You never know what you're going to come across. I did wander around the Polish section of the cemetery, as mentioned in viceroy's post, and was going through some old newspaper clippings at home and found one from April 1944 that ties in with earlier post in here too.
Entitled "They look like schoolboys", it described the Polish Education Centre at Dalbeth Convent, London Road.
The students were young boys in battle dress, some in Air Force blue, and all with "Poland"on shoulder flashes, with six months special leave from the Polish Army, Navy or Air Force to complete studies for their school leaving certificate, provided their leave was not cancelled and they were recalled to their units.
One 16 year old had been arrested when the Russians invaded Poland, and sentenced to eight years in prison for tearing down a Russian propaganda poster. When Germany attacked Russia, Finnish planes had bombed his prison, and the prisoners had to walk 500 miles in 19 days to their new prison. This was in a freezing region of Russia, yet they slept only in tents and had only a tunic or blouse, trousers and home made slippers to wear. After the Polish-Russian agreement, he joined the Polish Army and arrived in Britain via Persia.
A 17 year old spoke of his capture from the Air Force and being forced to work in a Berlin factory, part of which was secret, and none of the 700 Poles or 2,300 Czechs were allowed underground to work in. They constantly sabotaged the machinery, and when this happened in an area he held the keys for, the Gestapo seized him and beat him senseless. He later escaped to Italy, travelling through Spain, Lisbon and Gibraltar to arrive in Britain.
Another described 1940, when he was arrested on suspicion of involvement with the Polish underground. After being confined in solitary, and days of questioning, he was condemned to death for denying his involvement. To scare him into confessing, a shot was discharged next to his head. Although he still didn't confess, he and a friend decided they would confess to stop the investigation, in case it led to others being traced. After the trial, he was sentenced to a total of 15 years, to include 5 years in a concentration camp. He was deported to Russia, and also arrived in Britain after the Polish Russian agreement.
The teachers were also Polish, and had their own tales of escape. One showed the marks of the frostbite he suffered while imprisoned in Siberia, and another had been sentenced to 25 years hard labour, for giving two fellow Polish prisoners lessons in Polish history.
So, what were you doing when you were 16-17?