Lech Gierak Interview


Lech Gierak Interview


Lech Gierak was born in Poland and after the death of his father made his way to England and joined the Polish Air Force. He worked as an armourer on a number of stations and after the war moved to Stoke on Trent to become a miner. Lech talks about the way of life on an RAF station at work, and at play, as well as the treatment of Poles after the war.

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00:57:01 audio recording


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LG: They made like from July 1940 to October end, that was like ten weeks or something, called Battle of Britain, which 303 shoot down hundred forty six planes. The most, nobody else done that.
Int: The highest of any squadron, British or Polish.
LG: That’s why they were famous, you know.
Int: Are we about ready; are we ready to go, are we actually up and running? The camera is on and the recording there is on. So could, we will start with some very basic things. Could you tell us your full name and where you were born and when you were born, please Lech.
LG: Well my name is Lech Gierak and I was born in [indecipherable], Poland, which belongs now to Lithuania, you know. And my mother was schoolteacher, school mistress like, and my dad was bank manager and when the war start, my dad couldn’t, demob, you know, go to the Army and that and then there was only six weeks when Poland was beaten and my father come, and about two months after, the Russian police come and arrest him, and he got twenty five years prison for it, because 1920 he was fighting against the Russians; so he got twenty five years for it and he died there, in a Russian prison camp. Me and my mum was sent to Siberia. That was April 1940, and we were near Omsk and they put us in er, wagons like [sigh] what they called, you see the Jews put in.
Int: Cattle wagons.
LG: Cattle wagons like, cramped up like, you know. Maybe five or six families in them and they wouldn’t, the first thing they let us, when we past [indecipherable] when we stop they let us out to have wee and otherwise we used to have wee there and then, you know, inside the thing.
Int: In the carriage, yeah.
LG: They took us to this town called, near Omsk, anyway, and being I was still young they send me to school, in Russia, and er, they was all, some of them, mostly the young lads like more or less Hitlerjugend. They were like [indecipherable] and when I come there they start, because next day, where they give us shovels, kids, you know, women, to dig and they come and say, oh look at them bourgeois start working at last! You know. But they were more like Hitlerjugend, used to [indecipherable] anyway, and when the war start between Russia and Germany, they let us free and they made a Polish Army and I run, to join, from Omsk down to Tashkent, which is, er, it’s at Kazakhstan. It’s a very big country, it’s about, you can put about five, six England in it, you know. It took me from Omsk down to Tashkent about two days, on and off like, you know what I mean, and then from there we went to oh, [pause], the lorry comes and we went through the mountains from where, [sigh] on the border like, and when we come to the border the lorry stopped and we come out, and we went to the people what look what you are taking and some of them had their rings and that all, they took it off us. Not me, I had nothing but some of them, and said that’s Russian gold, you can’t take it, you know. Anyway, we come to Tehran and from Tehran we went to Iraq, and camp the night there, and from Iraq we went to, I went to the Palestine and then Egypt. They opened the schools and er, to teach us to be what they called Technical Officers, something.
Int: This was at Heliopolis was it?
LG: At Heliopolis, yes, and then I fancied to be a pilot so I volunteered to come to England. I come to Liverpool, they gave us cup of tea, twenty fags, then took us to Blackpool, and there they sort us out, whoever wants to go, you know any trade, anything. I passed for pilot school but had to wait because you know like, there were schools there already, when they finished another one comes.
Int: So you had to wait for a place.
LG: So they end me to Scotland.
Int: Where was 303 Squadron at this point, when you arrived?
LG: Pardon.
Int: When you went to 303 Squadron, where were they based at that point? Where station were they at?
LG: That was Northwood for, I should think about two months, maybe less, and then we went to Framlingham, somewhere, I forgot it, because wasn’t long there, only about six weeks or something and then send us to -
Int: Coltishall.
LG: Yeah, Coltishall.
Int: You mentioned that earlier. Can you tell us a little bit, Lech, about what an average day was like, as an armourer? What did you do? What was your accommodation like, what was your breakfast like? How a normal day went.
LG: Well, the, Coltishall was pre-war station which had a like nice barracks down the bottom, top, and er, it’s all went to, like armoury, and get a, it wasn’t like: ‘oh you got like from nine o’clock till four’, you just carry on and been, you really hate Germans, it made no difference, it didn’t, you was trying to put whatever it is so you could fight the Germans like, know what I mean.
Int: So you worked as long as you had to each day, then.
