My Brother
Aleksander Hoscik

Overview

My brother Aleksander (Also called Lucjan and Lutek) was born on 5 August 1924. He was 16 years younger than me. When the Russians invaded Poland in 1939 he was a mere 15 years old.

As a 15 year old boy he was eager to prove his manliness, but at the same time had only just left childhood. What confusion for Aleksander my brother! His early life would involve Siberia, Anders army, escaping the USSR to Persia, his military time in the UK and finally return to Poland.

So many children and teenagers were just like him, their lives turned upside down by Stalin. It was truly sad to see.

Soviet Union

Records show that on 17 March 1942 I was in 10 D.P (which is 10 Dywizja Piechoty) or 10th Infantry Regiment serving as a member of the infantry.

3 April 1942 - 7 May 1942

During this time period I was travelling from the USSR to the Middle East, like so many of my fellow countrymen may I add!

May 1942 - Yibna

On 16 May 1942 I was recorded in my Zeszyt Ewidencyjny as being in infantry (or piechota as we say in Polish) in Yibna (Which is now a depopulated town near Ramla in Israel). My brother Wladyslaw had arrived there the day before.

Travelling To Britain

On 17 August 1942 I arrived in Britain, records tell me I was at "Oboz Rozdzielczy" which was at Auchtertool in Fife. My brother Wladyslaw Hoscik also travelled to Scotland arriving on that same date and being in the same camp at Auchtertool.

1st Armoured Division

In Polish they are called "Dywizja Pancerna Szwadron Sztabowy" or "Armoured Division Squadron" and nicknamed "The Black Devils".

Formed in Feb 1942, Based in Duns, Scotland and formed by Major General Stanislaw Maczek. About 16,000 soldiers in the unit.

Their task was to defend the 200-kilometer stretch of the coast from the Firth of Forth to Montrose, Scotland along with the rest of Polish Corps I (which included amongst others the 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade)

Following the conferences at the War Office, the British and Polish General Staffs agreed on 31 August, 1942, to reorganise the First Armoured Motorised Corps, comprising the First Armoured Division, the Independent Infantry Brigade and several incomplete units.

They were initially equipped and trained on Crusader tanks but in late 1943 and early 1944 these were replaced with Sherman tanks and Cromwell tanks. They then participated in war games together with the 4th Canadian Armoured Division.

The 1st Armoured Division had 2 armoured brigades plus associated infantry units.

28 August 1942 - Rozkaz Dzienny Nr 55 (Page 83)

This would appear to be the record that indicates Aleksander arriving at the HQ of the 1st Armoured Division. He arrives from "Subcamp Nr 4" (Strong suspicion this is Auchtertool Distribution Camp).

An entry on his war records beside this date states "Szwadr Reg Ruchu 1 D.P" which we understand to be "Traffic Regulation Squadron". These people directed tanks etc and one such photo of them dong this in normandy is here: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205398535

  • Polish - Z Podobozu Nr4
  • English - With Subcamp number 4 (Arrives from subcamp number 4?)
Daily Orders Of The HQ Squadron 1st Armoured Division Extract - 1942 08 28

29 August 1942 - Rozkaz Dzienny Nr 56 (Page 85)

  • Polish - Szw.Reg.Ruchu 1.Dyw.Panc (Abbreviation for: Szwadron Regulacji Ruchu. 1st Dywizja Pancerna)
  • English -
Daily Orders Of The HQ Squadron 1st Armoured Division Extract - 1942 08 29

13 October 1942 - Rozkaz Dzienny Nr94

  • Polish - Powrot Ze Szpitala - W Dniu Dzisiejazym powrocil ze szpitala angielskie go ulan Hosik Aleksander ze szwadronu Reg.Ruchu 1 Dyw panc.-po wyleczeniu.(od 2.x.42)
  • English - Return From Hospital - On Today's Day, he returned from the hospital in English, ulan Hosik Alexander from the Szwadron Regulacji Ruchu u 1st Dywizja Pancerna after healing (from 2.10.42)
Daily Orders Of The HQ Squadron 1st Armoured Division Extract - 1942 10 13

Alexander appears to have been at "Szpital Wojenny Nr 4" which according to this page  is Iscoyd Park in County wrexham, Wales. Now there appear to have been a few parts to this hospital, part of it was in a country manor house and the other part in Penley Barracks.

Photos of it pre-demolition are here.

3rd November 1942 - Rozkaz Dzienny Nr 112 (Book 9a Page 161)

Aleksander Hoscik goes on a 6 week driver training course on 26 October 1942 (Presumably that year). Given that he was not long out of hospital (possibly this was when his hand was blown off by a grenade?) this is remarkable. And that he should be a one-handed driver is perhaps more remarkable.

