Defiance | The Story

In 1939 my Grandad was 14 and joined his father, a train driver, and his Brother to work on the railways in Poland. Much to their horror, they witnessed the Nazis delivering cattle carriages of Jews to concentration camps.

In defiance, they often risked their lives giving water to the prisoners and where they could get away with it, unlock the carriages and drive slowly giving the poor souls a chance to escape.

One fateful day, my grandad and uncle got caught but managed to escape into the forest when a fight broke out distracting the guards.

They moved deeper into the forest and survived by foraging for mushrooms, plants, berries, nuts, fruit anything they could get their hands on living in fear for months with the Germans still looking for them. Eventually they joined the Polish Army and spent the rest of the war years fighting the Germans.

After the war, they were given the opportunity to move to Yorkshire where my family resides now in the Calder Valley. I’m lucky enough to continue to build on the generations of my family’s knowledge of foraging making a living from the land