Hodgemoor Wood is one of my favourite local spots. I love cycling through the woods, near Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, as I’ve blogged before. Today I took five year old Owen up there for an Easter Monday walk – and to my surprise came across this memorial. I was amazed to learn that some 600 former Polish soldiers and their families lived in a camp here for many years after the second world war.
The families had stayed in Britain after 1945 to avoid returning to their Soviet-occupied homeland. The camp closed in 1962, but there’s still a thriving Polish community in the area, including one of Britain’s most successful Polish centres at Raans Road, Amersham.
As Owen and I walked on from the memorial, we found outlines on the ground of one of the many buildings, which included a church, a shop, post office and hall.
You can read more about the camp at the website about the UK’s Polish resettlement camps.
Today, Hodgemoor Wood has returned to nature.