Britain’s Polish community began with political exiles - people displaced during World War 2 and unable to return home. Other Poles came during the Communist era, escaping from political and economic problems at home. Most Poles now living here came seeking better-paid work after Poland joined the European Union in 2004.
Stanislaw escaped from Poland after the German invasion in 1939 and trained the troops who took part in the liberation of Europe.
After being deported to a Siberian labour camp by the Russians, Lola and her family made a difficult journey to the Middle East and finally to England.
After surviving Nazi and Russian occupation, Edward and his family escaped from Communist Poland to start a new life in Britain.
Elzbieta experienced the shortages and frustrations of growing up in Communist Poland and joined the struggle for change.
Maciek is one of the new generation of Poles who have come to Britain seeking work and ‘a new experience’.
Stanislaw and Lola couldn’t go back to Poland after the war. Find out why, and what it felt like to start a new life in Britain.
When you live in Britain, are you British or Polish - or a bit of both? British Poles share their thoughts and experiences.