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Wanda (Jablonska) GILLON

In 1940, Wanda (née Jabłońska) and her family were deported to Siberia from their home in Skalat, Poland.  Her family consisted of father, Józef Jabłoński, mother Florentyna (née Szozda), older brother Wiesław, twin sister Irena, and Wanda.  Wanda was three years old at the time of the deportation. They were eventually freed as a result of the 'amnesty', and left the USSR with the Polish army. The family arrived in Teheran, Persia in 1942.  Wanda’s twin sister Irena died within a short time of arrival in Teheran.- she was 5 years old.


Wanda’s father and brother joined the Polish 2nd Corps, while Wanda and her mother settled in Tengeru refugee camp in Tanganyika.

In 1950, when the camp shut down, Wanda enrolled in an English boarding school in Kongwa, Tanganyika.  After graduation, she worked for a time in Nairobi before traveling to London to attend Wiesław’s wedding.  There she met her future husbands, Norman Gillon, a student at the University of London. After they married, they emigrated to Canada to raise their two children. 

Wanda's brother, Wiesław Jabłoński, centre, as a cadet, in 1942-43, in Lebanon or Palestine
Wanda’s father, Józef, seated 2nd from left, in a military hospital in Teheran, 1944
Wiesław, in 1942-43, leaning out the window on the left.
Wiesław, in 1942-43
Wiesław, center, in 1942-43
Wanda’s twin sister, Irena, age 5, died at Teheran in 1942, shortly after arriving from Siberia. Wanda’s father, Józef Jaboński, visiting Irena’s grave in June of 1942
Wieslaw, about 1 year, old, 1927, Poland
Wanda, left, and twin sister Irena, about 1 year old, 1938, Poland
Wiesław's First Communion, in 1933
Wieslaw, right, rear, age about 7, 1933, with cousins Leszek, and Krystyna Szozda
Wedding picture of Wanda’s parents, Józef Jabłoński, and Florentyna Szozda, 1923
Wanda’s mother, Florentyna Szozda, aged about 17, before her marriage
Florentyna, on the right, age 17, and her sister Stanisława, age 19
Wiesław, standing at rear, 3rd from right; cousin Leszek Szozda standing immediately left of Wiesław; cousin Krystyna Szozda sitting on the lap of Krystyna, Wanda’s mother;  about 1933
Florentyna, age about 20 on the left;  Stacha, Florentyna’s older sister, age about 22, on the right ; 1925; person in centre is unknown
Wanda’s maternal grandparents; Tomasz Szozda and Józefa (nėe Turańska), centre of three women; in Skałat, Poland, 1937
Tengeru refugee camp in Tanganyika, where Wanda lived from 1942 to 1950
Typical grass hut in which refugees lived
Another view of huts and a community building in the camp.  Mount Meru is in the background
Lake Duluti, located close to the camp – the frequent choice for recreation
Students outside a classroom. Wanda is extreme left, in the front row
Another class of students standing outside the classroom.  Wanda is fifth from the left

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