LG: It wasn’t like eight o’clock till four o’clock, you just, one day it might be ten hours, or twelve hours, or something like that. Because it was, you had to.
Int: What was your main job in the armoury? What was the main thing that you were good at, or that you had to do, for the corporal?
LG: Well we, oh we did what is, put some bullets, because that was like that, it was a cannon, one cannon and four machine guns. You fill that up and the cannon was like a pole thing and they put it in, I think it was about five, six hundred bullets in it, you know, on top, and the rest on a machine thing [cough] and that was it. Once you done it you just wait till they come back.
Int: Did all the bullets and the cannon shells, did they come loose or did you did you have to actually put them in like a chain link?
LG: It was like, yeah, they like already inside, like ball thing and put it on.
Int: Right, you didn’t have to load up the ball thing itself: it came already done.
LG: The other one was like, thing, what do you call them? Like a belt, more or less, you know. I think, don’t remember how many, but it, I think it was over two thousand bullets for each.
Int: For each belt?
LG: For each thing, you know. And then when we come to Coltishall, they put corporal and that, put us to Station Armoury when there, and when they were guns, cause every pilot and that, all the aircrew were issued the guns because from beginning they didn’t and then when they got shot down and then the Germans killed them or something like that, so they had, according to them issued a gun.
Int: Do you remember what kind of guns they had?
LG: It’s, I think it’s those, what you call it, they got a chamber and six, you know, like a cowboy’s got.
Int: Small one, like a pistol. So a revolver.
LG: Revolver, yes.
Int: Revolver.
LG: Everyone had the issue with that, so yes. When they come used to give them like, and put name down and that. Then there used to be rifles for airmen. They used to go on the shooting range and that. Then the Officers, they used to go with the guns and shooting, so I used to put a target and look and they used to write down whoever had a gun and you know, whoever it was. Then I er, they opened this school, because when I was in Heliopolis, I had a like, to go to the top in Poland you had a like gymnasium which was four years and then [indecipherable] two years. I finished the gymnasium in Heliopolis, but to have A levels had to, so I put my name down and had to send it to Faldingworth [cough]. That’s where I met a friend, he was a Warrant Officer, he had sixty eight missions. He had a DFC, DFM, because if you were sergeant, or a flight sergeant, because what it was, if you went as aircrew, the lowest rank was sergeant and if you were a sergeant or flight sergeant and you flew over and er, for bravery they given DFC. But because you were a sergeant or a flight sergeant you, all the other rank had a DFC; they had DFM, you know. So after that he had DFC and DFM because later on he was a Warrant Officer like. He made sixty eight missions and that, so. Did you know there was a, one air gunner, he made hundred twenty five missions, over Germany, and if you had done thirty missions you didn’t have to fly, that’s you, finished, most of them used to carry on. He was air gunner, most missions as air gunner of all the Air Force, [beep] I forget his name, [indecipherable] something like that, but. Then they had a dog; had two dogs: one called Warrant Officer and the other was [indecipherable] that was in 300 Squadron. This dog used to, [cough] because when they were taken by lorries, you know, the aircrew, and this dog used to jump first.
Int: Into the lorry?
LG: No, into the plane.
Int: Oh, jumped into the plane first!
LG: But that one day it didn’t and the crew didn’t come back, you know. So there was lot of -
Int: Lech, you’ve obviously just been talking about Faldingworth.
LG: Pardon?
Int: You’ve just been talking about Faldingworth and your friend who was a Warrant Officer and then he became an officer. How, when, what was the point in the war you were posted, you went to Faldingworth? Cause obviously you’d been with 303 for most of your time and then you moved on to 300 Squadron. [Cough]
LG: To finish my A Levels I went to finish the thing for my A levels to go to university.
Int: So you did that at Faldingworth.
LG: They opened the school, special, at Faldingworth, aye. So I met all the fellows, how it was, like.
Int: I think you may well be aware Faldingworth is only a few miles from RAF Ingham where we’re based and 300 Squadron were obviously at Ingham and when they changed from Wellingtons onto Lancasters, that’s when they moved to RAF Faldingworth. So they didn’t ask you to be an armourer at all at Faldingworth? You were just purely there for the school.
LG: No, I just went to school there. But there was another, there were, then they come, what’s the name, Mosquito squadron, I think it was 309, they come to Faldingworth now, and after that they just finish and they sent us to Skipton on Thwale.
Int: Yes, yes.
LG: Some of them want to go to Poland, whoever and that, you know, and I put my name for Poland and my mother wrote, said don’t come because they’ll arrest you, they used to arrest, not everybody, but arrest might be fifty percent, you know.
