Unidentified Polish Air Force funeral

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by archivist, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Don't think it's the same funeral. Officer following the coffin looks to have a 'dog collar' whereas priest in Archivist's photo looks to be a Roman Catholic.
    Large turnout in original funeral (if it were Waddington) might be accounted for by one of the casualties (Post 9) being Major Floryanowicz, the Squadron CO. I think we may be back to square one as to whether it is actually Waddington.

  2. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    The man at the front (nearest the cab) was subsequently identified as Sgt Marian Bogatek who joined 304 Squadron soon after being released from the Gulags and stayed with them for the rest of the War. The photo was identified by his daughter.
  3. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    These photos were found, with many others, in the effects of a Polish Airman who did not arrive in Britain until July 1942. He had no other family in the Polish Air Force and no reason to have photos of an event which happened a year and a half before he got here. He served with 304 Squadron and later with 302 Squadron and 2TAF on the continent. The burial was not necessarily 304 or 302 Squadrons but their members were frequently sent to represent the squadron at other Polish funerals
  4. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I think it would have been better to have released this information and photographs at the start of the debate rather than by drip feed fashion.

    The prewar photographs going back to the creation of Waddington airfield in 1916 are difficult to find.I have spent some time trying compare the 1918 Waddington photograph of the western hangar and buildings complex on Mere Road against the photograph of the building shown in Post #1 (looks like ornamental vents on the building ridge) without finding that they are the same.From that I am beginning to think that the funeral shots are not at Waddington.

    [Mere Road,the road from Waddington to Branston was eventually absorbed by the airfield development in the prewar expansion and now is a secondary access to the station and does not extend beyond the present domestic site. On this road are now located OR's housing and as far as I remember,roughly where the most southerly Type C Hangar lies.Overall, I could not see the 1918 complex surviving the development of the airfield.]

    I think that the answer to the query now lies with where Nos 302 and 304 Squadrons were based.looking for an airfield which has building architecture linking the airfield to the Great War/ early period of the RAF.
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  5. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    Going back to my original post, I'll ask a specific question: Are the details on the headstones in the foreground readable in your original?
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  6. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    No, but I have asked the owner of the original photo to have a look and see if she can read it. Watch this space!
  7. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    She is unable to read it even with a magnifying glass and can't get a higher resolution scan …………. back to the drawing board!
  8. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    A shame, could have saved a lot of guessing
  9. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    No more guessing - the mystery has been solved and it is nowhere near where I thought it would be. The church is St Mary's, Henlow, Bedfordshire and the funeral was that of Jan Klimczak who was at RAF Henlow, Bedfordshire. Both Edwal Wawrzyniak (whose personal effects the photo was in) and Marian Bogatek (mentioned elsewhere) were there in January 1943 when the funeral took place. All three were at No 14 School of Technical Training. Thanks for everybody's contributions. I have not been able to find a cause of death but he was only just short of his 31st birthday.
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  10. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

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  11. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Well done...........I was still checking operational airfields with Great War architecture.A 1918 photograph shows rows of buildings as Building No 123 in the first photograph.At the time the airfield was the home of No 5 Eastern Area Aircraft Depot within the early RAF structure for overhauling aircraft.Apparently as late as the 1980s,the station witnessed little change from 1918.

    As it was there was over 6000 airmen here in 1940 with involvement in the No 13 MU,No 14 STT,the School of Aeronautical Engineering together with the test flying section and permanent staff. Henlow was also the reassembly station in June 1940 for 3000 personnel from the No 21 Aircraft Depot at Nantes when the RAF withdrew from France.

    No 14 STT was initially No 13 STT with 2000 personnel on courses but the unit was redesignated to avoid confusion with No 13 MU.

    Henlow was a very important MU base for modifying aircraft and engines and preparing aircraft for overseas...a large task was to dismantle Hurricanes for shipmen to Malta when the island was under siege. Trials were undertaken here to adapt the Halifax and Dakotas for dropping supplies to resistance units and those behind the lines.Over a 1000 Canadian built Hurricanes were reassembled and tested for delivery to operational units at Henlow.
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  12. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    His name didn't come up in the extract from CWGC records for Polish Air Force.
    Makes me wonder why and therefore how useful (or accurate) their Search function is.
    He's the only Polish casualty among the 20 CWGC entries buried there.

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