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The Germans invaded Poland from the west on 1 September 1939, and the Russians invaded from the east on 17 September 1939. They divided Poland between them.

Jan served with the Polish army fighting the Germans in the September Campaign. After the fall of Poland, Jan evacuated to Romania and spent some time in an internment camp before making his way across Europe to France. There he joined the Polish army that was being reconstituted.

Jan was part of the Dunkirk Evacuation where, from 27 May 1940 to 4 June 1940, nearly 700 ships and boats brought over 338,000 soldiers to the UK, including soldiers of the Polish and French armies. All heavy equipment was abandoned and left in France, including over 2,000 pieces of artillery and 85,000 motor vehicles.

Jan joined the 1st Polish Armoured Division and trained in Scotland. In 441944, the Division set sail for the continent, and they fought the Germans across France, Belgium, Holland, and into Germany. When the war ended, Jan stayed in Germany for two years as part of the occupation forces.

In 1947, the Division returned to the UK, where Jan met and married Hettie, and they had two sons, Michael and John.

Jan and his young family emigrated to Canada in 1956 and settled in Winnipeg. John worked for the City of Winnipeg until his retirement in 1975.

Jan passed away in Winnipeg on 10 November 2001 and is buried at the at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens.

Copyright: Czwarno family

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