The 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade
(1 Samodzielna Brygada Spadochronowa)
A British Sweetheart
A New Love & New Roots
And then, sometime between April 1943 (probably when on a driver training course with the 1st Armoured Division in April 1943) and November 1944 I met a beautiful lady in Luton, Mae Pinney. Her husband had been recently killed in the war and perhaps I was the shoulder to cry on.
A photo of Mae when she became known as "May Hoscik";
It was perhaps September 1943 that we moved in together, I forget the exact date. I was still in active service and on 30 Sept 1944 they moved me to the next barracks.
We fell in love. We could not help it. Yes, it was wrong, I had a wife and children back home in Bialystok and Sokolka, but I had been on the run since 1939 and in a moment of weakness 4 years later I was spellbound by her charms.
There is no easy way to tell my future descendants how this moment changed the course of history and robbed my family in Poland of a husband, a father, a brother and a son.
All I can say is that I was captivated by her smile, her charm, and her laugh! After years of mistreatment from the Soviets, being carted up and down railway lines, doing back breaking labour in the Siberian Gulag and then escaping the Soviet Unions idea of paradise (and my idea of hell!) my body gave in to natural desires and so May Pinney became pregnant.
On 11 November 1944, along came our first child Bronek Hoscik (or Bronislaw as I called him), who would soon be followed by Michael (6/6/48) and Larry (15/12/50). So now my son Zdzislaw (Born 12/2/36) and Lucyna (Born 1936)in Poland (by my Polish wife Stanislawa) had half brothers with Michael, Bronek and Larry. Life with May was good, we were happy, had a decent life and although we never had much money my wheeler-dealing always ensured that there was some money around.
However it was in 1944 that my health declined and the military revised my health grade to "Grade E". on 14 January 1945 I was finally discharged from the army and full civilian life embraced me.
We lived in Luton, we moved around, mainly because we were dodging paying rent (I did not earn much money in the Radio And Television servicing business I had setup, always we were short of money and yet we loved each other, we made it work.
Our 2 German Shepherd dogs kept us company, but they were also a bit vicious, to tell you the truth I was slightly scared of them! One day, they went amock in the neighbourhood, chasing, killing and ripping up cats. For this May received a court summons and the whole matter was reported in the newspapers.
How I came to live with German dogs after fighting soldiers from their country I will never know.
I mentioned that Mae and I moved around a lot in Luton. We certainly did! Here are the places we lived in:
25 Tudor Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, London
- In 1946 Mae and I lived with our baby Bronek at 25 Tudor Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, London. Whilst we lived here, in October 1946 my polish wife Stanislawa (Now aged 31), returned from the labour camp in Pawladarska, Kazakhstan with our daughter Lucyna now aged 9) and Zdzislaw (now aged 10). I was not aware of this though until a lot later on.
23 Cromwell Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, London
- In 1949 we (Bronek aged 4 and Michael not even a year old) moved to 23 Cromwell Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, London. Whilst we were there Larry was born and so we needed more space. Time to look for another house!
Ardlui Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, London
- In 1952 we moved to Ardlui Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, London. It was great to have more space and we certainly needed it because by this time we also had 2 German Shepherd dogs!. (It was at this address that the Irish newspapers reported they had 2 German Shepherds that were “ripping cats up” and a court appearance followed.) We stayed here till at least 1956, perhaps a little longer. It was during this time period that on 16 January 1953 word reached me that my daughter Lucyna (in Poland) had died in a tragic accident involving a stove that exploded. Those were dark days for me.
The matter was widely reported in newspapers at the time:
26 Rothsay Road, Luton. Bedfordshire, London
- By 1959 we are living at 26 Rothsay Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, London. I cant remember why we moved here but as we had little money at the time it may well have been one of my rent avoidance plans! We stayed there till at least 1961.
Whilst I lived here I would commute daily to my business, a Radio & TV Repair shop at 769a St.Albans Road, Garston, Watford, Hertfordshire. It took me 30 minutes everyday in the car, but it felt good to have a lovely house with my very own business down the road.
All this moving about meant that the children went to 2 different schools in their early schooling. It was very disruptive for them.
My Radio & Television Business
Whilst living with May I setup a business fixing radio's and TV's. In 1960 this was at 769a St.Albans Road, Garston, Watford, Hertfordshire.
A picture of the premises in 2018 where it now serves as offices for a van selling garage. The owner in 2019 is the same people who took over it in 1961, a year after my business closed! Here is where my shop was in 1959/1960;
I loved tinkering with TV's and radio's, nothing made me happier! I made some money doing it, but I was not good with money. By August 1960 I was being made bankrupted in the local court at Luton.
The London Gazette on the 9th September 1960 (Page 6192) reported my bankruptcy, it really hurt my pride, I had worked so hard for this business but I was no businessman, I knew how to repair things, but money matters I was inexperienced in;
In 1962 I spent 2 weeks in prison for non payment of debts..Still, it was better than Siberia!
At this time (between 1950 and 1960), Mae was running a sweet and grocery shop, in Luton I think, she enjoyed the work and always had a story to share with me at the end of the day. The boys would often help out in the shop.
Sadly, I was eventually made bankrupt and the notice was published in the newspapers. (NEWSPAPER CLIPPING TO FOLLOW]
The Sad Death Of Mae Pinney
Sadly, my darling sweetheart, Mae Pinney (Or May Hoscik as some called her) died on 15 October 1961. Although her kidneys were failing, what killed her in the end was something else.
She had a heart attack whilst at Petticoat Lane market (pictured below).
5 years would pass till I married a new love, Halina Szytniewska, which is the subject of another page.