6.  The Polish army at last!

by Danuta Mączka Gradosielska


We arrived in Guzar, Uzbekistan, on 22 February 1942 - our journey's end – and to the Polish Army! ​

I dreamt of joining the army - but at the Volunteer Office I was told that being “17 in four weeks’ time” was too young. I stood on the bridge, disappointed, in tears. Two passing soldiers asked why I was crying. They said “Wipe your tears, go back and tell them you are 18". So that is what I did and, on 25 February, I was accepted into the Polish Women’s Auxiliary Service (PSK).




















Wonderful news - Father had found my brother, Bogus. After a perilous journey, he was in hospital recovering from typhoid.

Now I received a proper Women’s Auxiliary Service uniform. Although it was an English uniform, there was a Polish heart beating inside it.


Danuta's Diary + route map
1. 
Life in Kresy
2. 
Invasion 
3. 
Deportation to Siberia
4. 
Life in Siberia
5. 
The "Amnesty" 
7. 
Evacuation to Persia
8.
Training
9.
 The Italian Campaign

10.  Post-war life  


I was issued with a man’s uniform: the trousers reached up to my armpits and the flies began at my chin! The shoes were much too big, so that I lost them with each step I took! I had to stuff straw in the front so that I could walk! I embroidered the Polish eagle badge on my cap myself.

I was given guard-duty for which I received a rifle and a bayonet.

My orders were that, if anyone approached, I was to challenge them twice with 
       “Who goes there?”
and, after the third time, I had to shout
        “Stop or I will shoot!” 
In reality, I had no bullets .......... but I thought, “only I know that”.

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