The 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade
(1 Samodzielna Brygada Spadochronowa)
A New Lady In My Life
I met a new lady called Halina Szytniewska and on 30 November 1966 we married.
I know, you are thinking what about Stanislawa you wife back in Poland? Yes, I was still married to her and marrying Halina was an act of bigamy. Although I never married Mae Pinney, I was with her whilst still legally married to Stanislawa.
Anyway, Halina and I setup home at 108 Hampden Road, Hornsey, Harringay, London. It was a 1 hour car journey south of Luton and so was a new start for me.
I was happy, I had a new woman in my life and the future looked good. Sadly, though, the clouds were gathering for a storm in my life.
Bad News...And Then More Bad News
In January 1967 I got bad news that my father Aleksander Hostik in Bialystok, Poland, had died on 18/1/67. I was distraught, the news tore me in half and reminded me of a time and a place when I had lead a happier and simpler life.
Then on 3/6/1970 my mother, Stefania Szafran also died. My world was collapsing, my life had held far too much misery in it, what more could happen to me now?
Another Move, This Time To Scotland
It was about 1972 that we moved to Kinkell Terrace in St.Andrews, Fife. Halin's foster daughter, Czeslawa, lived in St.Andrews and we thought it would be nice to relocate near her. Besides, I loved that part of the world from my days with the 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade.
Well, you must know me by now for it was only a few years before I moved again. In 1974 I moved to Over Rankeilour Farm, just outside of Cupar, Fife. It was a lovely small cottage that Halina and I lived in, it was basic but we had each other and that's all that mattered.
The chance to upgrade to a nicer cottage came up that year and so packed our bags and this time moved to 27 Roselea Gardens in Ladybank, Fife. I had heard of this place from fellow trainees at Largo House, it sounded like a sleepy and quaint village so I thought "why not", and again we moved.
I must admit, I moved so much in my life that if I stayed anywhere more than 1 or 2 years I got the urge to move on. Was this a good thing? I did not know.
Along Came Jason
We had only been in the bungalow about a year or so when in 1976 I received a letter from Michael, my son, who was living in London. In this letter, Michael told us that the relationship that my other son, Larry, was in with a woman named Christine, had broken down and that Larry and Jason had sought temporary residence at his house.
Michael said that after 6 months of this it was too much of a strain on his family and that Pat was struggling to cope with their own kids let alone another 2 people.
I was so ashamed of this. I worried about little Jason and in some way I think I made a mental connection with that situation and the one of my own abandoned son in Poland, Zdzislaw.
I spoke to Halina about it. As she had fostered Czeslawa, we discussed the idea that we could look after Jason. It would be good for him, and besides, it was a few years since I had seen that lovable little boy with his blonde hair.
Arrangements were made and one day, at 4am in the morning, Michael appeared at the door with little Jason who was only 6 years old at the time.
He looked a little lost, thin and unhappy. My heart went out to him, I had to help! Michael left and then Halina and I made him up a bed on our little black 2 seater sofa in the livingroom.
Jason stayed with us for 6 happy months, I would regularly take him to the nearby forest where I would pick mushrooms. He seemed happy to have truancy off school and be with me in the forest. I loved this little boy. But, it was proving impractical to look after him, we had nothing and owed money to everyone. Social services were getting interested in this case.
As it turns out, Czeslawa and her husband Bill became aware of our going problem and decided they would foster Jason, this was the best outcome all round and so one day in 1977, Jason left our house. We had such happy memories of him!
It was around this time that I changed my surname to "Radziwill" to hide from people who I owed money to.
A Last Move..To Swindon
In 1980, Halina adn I packed our bags for the last time and moved to 37 Oakham Close, Toothill, Swindon. This was near to where Bronek and his family lived.
Czeslawa, Bill, Jason and his step sister Britt would come to visit me about once a year there. I was getting older and infirm and used a stick occasionally. For someone who had survived the Gulags in Siberia I was in quite good shape physically, but mentally I was a mess, schizophrenic at times as well
I had a lovely greenhouse there and grew tomatoes and other things there as well as cultivating a large garden. It was a lovely peaceful place to be.
I started life at 28 Tarnowska in Bialystok, Poland and after travelling halfway around the world where I never stayed for long in the same place, this house would be where I would spend my final days, this little ground floor flat, with my little greenhouse. This would be the sad end to an unfulfilled life because Stalin had taken a huge proportion of it away from me.
And Finally I Passed Away
On 24 February 1985 the man many knew as Wladyslaw Hoscik, died. My death though was recorded under the name "Wladyslaw Radziwill".
It is quite funny really, my name was confused from Hostik to Gostik when I was born and when I died I confused everyone again by having a different name. I like a laugh when I was alive and this was my final laugh!
Sadly, just a few years later, in 1989, my younger brother Aleksander also died. We Gostiks had made our mark on the world and now it was time to leave quietly.