Paul died on 13 March 2010, aged almost 90 years.

SQMS PA Cellnik
SQMS PA Cellnik

He was born on 29 June 1920 at Szarles Tarnowskie Gory, Poland, which was annexed by the Germans after the 1939 campaign.

Prior to joining the Forces, he was a miner. He was forcibly conscripted and served in the German Army from 9 May 1941 until 1 August 1941 and from 20 December 1943 to 7 September 1944, when he was taken prisoner at Coriano (Italy).

He volunteered for service with the Polish Forces (in Italy) under General Anders under the command of the British on 9 October 1944. He served in Italy from 1944 to 1946, taking part in actions in the Northern Pennines (October 1944 to January 1945), the Serio River (January to April 1945) and the Battle for Bologna/Lombardy Plain. (April to May 1945.) He was awarded the Polish Army Medal.

He transferred to the UK with the 2nd Polish Corps on 11 December 1946 and was enlisted into the Polish Resettlement Corps, being discharged from them on 30 May 1947 for enlistment into the British Army (Royal Armoured Corps). He served in Bovington (RAC Centre) from 31 May 1947 until 24 August 1947, when he was posted to The 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars, then at Lingen in BAOR.

A young 8th Hussar soldier of that time said that his first impression as a raw recruit of this seasoned and experienced soldier was one of awe. He returned from there with the Regiment to Leicester East Airfield on 15 February 1948. It was here that he met and married Joyce. They went on to have three daughters, Diane, Jennifer and Susan. He was promoted to L/Cpl on 21 March 1950 and to Cpl on 5 May 1950.

He sailed on the ‘Empire Fowey’ from Southampton on 11 October 1950, arriving in Pusan on 14 November 1950. By this time he was Transport NCO of ‘B’ Squadron. He was promoted to Sgt. On 31 March 1951. He was always ready to help those less experienced than he. He was also a very fit person. He was valued highly by SSM RI Vallance DCM, his SSM.

He returned to the UK for leave and then on to Lüneburg for the Advance Party on 15 December 1951. He and Joyce were generous hosts to the Sgts’ Mess Living-in members. He was awarded his ACE II on 1 July 1954 and was promoted to SQMS on 8 February 1955, becoming SQMS of ‘B’ Squadron. He was awarded his ACE I on 1 July 1957.

On 24 October 1958, he became an ‘Irish Hussar’ and was Escort to the Guidon with Peter Williams on the Amalgamation Parade. On July 17 1959 he left the Regiment on posting to Mons OCTU. He returned to the Regiment on 21 July 1961, then at Tidworth, and sailed for Aden on 23 September 1961 on the Advance Party. He returned to the UK for a Driver Instructor’s Course on 18 December 1961, returning on 26 March 1962.

Once again Paul was on the Advance Party, this time to Singapore. He left the Regiment for the last time on 21 April 1963 on posting to the RAC Depot. On 19 September 1966, he was posted to The Berkshire & Westminster Dragoons at Elverton Street, Westminster, as SQMS. This was his last posting.

He took his release on 10 December 1967 and returned to Leicester. He was employed for many years in a Type Factory.

After retiring he worked part-time in a Card Shop, walking 3 miles there and back several times a week.

In 1987 he formed “Leicester Troop” of the Regimental Association. Paul was a true and loyal Irish Hussar who was respected by many.

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