THE steely general known as the good shepherd was privately saluted with a click of the heels by his former troops as he served their drinks as bartender in an Edinburgh hotel.
It is only now that General Stanislaw Maczek, commander of the 1st Polish Armoured Division and hero of Battle of Normandy who was known to bar patrons simply as Stan, is being permanently and publicly honoured in the country he helped protect and which he made his home in exile after the Second World War.
A campaign to finally recognise the general spearheaded by the late Lord Fraser of Carmyllie that was put on hold when he died in 2013 aged 67 is now being resumed by a fundraising trust that includes the peer's daughter, Katie Fraser, 33.
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Friends and family of Lord Fraser have taken on his ambition to provide a lasting tribute - a cast bench with a figure of the general seated at one end - to be sited in the Meadows in the Scottish capital, near his Arden Street home.
General Maczek, dedicated to his wife Zofia, son Andrew and daughters Renata and Magda, would walk and spend time in the Meadows together.
Edinburgh arts impresario Richard Demarco, who also has strong Polish connections, is expected to be announced as the chairman of the trust at its launch at a gala event at Holyrood in two weeks.
A reception that will be attended by Witold Sobkow, the Polish Ambassador to the UK in London, is to be held at the Scottish Parliament and it will be hosted by campaigner Highlands and Islands MSP Jean Urquhart.
She said recognition of General Maczek's life in Scotland was made more significant against the backdrop of the current relationship between the Polish community of more than 70,000 living here now and Scots.
She said: "General Maczek was an exceptional man who lived an extraordinary life, but he was never really recognised here when he was alive."
A video is to be unveiled at the event that is to be released in Poland and the UK as part of the campaign.
The peer took up the push for the tribute because he had been struck by the compelling story of how General Maczek had been entrusted with guarding the east coast of Scotland when it was thought under threat from invasion, but was later stripped of his Polish citizenship by the communist government in Warsaw in 1946.
Unable to return home many of the 20,000 Polish troops settled in Scotland including in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fife and the Scottish Borders and were always watched over by their commander until his death aged 102 in 1994.
General Maczek was said to have cut a curious figure as he served their drinks in the Learmonth Hotel, still in his lifelong role as Baca, Polish for good shepherd, and regularly visited by his men and their families.
The "plain and straightforward communicator" treated his soldiers fairly and equally.
It was said that he never lost a battle.
On one occasion be bluffed a German commander into surrendering, even though the guns as his battalion had trained on the enemy had no ammunition.
General Maczek's brigade took part in D-Day and liberated towns in France and Belgium and also Breda in the Netherlands, where people voted for the general to be made a Dutch citizen.
Lord Fraser, the former Lord Advocate and architect of the Lockerbie bombing indictment, found it incredible Poles were banned from victory celebration marches in London after the war for fear of upsetting the Russians.
General Maczek found work where he could because he was not entitled to any soldier's pension in Britain.
The Maczek family have spoken of how the general made their home in Scotland, and how he was always for them.
His son, academic Dr Andrew Maczek, at one stage recounted how his father would take the family on wild mushroom foraging trips, common in Poland but then unheard of here.
Also supporting the campaign is former Edinburgh Lord Provost George Grubb, who delivered papers as a child in General Maczek's street.
Last year Lady Fiona Fraser and her three children by Lord Fraser were presented with a posthumous award for the peer from the Polish Government for his work in setting up the campaign.
The "absolutely unflappable" General Maczek's greatest hour arguably came in Falaise in Normandy when his tank brigade defeated two German SS Corps and helped take 50,000 prisoners after six days of bloody battle.