Jan DREWNIAK

Polish 2nd Corps

Prior to 1939, Jan lived in settlement Pustołówka, parish of Horodnica, district of Kopyczyńce, county of Tarnopol, Poland.  After the 1939 September campaign in Poland this area was occupied by the USSR. Jan was deported to forced labour in Siberia in 1940.

 

On the basis of the Sikorski-Maisky (Polish-Soviet) agreement of 30 July 1941, he was released in order to join the Polish Army, which was being organized in 1941 in the southern USSR. Jan enlisted in the Polish Army on 14.03.1942 and was posted to the 10th Engineers Battalion, 10th Infantry Division.

 

Together with the Polish Army units, Jan was evacuated to Persia (Iran). Via Iraq was transferred to Palestine, where he came under British command.  Lance Corporal Drewniak served in the Middle East 1942-1943 and Italy 1943-1946, and was finally discharged on 01.05.1946.

During the Italian Campaign, he saw action on the rivers:  Sangro and Rapido/Southern Apennines; the Battle for Monte Cassino; he was wounded in action at Monte Cassino and hospitalized; Battle for Ancona; Rearguard of the 8th British Army; Action in the Northern Apennines; Action on the river Senio; and the Battle for Bologna.

He was awarded the following medals: 

Polish:      Honorary decoration for wounds, Cross for Valour,

                  Cross Of Monte Cassino Cert. No. 3908, Army Medal.

British:     1939-45 Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal, the War Medal 1939-45.

After a short time in England, Jan emigrated to Canada.  He lived in Calgary, Alberta

Lance Corporal Jan Drewniak
3DSK Battlion - Jan Drewniak 3rd from the right
Jan Drewniak - 2nd row, right of center, Army in Russia
Palestine - Polish II Corps, 3DSK
Palestine - Polish II Corps, 3DSK
Death during a Training Accident
Death during a Training Accident
Jan Drewniak on the left, Italy 1944
Italy 1945
Jozef Buda, Michal Dobrus, and  Jan Drewniak
General Anders Speech at the end of the war
Island of Capri
Visiting the Island of Capri, 1945
Visiting the Island of Capri, 1945
Visiting the Island of Capri, 1945
Visiting the Island of Capri, 1945
Monte Cassino Cemetery, 1945
Monte Cassino Cemetery, 1945
Kacper Drewniak, Home Army (AK)
Jan Drewniak (1919 - 2014)
Photos courtesy of Boleslaw Makowski