Rutland regiment marks Polish connection

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7 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps gathered to celebrate the life of Saint Maximilian Kolbe at its Regimental Day in Kendrew Barracks, Cottesmore.

A church service on Thursday last week led by the Regimental Padre, Roy Burley, remembered the Polish Conventual Franciscan Friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in Auschwitz concentration camp in 1941. He was canonized in October 1982 and declared a Martyr of Charity.

The service also saw the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Laurence Howard, present a new Standard to the Regiment.

The Regiment has a proud Polish connection which began when civilian guard units named Mixed Service Organisations were established in 1945. These MSOs consisted of ex-prisoners of war, many of whom were Polish who were liberated from German concentration camps.

7 Regiment RLC had under its command a Polish Mixed Organisation Squadron until 1987 when it was disbanded. The original Standard was presented to the Regiment’s 617 Squadron in 1972 by Polish soldiers.

The Regiment continues to raise the Polish crest at reveille and lower at the end of the day. A Polish eagle is also worn on the Mess Dress.

The original Standard deteriorated over time and has now been framed for display in the officers’ mess. The new Standard shows the emblem of 7 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps: a white Polish eagle and on the left of the eagle is the name of Father Maximilian Kolbe.

The Lord Lieutenant of Rutland went on to award the long service and good conduct medal to three members of the Regiment Sgt Anthony Jones, Sgt Andy Maloney and Sgt William Campbell in recognition of their exemplary service.

He also presented the Royal Warrant, signed and authorised by the Secretary of State for Defence on behalf of her Majesty the Queen to four soldiers: Chris Arger, Philip Gonzalez, Zain Sharif and Ali Smith on their promotion to the rank of Warrant Officer Class Two.

The highest promotion a non-commissioned soldier can achieve, it is achieved only by those who possess outstanding ability and personal qualities. They must be able to accept considerable responsibilities, maintain discipline and exercise authority with firmness, tact and understanding on every occasion.