Pre WW2 Group of Count Jerzy Wilski - 11th Horse Artillery Squadron

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Uniform jacket wz.36, made of combed cotton fabric. Single-breasted jacket fastened with 7 buttons with the wz.27 Polish eagle. The collar of the jacket is fastened with two hooks. On the collar red & black colored pennants used by the Horse Artillery Squadrons. Collars stiffened with a celluloid insert. At the height of the chest, two smaller pockets fastened with small buttons with wz.27 Polish eagle, below the state two larger pockets with buttons with wz.27 Polish Eagle. On the left pocket there is a visible trace of the regimental badge (probably the Horse Artillery Squadron Regimental Breast badge).

Shoulder boards in the rank of a second lieutenant, stars sewn from light khaki wool thread, the epauletts were made while imprisoned in the POW camp. After the soldier entered the camp, insignia and military ranks were removed, Jerzy Wilski had a badge hidden inside his pocket (after which there is a trace).

Velvet-lined jacket, in the inside pocket a manufacturer's label with the signature of the jacket's owner (Wilski) and the stamp of the unit on the label.

Breeches trousers, made of cotton, khaki. Fastened with pre-war buttons made in France. Side straps that adjust the width in the waist circumference. Trouser legs laced up to the knee. Inside there are visible size stamps (L = Large) and a stamp from the Oflag II D POW camp where the trousers were sewn in the camp sewing unit.

Polish wz.19 Field Greatcoat, made of khaki wool. Single-breasted coat fastened with 6 zinc buttons with wz.27 Polish eagle. The collar of the coat is fastened with two hooks, wide covering partially collarbones, on the collar embroidered pennants, black and red, for the Horse Artillery Squadron. Below the waist are two large pockets, fastened with zinc buttons with wz.27 Polish eagle. Back of the coat cut from the waist down, fastened with 4 zinc buttons with eagle wz.27. Inside the coat, the owner's signature and the camp number. Also, the stamps of military reception and the signature of the unit "Grupa Artylerii ..." (Group of Artillery..”  the rest of the inscription unreadable. Shoulder board with a trace of a second lieutenant star

The set also includes personal items:

  • Letters and correspondence between the camp and the post-war period of German occupation.

  • An ashtray made from a artillery shell decorated with a Polish Army wz.39 Eagle made in the Middle East.

  • Two Polish Bullion Thread eagles of armored units made in occupied Germany.

  • Polish side cap eagle, sand cast, with the shooting shield removed.

  • Letters to the Dachau Concentration Camp written to Father Jerzy Wilski

  • Photo and souvenirs (in the form of feathers) from hunting of the 10th Polish Armed Forces Cavalry Brigade in occupied Germany

  • Photos from the prisoner camps of Oflag II D and Oflag II B, on which you can see Second Lieutenant Jerzy Wilski in uniform presented in the set.

  • Shaving set consisting of a cup from the French canteen M1935 (1939), a package of pre-war Polish shaving soap (FR.Puls S.A Warszawa), a shaving brush from the British Army assignment (1944).

  • A set of dozens of stars and Polish buttons of various designs, as well as other States, among others Latvian, Soviet and French buttons. Probably memorabilia of the POW camp

  • Polish pre-war Personal Officer's Book in 1938 on Jerzy Wilski.

  • A handwritten biography by Jerzy Antoni Wilski in English (three pages).

  • Officers' boots wz.31 from Poland (Warsaw), added to the set.

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Jerzy Antoni Wilski, son of Stanisław and Irena, born on March 14, 1910 in Warsaw. He obtained engineering education at the University of Poznań at the Faculty of Agriculture and Foresters. He started his military career in 1934 at the School of Artillery Reserve, 2nd July 1935 transferred to the 11th Horse Artillery Division. On October 1, 1935, he was transferred to the reserve. Mobilized on September 3, 1939, where Wilski reports for military service, in the Horse Artillery Reserve Center in Mińsk Mazowiecki. He fights in the group of General Kleeberg, the legendary last unit of the Polish Army fighting until October 1939. Jerzy Wilski fought under the command of the legendary Gen. Bry. Franciszek Kleeberg until the very end of the unit’s existence.

