Polish Forces in Scotland

during the 

Second World War

 

LOCATIONS: POLISH ARMY IN SCOTLAND

 

Introduction

The four tables below indicate some of the locations in Scotland where units and formations of the Polish Army in Scotland were based between 1940 and 1945.

Four different dates are covered:-

 

February 1941

January 1943

November 1944

April 1945

 

These tables may be regarded as 'snap-shots' of the geographical distribution of the Polish Army in Scotland. Between these dates troop transfers occurred and Polish Army units would be relocated. Not all locations are listed in the tables but the extent of the friendly "Polish Invasion" of the cities, towns and villages of Scotland is revealed.

 

Today, scattered throughout Scotland iin places where Polish Army units had been based are numbers of memorials, tableaux and plaques and other "souvenirs" left by Polish troops - very often as a 'thank you' for the hospitality and friendship they received from their Scottish hosts.

During the war many Scottish cities, towns and villages became very accustomed to seeing Polish soldiers with their distinctive POLAND  shoulder flash. Several of the Polish Army units based in Scotland adopted unit badges which included a Scottish motif.  Some Scottish towns and Scots presented standards to Polish units.

With the demobilising of the Polish Army through the Polish Resettlement Corps commencing in 1946 and the return of the 2nd Polish Corps from Italy, many other camps were set up, particularly in England, to house the returning troops.

 

Tables

 

Table 1 I Polish Corps: unit/formation locations on 1st February 1941

During and after the War the Polish Army was quartered in different areas of Scotland. Initially it was based in camps located south-east of Glasgow. (see OB for August 1940) but in October 1940 moved to the east coast of Scotland, to Fife, Angus and Perthshire.

 

Table 2 Polish Army in Scotland by the beginning of 1943 units/formations (battalion and above)

Major changes were made in the locations of the Polish Forces in Scotland in 1942 and by the beginning of 1943 their locations are shown in this table.

 

Table 3 Polish formations and units (battalion and above) based in Scotland on 25th November 1944

With the 1st Polish Armoured Division fighting in Europe the Polish Army in Scotland still retained a number of units/formations based in Scotland.

 

Table 4 Polish Army in Scotland as of 1st April 1945.

Polish formations and units (only battalion-sized or equivalent and above, incl Trg Centres) (listed in alphabetic order by location).

 

Note

In the intervening period since the end of the war in Europe and by the summer of 1946, further major relocations took place of the Polish Army in Scotland. Many units of the 4th Infantry Division and the 16th Independent Tank Brigade were moved away from the central belt of Scotland to the north of Scotland, to the counties of Caithness, Nairn, Ross and Cromarty, Inverness, Banff, Moray and Aberdeenshire.

 


Table 1

Location of units (organized by types) of the I Polish Army Corps in Scotland on 1st February 1941

(minor units and establishments excluded).

Principal counties where Polish troops were located: Angus, Fife, Perthshire

Unit/Formation

Location area

Corps 

 

HQ I Polish Army Corps

near Bridge of Earn

Infantry

 

1st Rifle Bde

Cupar (Infantry Battalions based at Cupar, St Andrews and Tentsmuir)

3rd Cadre Rifle Bde (Btl)

Cowdenbeath

4th Cadre Rifle Bde (Btl)

Leven

5th Cadre Rifle Bde (Btl)

Broughty Ferry

7th Cadre Rifle Bde Detachment

Kirkcaldy

7th Cadre Rifle Bde (Btl)

Dunfermline

10th Armd Cav Bde

Forfar (Regiments based at Arbroath, Buddon Camp and Forfar)

Tank/A-Tk Units

 

1st Tank Rgt

Blairgowrie

two A-Tk companies

Dairsie or Osnaburgh and Arbroath

armoured train group

Perth

Recce Units

 

Corps Recce Group

Perth

recce regiment and one recce dtchmt

Ceres and Forfar

Artillery/A-A Art Units

 

medium artillery group

Dundee

two field artillery battalions

St Andrews and Glamis

three A-A artillery companies

Burrelton and Coupar Angus

Engineer Units

 

engineer battalion

Dundee

two engineer companies

Tayport and Carnoustie

Signals Units

 

three signals companies

Springfield, Fife; Forfar and Bridge of Earn

Training Centres

 

Central Trg Camp HQ

Alyth

Specialist Troops Centres

Blairgowrie, Dundee, Dunfermline, Alyth-Meigle, Alyth and Coupar-Angus

 

Officer's Camp

Rothesay

Clearing Office

Abernethy

three motor transport companies

Ladybank, Kirriemuir and Blairgowrie

 


Table 2

By the beginning of 1943 formations and units (approx.battalion and above) of the Polish Army in Scotland

were located as follows (in alphabetic order of location).  Principal counties where Polish troops were located:

Angus, Berwickshire, Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Fife, Perthshire, Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire, Stirling

