Hodgemoor Wood’s Polish past

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Memorial to the Polish village in Hodgemoor Wood, Chalfont St Giles

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.

Hodgemoor Wood today

Hodgemoor Wood today

Snowy Hodgemoor Wood, February 2012

Snowy Hodgemoor Wood, February 2012

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