Polish Resettlement Corps Conditions of Service
An original booklet, marked 'Restricted' issued by the Air Ministry In October 1946 and published jointly in English and Polish. Following the German/Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 many citizens chose to evacuate their country and fled to Hungary, Romania, France, and finally, Britain. By the mid-1940s some 35,000 Polish airmen, soldiers, and navy personnel reached the UK, making up the largest non-British military force in the country. Of those, some 8,500 were PAF airmen, a resource the RAF were desperately short of in the summer of 1940. At first deemed "suspicious" by the British Royal Air Force, the Polish proved their allegiance by fighting with skill, bravery and determination during the 1940 Battle of Britain and continued to serve with distinction throughout the war. In 1945 the Yalta agreement sealed the fate of the Poles with the imposition of a Communist Government and the onset of the 'Cold War'. Each of the three services in the UK was responsible for the de-mobilisation and transfer of armed combatants into the Resettlement Corps (PRC)by an Act of Parliament passed in February 1946 and enrolment into the Polish Air Force Resettlement Corps (PARC) started shortly afterwards. The Air Ministry published these conditions of service on 14th October 1946 and listed the choices available to members of PRC to either return to Poland, settle in Britain or emigrate to Commonwealth or other countries. At the beginning of 1947 some 11,000 Poles 'joined' the PARC. Of these it is estimated that 3,000 Poles from the PAF chose to be repatriated (sadly to a very uncertain future)and another 2,400 emigrated to other countries. Some 9,000 PAF personnel stayed in Britain with at least 5,000 finding civilian jobs. It must be said in view of the dedicated service offered by so many Poles to the allied war effort many were shabbily treated by the British post war including a campaign by the TUC and others and this was not Britain's 'Finest Hour.' The PRC was finally disbanded after fulfilling its purpose in 1949. This booklet, which is not a reprint, is addressed to all 'Polish Officers, Airmen and Airwomen of the Polish Air Force'. It clearly spells out this little known piece of post war history. In dual languages, as mentioned, the first half is made up of 11 pages and covers all aspects of the terms offered including repatriation options education and training, clothing, and rates of pay according to rank in a pull out section. The second half of the booklet is the same but duplicated in Polish. It remains in remarkably good condition despite its 72 years of age with just minor age related marks to the buff card cover. How many of these booklets have survived down the years is unknown but it represents a very important piece of Polish Resettlement Corps /Polski Korpus Przysposobienia I Rozmieszczenia history that will sit well in either a Museum display or a specialist RAF/Polish collection. This is a one off and is unlikely to be repeated. As with all our listings more detailed pictures are available on request to show examples of the text in English or Polish depending on your disposition!