Int: These are Polish people who had been in the RAF?
LG: Yeah, when they went to Poland from Army, you know, Army or Air Force. So I didn’t, so they sent me to Church Fenton on a, as armourer there. It’s station, you know off there, and I was there for a bit. Used to go er, you know, like airmen with the rifles on the range, officers with the guns and everything, and then I got demobbed; come to Derby. I start working selling this and that, and the thing was that you had to, [pause] we were treated about, maybe worse than the German prisoners of war, because we had a, you had a little book with the photographs and everything, and you had to, change, if you changed address, in seventy two hours you had to report on the police station, but change, otherwise you get, you know, so, and they say like, some of the factories wouldn’t take Poles and took German prisoners, you know, because they let prisoners out! And when I got married, her father didn’t like me because he was an RAF Squadron Leader and that. He like me after, but from beginning.
Int: No.
LG: [Pause] Some of the factories took the prisoners to work better than, you know, the prisoners, German prisoners got free, so they employed German prisoners; they didn’t want Poles, you know. But I got married and I had three children, and the wife filled the form for a house because I couldn’t afford to pay and the wife went [cough] with the forms and he says is he British? She says no, then can’t have houses, so shove it, and friend of mine says well, they want miners down Stoke on Trent and there’s new houses so I went down mines and I got house in three weeks’ time and I worked for about fifteen years and then I come back to Derby.
Int: What, er, when did you marry your wife? What year was it, do you know?
LG: 1949. July
Int: 1949. A good month to get married, nice and warm and sunny.
LG: Pardon?
Int: Was it warm and sunny?
LG: Yeah. Then I have three children.
Int: Do you ever talk to your children about, about the war years and your family history?
LG: Yes! My younger son he joined ATC and that, you know, but the other, the eldest one, he was a priest, a Catholic priest and my daughter she was the [cough] shorthand typist for office working like, you know,, but after she joined, she went to hospital and on the end she was like a matron, because there was no matron, there was like something officers or something you know, they called them, and that. She lives down Congleton, comes back once in a while, three times, four times a year.
Int: Lech, if we can just go back to your time when you were an armourer, were there any funny things that happened, because in service life, and RAF life, and Polish Air Force life there must have been some funny things that happened at work? Do you, have you got any funny memories of things where people played a prank, or did daft things? Even in the war I’m sure people did play pranks on each other.
LG: Pranks?
Int: Or daft things that happened. Do you remember any things?
LG: Well, I forget now. Yeah, used to have few pranks, but you know, recall now, that long time, you know. But er, I enjoyed my life in RAF you know, and that. I was young and had, I er, I could have signed on a time. When I went on English, you know English station at, down Church Fenton and Commanding Officer called me and says do you want to join, and the smallest was five years, you know. And he says er, but going to, once you’ve joined more or less they’re going to send you overseas, I said nah, I don’t want this, I wasn’t in Poland, you know, my mother was thinking not going that far.
Int: And did you, obviously cause with Poland’s independence a good few years ago now, have you been back to visit Poland?
LHG: Yes, about twenty times. I had a caravette, I went with, I took my two granddaughters for about four weeks and used go round, go all round Poland. Had a caravette to have a cooker and a fridge and that. We used to have breakfast in the morning and dinner at, was very reasonable, cheap and that so we used to have dinner in restaurants and, but, um, you see the thing was, is, that after, I show you, after the war, when the parade was, you know, Victory Parade, then they never invite Poland, Poles, at all: that’s it. Which, I think it was very naughty of them, in a way.
Int: We’ve heard this from quite a few of the veterans that we’ve spoken to.
LG: The problem was that the Labour Party come, which they were really communists, some were, because they were in the Labour Party because the communists didn’t go through, so what they did, they joined the Labour Party but they were really communists, but the Labour Party was in power they done what they wanted like, and, then they were recognised I suppose, or whatever, we were on the same level like a prisoner of war, you know. I survived.
Int: Can you remember, I mean food is always important to all of us, but can you remember what, each day when you went to the airmen’s mess, and you would have breakfast, maybe a lunch and tea, do you remember what the food was like? Can you describe any of the food to us? The kind of things you liked, whether it was good, or bad or?
LG: Well, this being the war, the bread was more or less rationed in a way, you didn’t just have as many, maybe four slices, not that, three slices of bread and that, but otherwise I had pretty good meal like there. Well, I had eggs once a week [chuckle], meat, you know. So I think the chefs, whatever, they tried do the best they could whatever they had that like, you know. I enjoyed it.
