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Centenary tribute to first Polish WW1 formation

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 05.08.2014 09:05
Tributes were paid on Monday evening in Krakow to the first Polish military formation that took part in World War 1.

Commemorations at Krakow's Pilsudski Mound on Monday evening, 4 August. Photo: PAP/Jacek Bednarczyk

The so-called First Cadre Company was created on 3 August 1914 by Jozef Pilsudski (later Marshal), who went on to be dubbed 'the father of Polish independence.'

The company of 144 men set off on 6 August from Krakow, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and crossed the border into Russian Poland.

Monday's ceremony in Krakow, which was attended by representatives of the Polish Army, the Ministry of Defence and local authorities, took place at the Pilsudski Mound, which was built in the 1930s after Poland regained its independence.

Salvos were fired and wreaths laid in tribute to Polish casualties of the four-year conflict.

A soldier carries an urn at Krakow's Pilsudski Mound on Monday evening, 4 August. Photo: PAP/Jacek Bednarczyk

The mound contains earth from all of the battlefields where Poles fought during World War 1, and several more urns were interred at the site on Monday evening.

The new urns contain earth from a variety of places connected with Jozef Pilsudski as well as with the Polish armed forces during the 20th century.

Pilsudski's First Cadre Company ultimately became part of the Polish Legions that fought as part of the Austrian forces.

About 1 million Poles served in World War 1 under Austrian, German and Russian command, and 400,000 Polish men died in the conflict.

Krakow's ongoing commemorations include an exhibition at the city's Aviation Museum, to be followed this week by a show devoted to the Polish Legions at the National Museum. A separate show on the Legions also being held at the city's Photographic Museum. (nh)

Source: PAP

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