Father Karol Bik (1887 - 28 August 1941) was chaplain of the 14th Lancers of the Polish Forces. He died while walking alone in the woods near Newtyle.
The first Polish troops stationed in Scotland had been sent to Arbroath, intended to defend the North East from German-occupied Norway. Some 17,000 had arrived in 1940 and Father Karol Bik had been one of the first chaplains to arrive with the soldiers.
He was soon moved inland with reservist troops and settled in Newtyle, where he enjoyed spending his free time in the woods and hills surrounding the village.
One day he failed to return, and it was several days before his body was found in the woods, where it is thought he suffered a heart attack, and died, aged 54.
Those he served for and with erected a simple wooden cross to his memory, and of the Polish troops stationed in the area.
Local researchers have found that the regiment was hit by a second tragedy less than 24 hours after Father Karol's body had been found.
Ignacy Brak (1920 - 30 August 1941), a 21-year old who had assisted Father Karol during Mass, died in an Army ambulance in Perth after being involved in a motor cycle accident.
Both were buried in the Polish war grave section of Perth's Jeanfield & Wellshill Cemetery, in a service carried out by the Field Bishop of the Polish Army.
The wooden memorial cross erected where Father Karol Bik's body was found carries a plaque which reads (apologies for missing text, it was missing from the source):
|TU ZMARL DNIA 28 SIERPNIA 1941r OKAROL BIK KAPELAN BAONU ??? 14 P ?? JAZL |
HERE DIED ON THE 28th AUGUST 1941 THE REV FATHER KAROL BIK CHAPLIN OF THE 14th LANCERS POLISH FORCES
REQUIESCAT IN PACE
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