Int: Were they English or Polish cooks, in the cookhouse?
LG: Well in 300 they were Polish, because there was whole station.
Int: Was Polish.
LG: Polish station, Polish thing but, and English, there was you know, like English station, you know, good meal, whatever, and if you’re stop, you know, like and that, at night even, they used to come and give you some meal maybe seven, eight o’clock; there was no times exactly during the war like. After the war, yeah, but not during the war like, you know.
Int: You told us earlier on before about the, when you were station armourer at Northolt and then also at um, Coltishall but they were both pre second World War stations so there was good, it wasn’t just wooden huts, it was all solid brick, brick buildings and things, so was your armoury, was that a brick building or was that just wooden buildings, or were you out on the dispersals? Could you tell us a little bit about where you were as an armourer, with 303?
LG: It was what you call, [pause] it was well, like I said, I only, [cough] when we come to Coltishall, me and the corporal, WAAF took us to the armoury thing on the station, wasn’t on a flight, you know what I mean, where the plane was, was on a building where guns was and that, and aircrew used to come, you had to write down.
Int: With the, Lech, with the Spitfires that you had, [beep] you said there were machine guns and cannons, did you, when you did your maintenance on the actual guns and the cannons, did you have to take them out of the aircraft or did you?
LG: On no, no.
Int: Could you explain a little bit about how you did the maintenance of them for us at all?
LG: Oh, you used to clean the barrels and everything like that and in the end put the things on it.
Int: Yes, a cap.
LG: Caps, that’s right, you know, otherwise just quick. They made more or less not too difficult because they want – they was flying they coming back, want, the last hundred bullets, before the last hundred bullets, there used to come about six bullets, used to tell you, white, you could see it, you know.
Int: Tracer, tracer.
LG: Tracer, yeah, so he, the pilot knew I got two hundred, two hundred bullets left, you know.
Int: Oh right. Right, so you had quite a few tracers in, before you got down to the last hundred or two hundred bullets.
LG: That’s right. You know, the belt, the last should I say oh, four hundred fifty, used to put about six tracers and they knew, he knew.
Int: He was down to last ones. [Chuckle]
LG: Had to be careful whatever it is, you know. So, but, on the end, what I heard, that the, well, the, a Spitfire, because the Spitfire only had three and a half hours flying otherwise they run out of gasoline, so they put the special tanks underneath and they start with those tanks first and used to drop ‘em. Because they, they used to guard Americans, plane, you know, and English bombers, you know with our Germans.
Int: They could get further with the bigger fuel tanks.
LG: Through there because German planes was waiting for them like, you know. But on the end, I heard they used to, I wasn’t then, but what I heard they used to have little bombs, twenty five pound bombs, I don’t know what they did with them, I couldn’t tell you, but you know, that’s what I heard. Those Spitfires, according to the books and that, there was about well, twenty nine, you know different Spitfires.
Int: Different Marks of Spitfire, different ones, yes. It’s possible.
LG: Different Marks and that.
Int: It’s possible, Brendan here would probably be a lot more of an expert on that than I am, he’s read many books on the subject.
LG: I think it’s more than twenty nine different, isn’t it?
Int: I believe so, small variations, not just the marks, but the changes in the same one.
LG: After the aircraft too, cannons and that, you know, but from beginning they had six, four machine guns on each side, but after they had like cannon and a four. [Pause] What do you call them?
Int: Sorry, Brendan do you have any questions for Lech at all?
Int: I haven’t really been thinking about it to be honest, checking the screen.
Int: I’m trying to think of something else, some other questions, that we can obviously ask you, because obviously this, the whole tape and everything will be edited, what we are talking about now, will be chopped out of the interview. But it’s really to er, look at your time with the Polish Air Force in Britain at er, Northolt, Coltishall and even the place that you were talking about near Framlington. We’ll have to have a little look and see if we can work out which station that was, and then obviously at Faldingworth. At Faldingworth, apart from doing the teaching did they actually get you doing other duties at all, being an extra airmen there on the station, or were you just purely there for the school, the school side of it?
LG: Where?
Int: At er, Faldingworth.
LG: Just the school.
Int: They didn’t get you doing any extra duties at all, of any kind? No, no, no.
LG: No, oh they, you know, [cough] school for there but then just as finish school it was -
Int: The end of the war.
LG: Well, was past the war like, but.
