City centenarian was wartime hero

Zdzislaw Bukojemski 100 years old war vet with medals
Zdzislaw Bukojemski 100 years old war vet with medals

JUST weeks away from his 101th birthday, a Polish-born soldier will be the oldest veteran in town on Remembrance Day.

But war hero Zdzislaw Bukojemski will spend tomorrow morning at his doctor’s surgery – though not because he is ill. The sprightly centenarian is one of two Polish veterans who are patients at Pennyland’s Sovereign Medical centre.

Jan Sokolowski from Neath Hill, a mere youngster at 90, still meets up with Zdzislaw for an occasional reminisce about their wartime memories.

The pair have been invited as guests of honour for the two minute silence at Sovereign surgery, where doctors, nurses and patients alike will listen to the Last Post and wartime poems.

Zdzislaw will not be wearing his uniform though, for he sent it back to Poland to be displayed in a war museum several years ago.

He was a member of the Polish army when Germany invaded in 1939 but managed to flee the country to join the British 8th Army.

He took part in the North African campaign and also the battle of Monte Casino, where he was wounded but recovered to continue fighting.

For his efforts he was awarded a fistful of medals, including an MBE presented by King George V1.

“He was a hero but he doesn’t always like to talk about it. Sometimes he gets sad because so many of his comrades are no longer alive,” said his daughter Clare. Zdzislaw married his Polish sweetheart just two months before war broke out.

After seven years they were reunited and moved to England.

He will celebrate his 101st birthday on January 2.