• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: The British Government has refused to allow the ashes of Polish World War Two leader Wladylsaw Sikorski to be removed to Poland.

  • Description

    CU Marble sarcophagus for Sikorski's ashes at stone cutters' works at Slawniowice.
    CU Flowers on sarcophagus. (2 SHOTS)
    CU Workers holding flowers and Polish flag look on as sarcophagus is loaded onto lorry. (3 SHOTS)
    GV Lorry carrying sarcophagus bearing name of Slawniowice and word "General" in Polish.

    29 JUNE
    GV PAN DOWN Wawel Cathedral in Cracow TO crane lowering marble sarcophagus into tomb (4 SHOTS)
    SV PAN DOWN FROM Arch TO plinth ready for sarcophagus. (2 SHOTS)
    CU Tombs of Jan Jawlowski and Poniatowski.

    18 JUNE
    GV Polish Cemetery in Newark, Notts.
    SV & CU Headstone on Sikorski's grave. (2 SHOTS)
    CU Polish eagle on headstone and Sikorski's name. (2 SHOTS)


    Background: INTRODUCTION: The British Government has refused to allow the ashes of Polish World War Two leader Wladylsaw Sikorski to be removed to Poland. An application was made for his remains to be returned to link with the anniversary of his death on 4 July. Home Secretary (Interior Minister) William Whitelaw told the British Parliament that although his decision had been difficult he believed it was correct. He refused to comment further on the issue. Polish groups living in Britain have said the ashes should not be returned to Poland until the country was free from Soviet Control.
    SYNOPSIS: Meanwhile, in Slawniowice in the south west of the country, stone cutters were hard at work erecting a marble sarcophagus for the General's ashes. The area is famous for its marble deposits and the cutters completed the 2590 kilogram (2.5 tonnes) monument in the record-breaking time of three weeks. The sarcophagus was taken on 25 June to Cracow where it was to rest in Wawel Cathedral. The workers said that building the tomb was "a great and moving task". The men showered the monument with flowers before it began its journey to Cracow. (Krakow)
    It is a measure those the respect with which the nation holds General Sikorski that his ashes were to be laid in a heroes' crypt. A special medal was struck for the occasion. The General was Poland's prime minister in exile in World War Two. The tomb where the ashes were to be laid was specially designed by two Cracow artists. The General's brother-in-law supported by the Polish Government applied in March for his remains to be returned to Poland. The General died in an air crach off Gibraltar in 1943.
    The ashes are buried in this Polish Cemetery at Newark in Nottinghamshire in central England. The Prime Minister in exile's name was villified in Poland after the war but he has gradually returned to favour. Polish expatriates in Britain oppose the move., It was thought unlikely that the British Government would be willing to reconsider the matter for at least 18 months. Meanwhile, celebrations for the return of the ashes scheduled for Saturday (4 July) in Cracow are expected to go ahead with the unveiling of the sarcophagus.

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