Int: Yes. So it was training, almost training you for after the war.
LG: I think it was, lot of them want to go back to Poland and that and then, I think it was the pressure from Polish communists, government, that er, you know, to settle down you know, because they took the planes from us and everything like, you know. There was no more flying, or nothing like that.
Int: During, during the war years did the RAF, did they give you much uniform? Did they actually give you many clothes, or did you just have perhaps one set of everything or did you, were you able to get more stuff? Did you have a friend perhaps, in the [laugh] Supply or anything like that?
LG: You just had a tunic and then a battle dress, well battle dress more or less, take it, to work like, you know, I mean. They give you the what you call.
Int: Overalls.
LG: Overalls, that thing, otherwise you had one set, one set of battle dress and another of tunic like, to go out, you know.
Int: How was the cleaning done? Did you have to clean your own clothes or was there a laundry you put your clothes in to?
LG: I had a little, a little thing where used to put your stuff in it, you know. What you call them?
Int: Washing machine? Oh, a little -
LG: No, no, no all your gear and that.
Int: A wardrobe you mean?
LG: Wardrobe like, you know what I mean. But [cough] every week, you could, whatever you want to what you call it, you had to put your name down on shirt, clothes.
Int: On all the clothes and clean them for you.
LG: Clean them for you like, used to collect them every week and that, you know. On all the stations, the same.
Int: Was there anything in the evening? What entertainment did you have in the evenings?
LG: Oh, used to have some, some of the dances used to have and that, is the special when I was in Faldingworth they used to bring the girls from everywhere for a dance, you know, and that.
Int: You didn’t meet any nice pretty girls from Faldingworth then? [Laughter]
LG: No, there was, there were WAAFs there, but they, I don’t think. Well, I wasn’t thinking I was just home to, you know. I used to go like Lincoln on the, have a dance once, once a month, or something like that.
Int: And did the RAF at Faldingworth, did they put a bus on or did you have to use the local busses to Lincoln?
LG: No, the RAF bus used to take you and used to pick us up by the station there, you know, Lincoln, station.
Int: And was there a set time that you had to be back at night for the guardroom to book you in and things, or not?
LG: No, I don’t think there was not that much bullshit [laugh] you know what I mean. We used to, they used to be what they call them, um, [pause] what’s their name, Salvation Army! They used to have a club there, or whatever, and for a, oh forget now, for two shillings you slept there and the next morning they used to give you two toast.
Int: Toast and off again!
LG: And beans on toast and cup of tea and that you know so, we used to stop.
Int: So yeah, if you missed the last bus then you could have the Salvation Army!
LG: Yeah, well, used to have a little minibus from station, used to standing there, by the railway station there, and phew, I forget now what time, eleven o’clock something like that and if you missed it – that’s it! Mind you the, I don’t know, that was about half past ten; the dancing was only ten o’clock in them days. There was no other club! [Laughter]
Int: So plenty of time to get back for the bus. Maybe. Well, is there anything else that you would like to tell us about your time in the Polish Air Force, in the RAF, during the war years, anything you’d like to.
LG: Well I enjoyed them both, Polish Air Force and when I was on the English stations, I was, you know, it was you know, happy, in it, but they, the problem was that you know, more or less to recruits, you know they come like and then they was pressing you whoever to stop, signed on like, know what I mean.
Int: There was one other question I was going to ask you and that was when the Spitfires at Coltishall in Norfolk were going up constantly all the time, was there a lot of pressure from yourselves, the team, your, the corporal and yourself in the armoury to get out, to reload them all up and then they’d fly straight off? Were there days and weeks when that seemed to be the case a lot of the time?
LG: Well I didn’t find, you know, I didn’t think it was a pressure, I was enjoying it, to do it, so they could kill the Germans, you know what I mean, had to do your thing. You know, so whatever I had to do, what hours, you know, I just enjoyed it, you know. If it was twelve hours I was happy to do it, you know, there was no thing ‘oh well it’s only four hours and that’s it,’ you know.
Int: Because it was your bit to getting back at the Germans.
LG: And cook house was flexible, they used to if you want you know, every time you come had a meal for you, they knew you was working and that, you know. But like when the war finished that was different then. But at this stage whatever station I was they were very flexible, you know. So there was nothing we have to go [chuckle].
Int: Did you play sport? Were you a good sportsman of any kind?