  • Polish - Kursy - W Dniu 26.X.rb. odeszli: na 6-cio tygodnoiwy Cenbr.Kurs Kier. Samoch.z Szwadr.Reg.Ruchu,nisej wymieni szer:
  • English - Courses - On 26.10.rb they left for the 6-week long cenbr.kurs kier. automobile traffic regulation squadron below listed ????:
Daily Orders Of The HQ Squadron 1st Armoured Division Extract - 1942 11 03

9th November 1942 - Rozkaz Dzienny Nr 117

There was an internal adjustment to the composition of 1st Armoured Division. It would appear that staff were transferred from Squadron of HQ Staff of 1st. Armoured Division to Squadron of Traffic Regulation of the 1st Armoured Division.

  • Polish - Sklad osobowy Szwadronu Regulacji Ruchu 1 Dyw.Panc.ze Szyradront Sztab.Kw.Gl.1 Dyw.Panc.do Szwadr.Regulacji Ruchu 1 Dyw.Panc.w skladzie 2 oficerow i 102 szer.lista w zalaczeniu gorozkazu.
  • English - Personal composition of the Traffic Regulation Squadron 1st Armoured Division ze Szyradront Sztab.Kw.Gl.1 Dyw.Panc.do Szwadr.Regulation Ruch 1 Dyw.Panc.with two officers and 102 szer.lista in addition to the order.
Daily Orders Of The HQ Squadron 1st Armoured Division Extract - Nr117

Gendarmerie

Within the 1st Armoured Division was the Gendermarie section (A special formation of military police appointed to maintain internal order and military discipline and public safety in the army). See Here.

Within the Genderarmie was the Squadron of Traffic Regulations (in Polish " Szwadron Regulacji Ruchu).

26 Oct 1942

  • Polish -
  • English -

29 April 1943 - Rozkaz Dzienny Nr 100

The brother of Aleksander Hoscik, that is, Wladyslaw Hoscik, is also noted as going on a "driver training course". It rather looks like Wladyslaw transferred from the 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade (as per his records) into the 1st Armoured Division and thus joins his brother Aleksander.

It's possible (but unlikely) that Wladyslaw was simply there for the driver training course and went back to the 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade.

  • Polish - Kapral HOSCIK Wladyslaw -  Wym.w dniu dzisiejszym ubyli do miejsc przydzialu. W dniu 28.4.br.z K.U.Nr1 przybyl do kwat.Cl.1 Dyw.Panc.szereg
  • English - Corporal HOSCIK Wladyslaw - Wym.wodzli left to the places of allotment. On 28/4/43 from the K.U.Nr1, he arrived at the HQ of 1st Armoured Division.
Daily Orders Of The HQ Squadron 1st Armoured Division Extract - 1943 04 29 Nr100

10 May 1943

  • Polish -
  • English -

May 1944

  • Polish -
  • English -

26 October 1942

  • Polish -
  • English -

Losing My Hand

  • Polish -
  • English -

Back To Poland

  • Polish -
  • English -

July 1944

The division transferred to Normandy by the end of July 1944 and served in the final phases of the Battle of Normandy in August 1944. Was Aleksander in Normandy briefly, or Wladyslaw? We don't know.

13 July 1945

My health at this point is marked down as "Kat E", basically I couldn't get much worse, I was finished, I was done. War had taken everything from me, I had nothing left in me with which to fight with.

12 December 1947 - Heading Home

On the 12th December 1947 I embarked on a ship at Glasgow that was sailing to Gdansk. What will Poland be like when I return? How damaged will it be? These questions weighed heavy on my mind. I laughed to myself, my name in Poland was Aleksander Hostik, later Hoscik and due to a misspelling on my embarkation documents I had a new surname "Choscik"...how many names could a man have?

Research Notes

Each military unit has a commander who will issue daily orders to the division or unit. These will then be recorded in the "Daily Orders" book of that unit. This book is known as "Dywizja Pancerna Szwadron Sztabowy - Rozkazy Dzienny" or "Armoured Division Squadron - Daily Orders".

These daily orders serve as a method of cross verifying a soldiers military career. Therefore, the daily orders of each military unit/section a soldier is in need consulted in order to get further background on his military career. These are the daily orders of the 1st Armoured Division which are held by the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum.

  • Book 2 - http://polishinstitute.com/r/9b.pdf - This covers 19 December 1942 to 31 December 1942 (Orders No 151 to 159) and then 1 January 1943 to 7 July 1943 (Orders No 1 - 153).

# It was noted in the order books that holidays or "urlopy" was granted to the soldiers periodically and that Forfar and Galashiels were the most common places. Holidays were also granted to soldiers for London, St.Andrews, Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow and Newmarket (Where they had operations).

It was during these holidays that many soldiers met woman, some ended up marrying, others having one night stands etc. There truly are more people of partial Polish descent than know about it!

Further Reading

The above excerpts came from the Daily Order of the 1st Armoured Division held in the online archives at Polish Institute And Sikorski Museum: