The son of the Polish war hero General Stanislaw Maczek has welcomed a campaign to honour his father in the country he helped protect.

Andrew Maczek, a retired senior lecturer who taught in the chemistry department at Sheffield University, told guests at the Scottish Parliament how the steely general had for him just been a father, or "Tata".

He said: "Now that the campaign is revitalised I am delighted. I feel nothing but pure joy. He was a family man.

Loading article content

"From a position of leadership he was not afraid to get his hands dirty.

"He took whatever on was necessary to keep his family together. That is what I respect him for most."

He continued: "I remember too how father used to take me into the woods to collect wild mushrooms which we then cooked and ate, much to the horror of our Scottish neighbours who thought we would all be killing ourselves."

General Stanislaw Maczek was Commander of the 1st Polish Armoured Division and a hero of the Battle of Normandy and a key player in the Allied liberation of France.

When the Second World War ended he was unable to return to his native Poland which had become part of the Soviet Union as part of an allied agreement.

Refused a war pension, he worked as barman in his adopted city of Edinburgh, he and his wife raising Andrew and his two sisters. He lived to 102.

The late Lord Fraser of Carmyllie first started the push for a permanent memorial and shortly before he died in 2013 he revealed details of his plan to raise funds for a metal bench that would include a figure of the general to be cast in Poland and then sited near the former Maczek family home in Edinburgh.

Lord Fraser's death stalled the project but now his daughter Katie Fraser, former PR advisor Archie Mackay and lawyer Roddy Harrison have established the General Stanislaw Maczek Memorial Trust.

Its patrons include one of the general's men, Captain Zbigniew Mieczkowski, the former Lord Provost of Edinburgh the Reverend Dr George Grubb and Professor Richard Demarco, one of the greatest promoters of European and Polish culture in Scotland.

Drawings created by Polish artist Bronislaw Krzysztof were approved by Lord Fraser before his death and the aim is to honour his pledge

The Polish Ex-Combatant's Association has already offered £5,000 towards the project which has a target of £100,000.

Lady Fiona Fraser said: "I am extremely pleased that the project to recognise General Maczek is once again moving forward with support from my daughter Katie and Peter's former colleagues.

"I hope it will attract a great deal of support and enable the creation of a permanent memorial to the General."