Three special men at Arnhem celebrations

Stanley Kulik (90) and Frank Fortune (89).
Stanley Kulik (90) and Frank Fortune (89).

Leven Community Council were delighted to welcome two Polish parachute briage veterans and a Polish anti-tank veteran to the ceremony on Sunday.

Stanley Kulik (90) trained with the paras at Largo House, and took part in the Battle at Arnhem in September 1944. As a young soldier, he was lucky enough to meet General Sosabowski, who he said “was a nice man. Tough but fair.” Mr Kulik recalled that when he landed at Driel, he became stuck in one of the many trenches in the fields, and had to be pulled out by a Dutch woman. Mr Kulik - who visited Holland last week for the Arnhem celebrations - said after the war, the Poles were blamed for the things which had gone wrong during Operation Market Garden, but it was good that they and the General were now being remembered better.

He returned to Scotland after the war and has lived in Boarhills, outside of St Andrews, for 67 years.

Also at the memorial was Frank Fortune (89), who was great friends with Joseph Mach, father of artist David and his brother Robert. Although Mr Fortune was stationed at Largo House, and trained as a para, which he said was very exciting, he was not sent to Europe.

When he arrived in Fife, he and his fellow soldiers were asked if any of them could cook. Mr Fortune had worked in a bakery in Poland, and so volunteered himself and he became the cook for the troops. Mr Fortune was married at St Agatha’s Church in 1947 after meeting his wife in a chip shop in Leven. They had four children. He became a fireman and worked at the Michael and the Frances.

Commenting on the memorial, he said: “It is great, it is very nice.”

Frank and Stanley were joined at the memorial by 96-year-old Kazinierz Smolenski, who was a member of anti-tank division of the Polish army and was awarded the Virtuti Militari Medal, Poland’s highest military decoration for heroism and courage. Asked what he received the medal for, he joked “For being stupid!”