund for Acquisitions in 2006.
There is a statue of the Polish Commander-in-Chief General Sikorski in the museum grounds at Kinburn Park and a mosaic created by three Polish servicemen based in St Andrews can be found on the side of the Town Hall in South Street. The mosaic depicts St Andrew with the Polish eagle.
Tel: 01592 583204 Contact Museums general enquiries online
By Post: 16 East Fergus Place Kirkcaldy Fife KY1 1XT