Reunited after more than 70 years: the Polish soldier who lost a leg in the Battle of Monte Cassino and the woman who made him healthy again
- Maria Kowalska was a 21-year-old nurse during the Second World War Battle of Monte Cassino
- She met Waclaw Domagala, a teenage soldier with his leg amputated
- Mr. Domagala, 94, said he was the & # 39; angel & # 39; had never forgotten who made him healthy again
- The couple was reunited almost 75 years later in a care home in Newton Abbott
The last time they met was in a hospital in war-torn Italy in 1944.
Maria Kowalska was a 21-year-old nurse and Waclaw Domagala was a teenage soldier with his leg amputated after fighting in the Battle of Monte Cassino.
The Polish couple were reunited in a care home in England almost 75 years later when Mr. Domagala called her: & # 39; Good morning, sister. & # 39;
Domagala, now 94, said he was the & # 39; angel & # 39; who cared for him never forgot after he was wounded in the battle that caused more than 55,000 allied victims and 20,000 Germans.
A Polish nurse (Maria Kowalska, left) and a wounded solder (Waclaw Domagala, right), who she took care of during World War II, were reunited in a care home in the UK almost 75 years later. Mr. Domagala, now 94, said he was the & # 39; angel & # 39; who cared for him never forgot after he was wounded in the battle that caused more than 55,000 allied victims and 20,000 German
Nearly 50,000 Polish troops participated in the Allied push to reach Rome and many were killed. Many survivors settled in the UK after the war. Domagala and Mrs. Kowalska, now 96, live in a care home near Newton Abbot, Devon, for former members of Polish troops who served under British command.
They were reunited in 2017 and live a few rooms apart.
Mrs. Kowalska said: & # 39; No one had called me sister for a long time, and I thought, "My god! Who is that?" It was only my second day at home and I did not expect something like that to happen. I didn't recognize him at first, but then he started talking about Monte Cassino and his surgery.
Dementia patient Mr Domagala has signed up to fight after his 16th birthday. He spent five years in the nursing home after settling in Bristol and working as an orthopedic engineer
After the war, Mrs. Kowalska settled in Wiltshire and founded a family. She keeps her British Army and Polish Hospital Identity Cards at home, locally known as & # 39; Little Poland & # 39;
& # 39; It was incredible to see him after all this time. There were so many serious injuries to so many young men and we worked around the clock. I took care of the ward where they recovered, but would also help in the theater when there were casualties.
& # 39; I remember him because it was so sad to see a young man lose a leg. He was only 19. I knew he survived and was sent to Scotland to recover, but that was it. & # 39;
Mr. Domagala said: & I knew it was her when I saw her. She was one of the nurses who helped me and I am so grateful to all of them. How could I forget her? & # 39;
After the war, Mrs. Kowalska settled in Wiltshire and founded a family. She keeps her identity cards for the British army and Polish hospital, known locally as & # 39; Little Poland & # 39 ;.
British soldiers choose their way through the ruins after the German capitulation in the Battle of Monte Cassino as part of the Italian campaign
Dementia patient Mr Domagala has signed up to fight after his 16th birthday. He was at home for five years after settling in Bristol and working as an orthopedic engineer.
He moved to the Ilford Park house in 2015. Clare Thomas, manager of the Devon house, said: & Winston Churchill stood up in parliament to say that the nation was to blame for the Polish people.
& # 39; Many of our residents have gone through terrible times during World War II and it is good that we are taking care of them here now. & # 39;
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