LG: Not really no, [laugh] no, not really. I like diving, when I was swimming I liked to go. When I was in, when we come to Blackpool [cough] and I went swimming there and I read after in the paper about it: the highest thing in Blackpool was thirty three feet. And we had this, me and my mate, chat up these two girls so we took them to the swimming. I was swimming, I was diving, was like and one, two and the top one.
Int: The highest board, yeah.
LG: Yes, and on the top one there was these two English lads [groan] their nerves, and me and my mate, was in the middle so, my mate said to me, look there, there, so I went off there, I stand there, look, and the fellow there, when they was diving, they used to whistle so that nobody would come so near. I just wanted for that, so I did come down but my legs went over a bit and the flume was. After I went again, few times, but I read it was thirty three feet up. But I used to like diving. Blackpool [beep] give me lot of memories, know that fun. I liked Blackpool, and when I got married and that, I used to take the children wife to Blackpool. [Laugh]
Int: When you were at Blackpool, I read somewhere that quite a lot of the, because it was the Polish Depot, where everybody started, that quite a lot of people were accommodated not in a big camp, but in some of the guest houses.
LG: It was, the guest house.
Int: Do you remember the name of the street or the house number you were at?
LG: I forgot it! I knew them, the street, but I think was one, Parliament, something like that? But er, I forgot now, the names. I knew I had.
Int: But it was a good time in Blackpool. You enjoyed your time in Blackpool.
LG: I was about two months there, you know, so.
Int: Was that during the summer or the winter? Can you remember what time of year it was?
LG: That was April I come, about June, April, June.
Int: Spring and early summer, that was probably a nice time to go to Blackpool. Yes.
LG: A lot of people used to come and that, even in war time, but that was the most, lot of Poles was there and Americans, I know.
Int: Do you still have a lot of contact, obviously we visited you before Christmas at the Polish church and the Polish club that’s next to it, do you have many other friends from, Polish friends that were in the RAF that are still with us today?
LG: Well I had best friend of mine who went to Australia and I lost his contact. But then I had friend Chicago, he died. He was a bit, couple years, well, about five years older than me and then, er, I had one in, he was in three hundred club, so he was a air gunner, on top; he was from Birmingham. He died and all. And then another one, all of them right, die except me, yet, so I don’t know. But they were good friends, you know, and that. But the only one beats me, I had a, the one I show you the photographs.
Int: Yes. Your friend from the [indecipherable].
LG: He went through Italy lost his leg; he went all through Italy and the week before the war finished, he lost his leg. Anyway, so he went to New Zealand because his brother was there and you know, we used to write and I went to see him in New Zealand and that. His daughter was there, and when he died, she never even wrote and said you know, my dad died. I thought, you know, because I used to phone him [cough] once every two months or something like that, I phoned and nobody answered, so I phone again and he says this phone’s not available.
Int: Not connected any more, yeah.
LG: Another thing, and a friend of mine, we was together, he died, but his wife, she rang, the same. At least, I knew him for, since 1942 like, you know, and when I went to New Zealand, his daughter was there and everything. Well, he had a son but he died, but his daughter, at least she could write and say my dad died, you know. Never. I don’t know, those young people.
INT: It’s er yeah, it’s very kind of, does seem strange but maybe to them they’re thinking of other things. It’s very, very difficult.
LG: Then I had a friend, from Russia he come out, he lived in London, he used to have a printing firm and that, and I rang his house and his daughter answered. I said where’s your dad, oh she says, he’s at the old people’s home. So I says give me the number, so she’s given me the number, so I rang, and he coming, but I think he start having dementia, and I said do you remember me? He used to be godfather to my son, you know, that, so I used to ring him few times and then I didn’t want to disturb him, so about four months after, I rang, this fellow answered and I said can I speak to so and so, Oh he’s not there. I said why, what’s up, is he dead? She said yes, and then she never even.
Int: No. Didn’t even bother to tell you.
LG: You know, didn’t say he died. I would have gone to London to his funeral, you know what I mean. But phew, that’s how they are, youngsters, I think some of them, anyway.
Int: Sometimes. Well, thank you very, very much, unless you can think of anything else Brendan, I mean that was lovely that, I mean you’ve given a bit of an insight into your life. What we’d like to do for you is, we’ll make you a disk, put it on a disc so you can have it for your family, cause obviously in years to come it will be nice for them to see you sitting here chatting about your life as well so we’ll let you have a copy of it, and you can, for future.
LG: Would you like another drink?
Int: We’re okay for a drink, I would love to, well we’d both love to see your medals.


Geoff Burton, “Lech Gierak Interview,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed November 30, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/34801.

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