Born: April 28, 1923, in Stryj, woj. stanisławowskie, Poland
Died: December 21, 2013 in London, Ontario, Canada
Family: father – Józef; mother – Helena
Married: Helena Matecka
Military Medals: Polish Medals: Cross of Valour (Krzyż Walecznych), Cross of Merit with Swords (Krzyż Zasługi z Mieczami), Commemorative Monte Cassino Cross (Krzyż Pamiątkowy Monte Cassino), Krzyż Czynu Bojowego; British Medals: Africa Star, Italy Star, Defense Medal, War Medal 1939-1945; SPK (Association of Polish Veterans) Medals: Bronze, Silver, Gold; World Federation Golden Sign (Złoty Znak Federacji Światowej)
Fates before joining Anders Army : Before WWII Zbigniew lived with his parents and 3 younger sisters. In 1940, at the age of 14, his mother and all 4 children were taken by the Soviets from their home, put on a freight car and taken to Kazakhstan. His father had been captured earlier and throughout the war his whereabouts were unknown.
Military history: From Kazakhstan, Zbigniew joined the Polish forces being formed in 1942 in Totskoye after he lied about his age and added 2 years. He was assigned to the Reconnaissance within the 6th Infantry Division. He was with the 2nd Corps under General Anders in Teheran, Iran, where he was sent for armoured training. In 1943 he undertook formal Military Training in Egypt (Tel-el-Kebir) for eleven months, after which he was assigned to the 6th Children of Lwow Armoured Regiment. He was in Italy in 1943, and was a tank commander at Monte Cassino in 1944 and also served at Ancona and Bologna.
Post-War: In 1945, at the end of the war, he was sent to Austria to assist with the repatriation of Poles. Zbigniew met his wife, Helena Matecki, while in Austria. They were married in April 1946 and rejoined the Polish Army in Italy after the wedding. From there, they were relocated to England, where he continued in the Army. The family moved to Canada in 1962.
Zbigniew knew several families in England which had immigrated to Canada and settled in London a few years earlier. After selling their belongings in England, the family moved to London, Ontario, with no job, no address, just the trust in God that everything would be alright. Zbigniew had already learned a trade as a machinist in England, so when he arrived in London, he was contacted by one of his friends who worked at Ex-ce-llo in London. They needed someone with his skills. He was hired and worked at Ex-ce-llo until they closed down, shortly before he reached full retirement age and then took early retirement.
Zbigniew joined SPK (Association of Polish Veterans) in 1962 and served as Vice-President (1990, 1991, 1993, 1996, 2002), and as treasurer, and managed the bar on special occasions.
source of the biographical data:
Stan Skrzeszewski, Canada
based on „Pozostaną ślady dawnych dni” Książka Pamięci, Stowarzyszenie Polskich Kombatantów, Koło #2, Canada.