Translation from the book
Z Kresów Wschodnich R.P. Wspomnienia z Osad Wojskowych 1921-1940
(From: The Eastern Borderlands of Poland, Memories of Military Settlements 1921-1940)
Pub: Ognisko Rodzin Osadników Kresowych (OROK) (Association of the Families of the Borderland Settlers)
London, UK. 1992 and 1998
ISBN 1 872286 33 X
Province (Województwo) Nowogród
District (Powiat) Wołożyn
Aleksander Nowicki, born in the village of Leśniki, 11.5 km from his future settlement. He was conscripted into the Russian army just before the revolution. Before the Bolsheviks took power, he followed the advice of one of the Polish officers to report to the doctor (also a Pole) and got several months “leave on health grounds”. He returned home. Once those lands were taken by the Polish army, he signed up as a volunteer to Piłsudski’s Legions. Since he was one of a few who had a good command of the Polish language (teaching was done in secret under the Russian annexation), he was admitted into communications. They were popularly known as “tinkers”.
During the fighting with the Bolsheviks, he remembered Russian officers’ quartered in his village and hearing their conversations. They talked about phone tapping. He suggested to his commander that a similar wiretap be organised. The commander agreed and after several unsuccessful attempts, they finally managed to tap into the enemy line.
The Bolsheviks received the order to occupy Lida the following day. The Poles successfully resisted despite the greater enemy numbers, not only defending Lida but also forcing them to retreat. Later, there was the Battle of Wilno under the command of General Żeligowski, and - the end of the War.
The commander first proposed that Aleksander should remain in the army where he could go to school, but he wasn’t much interested in a military career. He was then told that he would be allotted some land. The proposal was enticing, particularly that the estate, which was meant to be divided up among the settlers, was in the vicinity of his village.
He started becoming acquainted with other future settlers who were gradually coming in. One of them was Łukaszewicz from Raków, who served alongside him in the army. This friend, soon after his arrival, met a local girl whom he married. It was at their wedding that father met her cousin, Anna Ryndziewicz, from the Wojniłowszczyzna area - a nobility settlement located several kilometres away. Their wedding was held some time after, in 1925.
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