HQ of Polish intelligence during WWII located in London

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Thanks to the efforts of the Polish activist and history researcher Tomasz Muskus, it was possible to find the place where the Polish intelligence and counterintelligence office was located in London during World War II.

Muskus became interested in this topic when he saw Wołoszański’s TV program including the scene of burning Polish agents’ files, to prevent them falling into the hands of the Russians or being handed over to the new communist authorities in Warsaw. The burning of files was done on the orders of Col. Stanisław Gano, the head of the intelligence service of the Polish Armed Forces in the West in 1945.

The name of St Paul's School, where the headquarters of Polish intelligence and counterintelligence was located, appears in the documents of the Sikorski Institute, and Wołoszański also mentions it in his program, saying that files were burned there. However, since the school building has not existed for over 50 years, it has been forgotten and no one was looking for exactly where the intelligence headquarters was located, he explains.

St Paul's School, a prestigious high school for boys, has been located in the Barnes, south west London since 1968, and there is not much left of the former As a result of the conducted research and interviews with people who might have had knowledge on this subject, including the émigré historian Zbigniew Siemaszko-Muskus, who died in early February, confirmed that the intelligence worked in this building, which was demolished in 1968.

The school was taken over for the needs of the army during World War II and was the headquarters of the 21st Army Group, the commander of which was a general, later Marshal Bernard Montgomery, a graduate of it. Apart from the fact that Polish intelligence resided there, plans for allied operations on the western front were being developed in the building, including the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944. The final plan of the invasion was presented to the American General Dwight Eisenhower and other Allied commanders in the presence of British King George VI and Prime Minister Winston Churchill on May 15, 1944, as commemorated by a small plaque on the fence gate of the former school and an information board.

Some of the land occupied by St Paul's School between 1884 and 1968 was turned into residential buildings and a small park. From the original buildings, only the management building remains, which now houses a small hotel, a gatehouse and a fence. As John Bridges, president of the St. Paul Society said, “since the demolition of the school building, the area was completely neglected and even the local residents were not aware of the historical events that took place there.”

A small plaque on the fence was attached only in 2009, on the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landings, and it includes thanks to the efforts of the park's friends. Bridges added that last year the park was to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, with the participation of representatives of the Allied embassies, including Poland, but celebrations were canceled due to the pandemic.

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