After the attack of the USSR (17.IX.1939) on Poland, General Kleeberg initially wanted to fulfill the orders of the general command, and withdraw his troops to Romania or Hungary. On September 22nd, 1939, without contact with the Supreme Command, he decided to march to Warsaw. Between 17th and 18th September he joined forces with the group "Brzoza" and the Cavalry Division "Zaza". He created the SGO Polesie Group. After receiving the information about the Capitulation of the Warsaw, Gen. Kleeberg decided to conduct guerrilla activities and break west into the Świętokrzyskie Mountains.

In the last days of September, the grouping won victorious battles with the Soviet troops under Jablonna and Milanów. On October 2nd - 6th, the last battle of September's campaign, under the command of gen. Kleeberg, took place near Kock. The successes of the battle and the breakdown of the 29.DPZmot were crossed out by the quartermaster's report, further struggle with the invader had no sense, the unit was deprived of ammunition. On October 6th, General Franciszek Kleeberg signed the act of capitulation of OSG. On the same day, Jerzy Wilski avoids Soviet captivity after heavy fights and was taken prisoner by the Germans on October 6th, 1939. He was sent to the prisoner camp Oflag II B in Arnswalde (Choszczno) under number 1476 II B, then transferred to the POW camp Oflag II D, Gross-Born (Borne Sulinowo.) He spent 2029 days in captivity and was liberated by the Allies.

Father of Jerzy Wilski:

Count Stanisław Wilski of the coat of arms of Półkozice

Count Stanisław Wilski of the Półkozic coat of arms was the son of Daniel and Adela from Sadowski. He was born on February 5th, 1874 in Popowo, in the Łowicz district. He graduated from trade studies in Antwerp. He bought estates in Wielgie, Bętlewo and Dobrzyń. His property was also Wielgie near Zbójna in the Rypin poviat, in the present Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship.

He married Irena Olszakowska. They had two sons: Andrzej and Jerzy and a daughter. They lived in a palace in Wielg. A magnificent building was erected at the end of the 19th century or around 1900. A tsarist Cossack unit was stationed in the estate. At that time Tsar Nicholas II came to the Wieliczka forests for hunting. Apparently, the manor was built on this occasion ...

In the manor there were balls and parties for local landowners and aristocracy. The guests were Zielińscy z Wioska near Skępego. The Wilskie and Zieliński possessions were adjacent to each other and separated by a small distance. Their properties shared the Piaseczno-Karolewo Hornowski estate.

The Wilskich estate was owned one of the first Mercedes, which was a sign of the status of the hosts. Local landowners held conferences in Wielg. They belonged to the Union of Earthlings. In addition, Wilski was the president of the Fire Brigade in Wielg.

Count Stanisław Wilski managed his estate with the 909 hectares until the outbreak of World War II. On 10th April 1940, he was arrested and deported to a camp in Germany. He died on 27th of April 1942 in Dachau Concentration Camp. His wife Irena was removed from the manor in Wielg. She settled in Łochocin in the Lipno district. She died during World War II in 1944. After the war, the estate of the Wilski family was parceled out. In the palace, for many years, there was a primary school and housing for employees. Both sons of Wilscy participated in the September campaign. Andrzej Wilski was imprisoned in Oflag II C in Woldenberg until the end of World War II, and Jerzy was a prisoner of Oflag II B in Gross - Born. Jerzy Wilski lived in the years 1910 - 2009. The last rightful owner of Wielgi Estate was Count Jerzy Wilski. He died in New Zealand. After emigration he never visited Poland again ...

Bibliography:

„Materiały do dziejów rezydencji w Polsce. Ziemia dobrzyńska”, tom II, część I pod redakcją Stanisława Kunikowskiego, WTN, Włocławek 2002.