THE Polish community in Worcester this month marked a trio of milestones in the history of the Second World War, with the coronavirus outbreak failing to put a stop to commemorations.

The city’s Polish Association commemorated VE Day (May 8), the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino (May 18) and the 50th anniversary of the death of Polish general Władysław Anders (May 12). Tom Wiśniewski, president of Worcestershire Polish Association, said children in Worcester, London, the US, Poland, Ireland and Italy created commemorative art. Polish singer Izabela Kopec, who sang in Rome for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, recorded a song. Artist David Thatcher made a figurine of the general while Painter Nel Brooks created a picture of Monte Cassino veteran, lieutenant Andrzej Edmund Szymczak of Kidderminster who fought at Monte Cassino alongside General Anders.

Mr Wiśniewski was invited to Italy on May 18 with a special delegation to represent the city and university. The plan was to give Ambassador Anna Anders (the general’s daughter) the bronze figurine and the children’s art. The flight to Italy was cancelled due to Covid-19. He said: “I was very sad and disappointed because we’ve been working extremely hard since last year and also it was a wonderful opportunity to promote our wonderful city of Worcester and the University of Worcester internationally. However, the virus didn’t stop me, and I have created special video material and we’ve been connected with Italy online.”