A final farewell was said this week to one of Fife’s last surviving Polish paratroopers, who trained near Levenmouth and fought alongside the allied forces during the war.
Michael Czeredrecki, who was 95, passed away last month and was laid to rest yesterday (Tuesday) at Scoonie Cemetery in Leven.
Mr Czeredrecki was captured in the early stages of the famous battle at Arnhem in 1944 – but managed to escape from a prisoner of war camp and return to Fife, where he later married his sweetheart May, whom he had met after he first arrived in this country.
After the war, he ran a tailor’s business – located above a dress shop run by May – for around 30 years in Forth Street, Leven, where he specialised in making suits, jackets, and doing alterations.
Mr Czeredrecki was born in southern Poland in 1918 and lived in a small farming village.
With World War Two approaching, he and other young local men were taken into the Russian army and then to Siberia, but Mr Czeredrecki escaped and found his way to Scotland, via Iran, Syria, East Africa and – to evade German U-boats – South America.
Arriving in Fife, he joined the Polish troops who trained at Largo House before the landings at Arnhem.
He and May were married shortly after the war and in the early 1950s, they opened Michael’s, their combined dress and tailor’s business, before Mr Czeredrecki retired at the age of 65.
His daughter Marianna said he was a very independent man and “very alert with his mind”, as well as being very supportive to fellow Poles.
Another Leven relative, Will Brooks, said: “Michael was very industrious and practical-minded. He was very much a family man and they came first in his life. His close friends were other Poles.”
Predeceased in 2001 by May, Mr Czeredrecki is survived by Marianna and also his son, Stan.