Polish War Hero Honoured in 2005

The Mayor of Krakow Jaceck Majchrouski lays a wreath on the memorial to ex-mayor of Krakow Lt. Col. Mieczyslaw Kaplicki

Memorial unveiled to ex-Mayor of Krakow.

A delegation from Poland met in May of 2005 to unveil a memorial to a Polish war hero who is buried at the Wrexham Cemetery.

Jaceck Majchrouski, the then Mayor of Krakow in Poland, unveiled a memorial gravestone to a war hero and former Mayor of Krakow who was laid to rest at Wrexham Cemetery.

Lt. Col. Mieczyslaw Kaplicki was buried in Wrexham in 1959 after settling in the area in 1948.

He was the Mayor of Krakow between 1933 and 1939.

Representatives from the Polish communities in Wrexham and London, along with a Polish Priest were present at the unveiling.

Imprisoned

The Mayor and Mayoress of Wrexham also attended the ceremony.

During the First World War Lt. Col. Kaplicki served as Chief Medical Officer of the 5th Infantry Regiment 1st Legionary Brigade and was posted to Lublin and Lwow. He was imprisoned and sent to the then U.S.S.R.

After the depature of the Polish Army from Russia he was appointed Chief Medical Officer at the Polish Refugee Health Centre in Tel Aviv where he stayed until 1947.

His gallantry earned him the Cross of Independence, Cross of Valour, Order of the Rebirth of Poland and Poland’s highest military decoration of the Order of Virtuti Militari.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Wrexham, Cllr David Rogers, attended the ceremony in one of his final engagements following his year in office.

The Mayor of Krakow Jaceck Majchrouski stops to look at the Polish War Graves, with the Mayor and Mayoress of Wrexham, Cllr David and Mrs Jackie Rogers.

Amazing Life

Cllr Rogers said

We thought a new tombstone was needed and we held this ceremony to mark such an amazing life. I was delighted to meet the Mayor of Krakow. We spoke of the differences in our duties. He is not a ceremonial mayor like I am so it was good to talk about the differences in our roles. It was a very impressive ceremony and it was nice to meet members of the Polish community“.

Wrexham Cemetery opened in 1876 and since the end of the Second World War more than 1300 Poles have been laid to rest there. In 1989 the Polish Community in Wrexham honoured their departed compatriots by erecting a monument at the entrance to the cemetery.

It commemorates their struggle for freedom and exemplifies their gratitude for the hospitality of the Welsh people.

Polish Memorial at Wrexham Cemetery 16/04/2017


Source: First published May 18, 2005 in the Evening Leader, first written by Caroline Jones; memorial photographs by Graham Lloyd.