Plans in place to mark Arnhem battle

Scottish-Polish Friendship Memorial in Festival Gardens, Leven
Scottish-Polish Friendship Memorial in Festival Gardens, Leven
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Plans are coming together for next year’s anniversary celebrations marking 70 years since the Battle of Arnhem.

Thousands of Polish troops who fought in the Netherlands battle during World War Two were based in Levenmouth as the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade, led by General Stanislaw Sosabowski, trained at Largo House.

Leven Community Council, which is organising the event, has had talks with Aberhill-born artist and sculptor David Mach, who is looking to design a brand new memorial to sit alongside the existing Scottish-Polish friendship memorial in Festival Gardens.

Following a successful meeting with amateur historians Adrian Hunt and David Neill, who run a web site dedicated to the WW2 period, the council has come up with a basic plan of how it would like events to run over the anniversary weekend next year.

Community Council chair Alistair Suttie explained that an education day, involving local schools, would take place on Friday, September 26.

Alistair added: “Adrian and David actually have contact with General Sosabowski’s great grandson, who is a lecturer. It would be great to involve him on the education side of things and of course, he is a prime candidate for opening the memorial.”

The council also hopes to organise an exhibition of memorabilia and memories from that time, with the culmination of events taking place on Sunday, September 28 when the memorial created by David Mach will be unveiled.

There were even talks of holding a Polish market along the prom, while Councillor Charles Haffey is to meet with the Parachute Regimental Association about the possibility of having them involved too.

“We want this to be a whole project which involves the whole of Levenmouth,” Alistair said.

Robert Mach, who attended the council meeting in his brother’s absence, said David is still in the design stage of the memorial.

“There needs to be a discussion about what we want, because people have to live with this so it needs to be something they like,” said Robert. “As for funding, there are a number of bodies which are quite approachable but there are a lot of people asking for money, so it’s good to have a big thing to show them.

“But this kind of project works for David on every possible level and he is desperate to do it.”

A Facebook page will be set up soon for the event, and anyone with anything to contribute should contact Alistair on alsuttie@yahoo.co.uk.