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Annual Commemoration of Homage for Fallen Polish Airmen

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10 September 2023

Annual Commemoration of Homage for Fallen Polish Airmen


The annual and 62nd Commemoration of Homage for Fallen Polish Airmen was held on Saturday, 2 September 2023, at the Polish Air Force Memorial, South Ruislip. The ceremony, which has been organised by the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee (PAFMC) since 2011, was opened with three passes of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Hurricane LF363 painted in the colours of 303Sqn with the Code RF-J.


The flypast concluded with the Trumpeter sounding the Assembly for the parade of the replica Polish Air Force Standard, the King’s Colour of the RAF, Officer Cadets from the Polish Air Force University, Dęblin and the Standard of the Polish Scouts and Guides, Polish Schools and other bodies.


PAFMC Chairman Richard Kornicki CBE DL followed with his opening address, welcoming dignitaries, veterans, guests and the public.  The speech is available in full at the link below. His address was followed by the Polish Roll-Call of the Fallen - Apel Poległych, by Capt Gołdowski and Officer Cadets of the Polish Air Force University, Dęblin.


Prayers for the Fallen in Polish were then led by Fr. Bogdan Kołodziej, Rector of the Polish Catholic Mission in England and Wales followed by the Polish Last Post Śpij Kolego and dipping of Standards and Banners.


Dignitaries were then invited to lay wreaths on the Memorial followed by veterans and descendants of the Polish Squadrons and Units commemorated on the Memorial that flew alongside the RAF from 1940 to 1945 and PAFMC partners.


Concluding Prayers were be led by the Rt Rev Paul Mason, Catholic Bishop to HM Armed Forces followed by the Last Post, the dipping of Standards and Banners and a minute’s silence ending with Reveille.


The ceremony ended with the Polish and UK national anthems and withdrawal of the Standards followed by the playing of ‘White Roses’. Personal wreaths were laid after the ceremony ended. 


Music was provided by musicians of the RAF Central Band with the kind permission of the Air Force Board of the Defence Council.


Invited guests then transferred to RAF Northolt for a reception and lunch in the Officers’ Mess, and were welcomed by Station Commander Gp/Capt Jon Hough: "At a time of tension between East and West, personal relations between NATO allies are more important than ever, so I welcome you all most warmly to RAF Northolt where the relationship between our two Air Forces was founded in 1940 and where the bonds between young officers are being woven again today."


The Hurricane from the Polish Heritage Flight’s Historic Aircraft Collection at Duxford, now in the colours of Polish 302 Sqn, provided a flypast then landed and parked close to the Officers’ Mess. The starboard side has been finished as P2954 with the code WX-E, the Hurricane flown by F/Lt Tadeusz Chlopik, while the port side represents P3935 code WX-D, the aircraft of F/Lt and later W/Cdr Julian Kowalski.


The Ceremony was streamed live on the PAFMC Facebook page and is available to view at this direct link


The PAFMC has been organising the Annual Ceremony of Homage to fallen Polish airmen since 2011 after officially succeeding the Polish Air Force Association Charitable Trust (PAFACT) which dissolved at the end of 2010. The PAFMC is the designated successor of the war-time PAF and the organisations, which represented it after the war.


Next year’s Commemoration will take place on Saturday 7 September 2024 at 12.00.


Other Polish Air Force heritage sites in Hillingdon can be found at:


Photos in the slide show are courtesy of Marek Borzęcki, unless otherwise stated.

Download PDF • 15.40MB


Speech of Richard Kornicki
Download PDF • 28KB

Speech of Col pil. Wojciech Wróblewski
Download PDF • 39KB

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