After the German invasion of Poland in 1939 many Poles left their homeland to make their way first to France and then, when it fell, to the UK to carry on the fight. Hundreds came to Blairgowrie and Alyth. Headquarters of the 1st Tank Regiment was at Blairgowrie, the Signals Centre at Alyth. The first came in 1948 and the last are thought to have left in 1947.
Whilst many merely passed through or were stationed here for short periods, some stayed and married local girls. The following lines by Mrs Janet Marciniak reflects the sentiments of that long distant time:
From far off shores their came to Blair
The Polish lads some dark some fair
Their manners and their smart heels clickin’,
Fair set the lassies’ hearts a-ticking.
Oor Scottish tongue, they couldnae grasp,
Nor mair could we their ‘skis’ and ‘skars’.
But ah! Love’s language holds no bars,
For all you need is moon and stars.
In fact so many local people took the Poles to their hearts that plaques were left by the army when they left in both Blairgowrie and Alyth in commemoration of the hospitality shown to them.