A Heritage Project celebrating the arrival and settlement of the Penley Polish community during World War Two has been launched.

The Penley Heritage Project, set up by the Rainbow Foundation will focus on the unique history of Penley and its surrounding villages after the Second World War.

It will also look at the arrival and resettlement of the Polish soldiers and their families after the first ever mass immigration law – the Polish Resettlement Act 1947 – was passed.

The project will capture Penley’s history as a village from WW2 onwards, including the arrival of the first evacuees to the Madras School from Wallasey, the three hospitals established by the US Army in preparation for D-Day which later became homes to the Polish community and to the best-known Polish hospital in the UK: Hospital No. 3.

Funded via the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the project will initially consist of a history group that will look at gathering information, sharing histories, and consider ideas on how the heritage of the village can be permanently commemorated. 

Rainbow Foundation Project Officer Rebecca Griffiths is third-generation Polish and grew up in Penley within a Polish/Welsh family.

She said: “My grandfather Jan Glaz was from Eastern Poland and was uprooted from his home by Stalin’s forces. Aged 18, he was able to join the newly formed Polish II Corps which joined the allied forces under British command fighting in Iran, Iraq and Monte Cassino.

"After the war he was resettled in Penley where he met my Nanna, Helena, who had also been displaced.


“I feel very privileged to have grown up in such a unique community.  We celebrated both Polish and British traditions.

"The community still exists but in a much smaller way, with people still living in and keeping a connection with the village. That’s why I’m so excited to be delivering this project, to ensure the history of this amazing community is remembered and celebrated.”

For more information contact Rebecca at rebecca.griffiths@therainbowfoundation.org.uk.