Polish Connection

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After the Second World War in about 1947, Shephall Manor was used as a convalescent home for Polish Officers ( who had fought on the English side during the war ) and also as a home for a number of Polish children displaced through and after the war.  Some were orphans or others only had one parent alive in the turbulent times after the war, sometimes there were up to a 100 children at Shephall Manor.  One parent described the place as :-

" ............a beautiful building, beautiful.  It was a mansion, really and the garden, ..... it was just like paradise..................."

This Polish convalescent home and school continued for about 10 years and finally it became an Inner London Boarding School.  Through Mary Spicer ,the "DailyMail" and Krzysztof Piwek ( a pupil at the Polish School ) it has been possible to add yet another page of history to this website.  Through the Daily Mail, Krzysztof has been able to contact some of his friends as recorded in the paper:-

LAST month, we featured an item about Krzysztof Piwek, 61, who lives in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

He was looking for pupils from Shephalbury Manor, near Stevenage, a boarding school set up after World War II for Polish refugee children aged six to 11.

He hadn't been in touch with any of them for more than 50 years, and the school was closed down in 1957.

'I made many friends at Shephalbury,' he said. 'I recall Harold Macmillan visiting the school, as well as American soldiers bringing food parcels.

'The highlight of the week were the Saturday afternoon film shows, such as Laurel and
Hardy. I'll never forget the time I spent there ...' An email whizzed in from Barbara Parker, of Bognor Regis: 'Reading your item on Krzysztof Piwek made my heart skip a beat, as I, too, attended the school from the age of six to ten. Like him, I have nothing but fond memories of it.

'I've been trying to find fellow pupils through Friends Reunited, but without luck.

So, thank you for this! It would be great to meet.' We also heard from Basia Martin, nee Greinert: 'I spent my childhood at Shephalbury, from 1951 to 1957, and reading your item was like hearing a voice from my long-lost family.'

Another former pupil Stefan Nanowski ( later to become Stephen Jacks ) emailed from Seattle, USA to say that he and  his sister Helena were there too and he wrote that:-

"I have no time frame to offer which would pin my stay at the
boarding school to exact dates. I was there during Queen
Elizabeth's coronation. I remember being in London at the time,
along with a mass of humanity and I didn't see much of anything,
actually."

To anybody wishing to contact Krzysztof please email krzys.piwek@ntlworld.com

 

Please click on the link below to go to a beautiful report of the Polish School in Shephall Manor in 1953

http://www.northwickparkpolishdpcamp.co.uk/shephalburymansion.htm

 

Please double click on a picture to enlarge

 

1956 picture of Polish children outside the Manor

Krzysztof back row 2nd from right

The Krakov dancers

A picture from an American paper when Stefan and his sister Helena were first adopted.

The Headmaster Dr Jaworski with children

A treasured look into a classroom

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