FP100: No. 55

General Sikorski, St Andrews
General Sikorski, St Andrews

General Sikorski

General Wladyslaw Sikorski, whose bust stands in St Andrews’ Kinburn Park, was Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile and Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces - headquartered in Perth - during the Second World War.

He was a committed fighter for Poland throughout his life as a distinguished soldier - establishing and participating in several underground organisations that promoted the cause of the independence of Poland from the Russian Empire, before the First World War - and in government including serving as Prime Minister between 1922 and 1923 and Minister of Military Affairs from 1923 until 1924.

During the Second World War, Sikorski was a vigorous advocate of the Polish cause in the diplomatic sphere, supporting the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Poland and the Soviet Union,

In July 1943, a plane carrying Sikorski plunged into the sea immediately after takeoff from Gibraltar, killing all on board except the pilot. The exact circumstances of his death have been disputed and have given rise to conspiracy theories surrounding the crash and his death.