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    LASOCKI, WIESŁAW ANTONI

    Wiesław Antoni Lasocki as an officer of the 15th Poznań Uhlan Regiment of the 2nd Corps, Italy 1944; source: W.A. Lasocki “From Ciechanów to the world”, Ciechanów 1991

    born: November 17, 1913 in Ciechanów, Poland

    died: September 17, 1996 in London, Great Britain

    buried: Military cemetery Powązki in Warsaw, Poland – section C30, row K1-II, grave 4

    wife: Tamara nee Tuhan-Baranowska (1918-2011) – wedding in London on 17 September 1949

    medals: Polish: Cross of Valour, Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, Bronze Cross of Merit with Swords, Commemorative Cross of Monte Cassino (no. 23602); British: Italy Star

    Fates before joining Anders Army :

    Wiesław Antoni Lasocki came from an old Polish, Mazovian noble family with patriotic traditions. His grandparents were January insurgents. In 1932, he graduated from the Zygmunt Krasiński Junior High School in Ciechanów, and in 1936 he received a master’s degree at the Faculty of Law of the University of Warsaw. He was an avid scout. Called up to the army in the period of September 21, 1936-July 15, 1937, he attended the Cadet School of the Cavalry Reserve in Grudziądz. He completed his military training in the 3rd Regiment of Mounted Riflemen named after Hetman Stefan Czarniecki in Wołkowysk. Then he worked as a municipal judge, and later as a legal adviser in the arms industry in Radom.

    Participant of the September Campaign of 1939 – initially in his home Regiment, and then in the 102nd Cavalry Regiment of the “Wołkowysk” Reserve Cavalry Brigade. On September 21, he crossed the border with Lithuania and was interned. Until the occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet army, he was in internment camps, e.g. in Rokiszki near the border with Latvia. Then, from July 1940, in Soviet captivity – in camps for prisoners of war in Kozielsk II and Juchnów near Moscow. At the turn of May and June 1941, he was transported to the Ponoj camp on the Kola Peninsula (Murmansk Oblast of the USSR). On July 20, 1941, he was in a convoy of prisoners – Polish soldiers from Ponoj to the camp in Juża, where he was on July 27. He regained his freedom on the basis of the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement of July 1941.

    Military history:

    On September 3, 1941, he joined the Polish Armed Forces in the USSR as a volunteer in Tatiszczewo. In 1942, he evacuated with the Polish army to the Middle East. After undergoing armor training, he served as an officer (in the rank of major) of the 15th Poznań Uhlan Regiment. In 1943, he was with his squadron in Iraq (Kirkuk) and Palestine, and then in Lebanon on high-altitude exercises. Participant of the Italian campaign of the Polish 2nd Corps, including the battles for Monte Cassino, Ancona, on the Metauro River, on the Gothic Line and in the Apennines. Then an officer of the newly created reconnaissance unit of the 2nd Corps – the 25th Wielkopolski Lancers Regiment. In September 1946, he moved with the 2nd Corps to Great Britain, where he was demobilized. After the war, he was appointed a cavalry captain by the Polish military authorities in exile, and then a major of the Polish Army.

    Post-War:

    Wiesław Antoni Lasocki decided to stay in exile. Initially, he worked in England as an unskilled worker in a rubber goods factory. In the meantime, he completed a year of study at the School of Foreign Trade and Port Administration, thanks to which he obtained a job in the City of London. On September 17, 1949, he married Tamara née Tuhan-Baranowska.

    Author of nature, travel and military books published in exile in Great Britain, and after 1989 also in Poland. He made his debut in 1966 with the book “Animals and Soldiers”. As the first book “Wojtek from Monte Cassino” from 1968, reissued many times, he made the figure of the bear Wojtek – a corporal from the 2nd Corps famous all over the world in Polish and foreign circles. Then he published other books also about the history of his regiment – “From the history of the 25th Regiment of Wielkopolski Lancers” (London 1970). He also published articles in the Polish emigre press in Great Britain. In the years 1948-1964 he edited the quarterly “Ułan Wielkopolski” and was also a member of the editorial board of “Przegląd Kawalerii i Broni Pancernej”. In 1980, he received an award from the Association of Polish Combatants (Stowarzyszenie Polskich Kombatantów) for lifetime achievement. He died in London in 1996 and was buried at the military cemetery in Warsaw at the Polish Armed Forces in the West section. His last book, “On the War Horse”, was published posthumously (London 1999).

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