We do remember

IPN BU 3571

Person donating: Heather Milligan

In March 2017, a certain Mr Paweł Janczak – a resident of Edinburgh, Scotland – phoned the IPN Archive in Warsaw and informed an IPN employee of his discovery of some Polish documents in the house of his neighbour, Mr Nick Miligan.

While browsing through some memorabilia left by his late grandfather, Mr Miligan accidentally came across some Polish items and documents. He learned from his mother, Mrs Heather Miligan, that one of the Polish “Silent Unseen” lived in his grandfather’s house during the war and became a close friend of the family. Before being dropped into occupied Poland, this officer asked Nick's grandfather to safeguard some private documents for him.

The documents that were found used to belong to Tadeusz Starzyński who had been a superintendent at the State Police Headquarters in Warsaw before the war. In September 1939, he was mobilised to the position of Deputy Head of the Investigation Office. Then he reached France, and from there, he was evacuated to Great Britain. In late 1942, he volunteered to serve in Poland. He became an instructor and trained the Silent Unseen, and was dropped near Dobieszyn on the night of 8-9 April 1944. He was assigned to the Department of Counterintelligence and Security at the Staff of Home Army Headquarters. After the war, he probably remained in the underground movement (Armed Forces Delegation for Poland, WiN). He was arrested by the Security Office in 1945, underwent a brutal interrogation and torture. He was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. In 1947, the sentence was changed to capital punishment. After an amnesty, the sentence was reduced to 15 years’ imprisonment. The Supreme Court repealed the previous sentences and discontinued the criminal proceedings against him in 1958.

The documents were handed over to Director Marzena Kruk at 21 Kłobucka Street by Mrs Heather Miligan herself, who came to Poland along with her husband and son Nick, on 12 May 2017.

The documents include three volumes of Tadeusz Starzyński’s diaries in which he recorded the current events from the day he was interned in Hungary until his arrival in England, with the last entry dated 20 October 1940, a collection of private letters, photographs, a collection of service cards and private documents, including a gold signet ring bearing the Ślepowron coat of arms, a badge from the Investigation Service of the State Police, and a crowned eagle from a Polish army cap.