|Death: ||Jul. 4, 1943|
A Commonwealth soldier buried in Poland. Findagrave webmasters may pardon me that I cannot provide this page with a biography. The reader might be interested still in what I feel fit and proper to relate, in memory of the dead.
Engraving on the gravestone: "2200 Corporal/ I.Dervish/ The Cyprus regiment/ 4th July 1943/ here lies a Turk from Cyprus/ Who fell/ For peace and mankind". Nota bene his death happens to coincide with the death of Polish Prime minister Wladyslaw Sikorski at Gibraltar.
Among the graves I have seen all over Europe, this is one of the most moving ones. All deaths in wars are absurd, but this struck me as an extreme example of the folly of war = a man who had nothing to do in any sense with the battles on Polish ground gave his life, finding final rest on a cemetery which happens to be inter alia the one where the late Pope's parents are buried.
The Commonwealth section of Cracow Rakowicki cemetery consists of 483 tombs. Far away from all British fronts of the Second World War, most soldiers are PoWs, especially from Lamsdorf camp (and adjacent Langenbielau hospital) in Silesia (Stalag 344). Also, the RAF was active over Poland trying to assist the Warsaw insurrection of mid-1944 - an effort hampered by Stalin's heinous refusal to use soviet airfelds.
Probably the last RAF soldiers to be buried there were the crew of a Halifax bomber shot down on August 5th, 1944 and found only in 2002 near Tarnow, see http://www.cracowonline.com/149,Historic_aircraft_wreckage_unea.htm
The white Commonwealth tombs are of course in majority decorated with crosses, in between several magen David. Three graves stand out : Dervish's tomb, and his neighbours "Najk Govindaraju / Queen Victoria's own Madras sappers and miners" as well as Kumba Singh Gurung's, decorated with two Gurkha swords.
Description on http://www.cwgc.org/search/cemetery_details.aspx?cemetery=2016900&mode=1;
Register on http://www.cwgc.org/search/cemetery_reports.aspx?cemetery=2016900&mode=1
Plot: Commonwealth graves
Created by: Dieter Birkenmaier
Record added: May 31, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19642113