Unit/Formation

Location area

armd artillery regiment (motorised) and anti-tank artillery regiment

Aberlady

1st Indep Rifle Bde

Alloa

infantry battalion and a recce unit

Bridge of Allan

armd cavalry regiment

Carolside

dragoon battalion and two tank regiments

Duns and area

elements of a medium artillery regiment

Clackmannan

recce regiment

Dalkeith

one battalion

Dunfermline

elements armoured cavalry regiment

Earlston

two parachute battalions

Elie area 

parachute battalion

Falkland

10th Cav Bde, (one dragoons btl and 24th Lancers

Galashiels

HQ C-in-C

SW of Perth

element of armd cav rgt

Greenlaw

A-A artillery regiment

Gullane area

10th Mounted Rifles

Haddington

16th Tank Bde and one tank regiment

Kelso

one medium artillery regiment

Kincardine

I Armd Mot Corps

Falkirk

HQ Home Forces

Kirkcaldy

parachute battalion (-)

Largo

element 24th Lancers

Lauder

1st Para Bde

Leven

1st Armd Div

Melrose

light artillery rgt and one infantry battalion

Tillicoultry

one battalion

West Garleton

 


Table 3

Polish formations/units (only battalion and above) based in Scotland in late November 1944 (listed in alphabetic order by location)

There were many other Polish Army establishments, training centres and small units located in Scotland. The 1st Polish Armoured Division

was on the Continent at this time and the 1st Indep Para Bde in England.

Principal counties where Polish troops were located: Berwickshire, Selkirkshire, Perthshire, City of Edinburgh, Stirlingshire

Unit/Formation

Location area

training battalion

Crieff

motorised artillery regiment and one battalion of an armoured anti-tank regiment

Duns

16th Tank Bde, one Tank Rgt and 14th Armoured Cavalry Regiment)

Earlston

HQ Polish Forces in Gt Britain

Edinburgh

HQ I Polish Corps

Falkirk

9th Lancers Rgt

Galashiels

reserve battalion

Gilmerton, near Crieff

HQ Grenadier Bde and one grenadier battalion

Kelso

Armoured Grenadier Division and one battalion of an AA-artillery regiment

Melrose

grenadier battalion

Selkirk

 


Table 4

Polish formations/units (only battalion sized or equivalent and above, incl Trg Centres) based in Scotland in April 1945

(listed in alphabetic order by location).  Counties where Polish troops were located:

Aberdeenshire, Angus, Ayrshire, City of Edinburgh, City of Glasgow, Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Fife, Kincardineshire,

Kinross-shire, Morayshire, Perthshire, Roxburghshire, Stirling, West Lothian

Formation/units

Location areas

Inf Btl

Alva 

Gren Btl 

Alyth

Sigs Btl 

Arbroath 

Inf Btl

Banchory, Kincardineshire

1st Grenadier Bde

Blairgowrie, Coupar Angus

8th Infantry Bde, 9th Lancers, and one Inf Btl

Bridge of Allan 

4th Infantry Div (and numerous divisional units)

Broughty Ferry

Inf Trg Centre HQ

Crieff

2nd Infantry Bde

Culter, Aberdeenshire

Ordnance Trg Centre

Dalkeith

Hvy MG Btl

Dunblane 

Rear Services Trg Centre 

Dunfermline

Lt Art Rgt (mot) and Fd Art Rgt

Duns vicinity

Mil Hosp

Dupplin Castle (5m SW Perth)

14th Lancers Armd Rgt

Earlston

HQ Pol Units in Gt Britain (JWWB) and numerous military administration offices and establishments; Mil Pol units 

Edinburgh

Para Bde Rsvr Depot

Elie, Fife 

HQ I Corps and a number of Corps units, Trg Centres, Sigs Btl

Falkirk

Gren Btl 

Fordoun, Kincardineshire

Gren Btl

Forfar

Inf Btl 

Forres

Lt Art Rgt, 9 Lancers Recce Rgt 

Galashiels

Art Trg Centre 

Haddington

A-Tk Art Rgt

Hawick

Inf Btl

Invergordon 

Inf Btl

Inverurie, Aberdeenshire

Engr Trg Centre 

Irvine

16th Armoured Bde, Armd Rgt and other brigade units

Kelso

Signals Trg Centre

Kinross

two training centres

Kirkcaldy

Parachute Bde Gp HQ Depot 

Leven, Fife

Medical Services Trg Centre

Monkton, Ayrshire

elt Lt AA Art Rgt

Newport, Fife

Reception and Transit Camp

Polkemmet, nr Whitburn

A-Tk Art Rgt 

Rosemarkie, Ross and Cromarty

Fd Art Rgt

Selkirk

Inf Btl

Stonehaven

Mil Hosp

Taymouth Castle, nr Kenmore 

Inf Btl and a Fd Art Rgt

Tillicoultry

Fd Art Rgt 

Walkerburn, Peebles-shire

 

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last modified 12 March 2009

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Copyright R M Ostrycharz 2001