Penley People – John Pijski Memories

John now lives in Connecticut and sent in the following photos of his time in Penley Polish Hospital.

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The Bera Wedding, John and Gladys are in the back row 3and 4 from the left.

John Pijski was born in Stanisław Górny, not far from Wadowice. He fought with gen. Anders’ Polish 2nd Corps (2nd. Warsaw Armoured Division) alongside the British 8th Army in Italy. Later he served in Germany and France. He came to the UK in 1946 with the army and was sent to Penley Hospital where he worked in the transport department as a driver. He met and married Władysława (Gladys) Gruca who was in the ATS and worked as a waitress in the staff cafeteria for doctors and nurses. They had two children while living in Penley. In 1952 they sailed aboard the “Queen Elizabeth” to the USA in search of a better life. John now lives in Connecticut and sent in the following photos of his time in Penley Polish Hospital.

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John is on left and Frank Kozioł on the right. The photo taken in Loreto Italy where John was stationed.
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A Lister truck which transported supplies around the camp, driven by Mr. Jasielski with two British Army assistants.
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Penley Hospital no.3 soccer team in the dark shirts. The players in the light shirt are Penley Hospital no. 4. The playing field is in Iscoyd Park with some of the barracks in the background. The third person from the left in the back row of players is John Pijski.
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A game of volley ball. John is in the light colour pants to the left of the person who is about to hit the ball.
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Władysława Gruca, the future Mrs. Pijski, taken at Penley. The ATS barracks are in the background.
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Mr. and Mrs. Puchalski in Penley. They later emigrated to Chicago.
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K. Bayer & W. Lewandowski with John’s son Zdzislaw.
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The Bera Wedding, John and Gladys are in the back row 3and 4 from the left.
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Penley Nursery John’s son, Zdzisław had the large white bib.
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Cyclists in front of the main Stores Warehouse at Penley.
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John and Gladys and Frank and Mary Kolacki in front of the Dymock Arms.
Władysława Pijski on left, and friend in one of the walkways at Penley.
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Kitchen staff. Władysława on left.
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Władysława and two of her friends.
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Frank Dyson and Penley residents. Mr. Dyson is in the centre. He was the Comtroller of the Storehouse. Fourth person from the left is Miko Zatorowski.
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Two of the vehicles which John drove while at Penley. Ambulance on left and a supply truck.
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Penley residents. From left – N. Jasieski, J. Leszczyński, J. Pijski, F. Kowski.
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A few of the residents photographed at the entrance to Penley. John is on the right.
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The Kolckoskis at their home at Penley.
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John and Władyslawa’s daughter, Chris, being christened in 1952 at Penley. Father W. Wysocki presiding.
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Party on March 10, 1952 to celebrate Chris’ christening and as a farewell for the Pijski’s departure for the U.S. Władysława second from right. John fourth from right. Father W. Wysocki centre. Chris standing on table. Her brother, Zdzisław, on her left.

Source: Text & images used with kind permission of Polish Resettlement Camps in the UK 1946; Original photographs by John Pijski.

For further information about PENLEY, LLANERCH PANNA and ISCOYD PARK Polish Hospitals click here.

There are 2 books with further information  and photos “A Millennium History of  Penley” and ” The Spirit of Penley ” both written by Shirley and Derrick Pratt. Also  “Penley A History of the Polish Hospital in Pictures 1946-1999” written by Keith B. Jones.