Ceremony to mark November Uprising and first Polish emigration to Portsmouth

Once of the entrances to Kingston Cemetery, in St Mary's Road. Picture: Google Street View
Once of the entrances to Kingston Cemetery, in St Mary's Road. Picture: Google Street View

COMMEMORATIONS this weekend will remember the efforts of those who fought during the November Uprising of 1830 – as well as their ties to Portsmouth.

The conflict, also dubbed the Polish–Russian War, saw more than 100,000 people from both sides killed or wounded after an armed rebellion began in partitioned Poland. 

Four years later, 212 Polish uprising soldiers were welcomed into Portsmouth when they sailed into the harbour on February 14, sheltering from a storm while travelling to the USA.

They embraced life in the city and went on to start Polish-English families in what is believed to be the first Polish emigration into Great Britain. 

Their relatives will be among those at the All Souls’ Day commemorations at the Polish November Uprising War Memorial at Kingston Cemetery, in New Road, Portsmouth, at 2pm on Sunday. 

The poignant fixture will also celebrate the centenary of Poland gaining independence. 

Portsmouth’s deputy Lord Mayor David Fuller, Hilsea councillor Frank Jonas, Polish veteran Lieutenant Colonel Otton Hulacki, figures from the D-Day Story museum, Polish schools in Portsmouth and Southampton and the Polish community will also attend.

Order of service for All Souls’ Day commemorations

2.15 – 2.25pm – Welcome

2.25 – 2.35pm – Introduction (information about the 1830 uprising and the centenary of Poland's independence)

2.35 – 2.45pm – Prayers: Father Marcin Drabik, parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Swithun parish, Portsmouth

2.45 – 2.50pm Speech – The Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr. Mr David Fuller

2.50 – 2.55pm Speech – Lt Colonel Otton Hulacki, veteran of the 2nd Polish Corps

2.55 – 3.05pm – Ceremonial laying of wreaths and lighting of candles

3.05 – 3.10pm – Singing of Polish and English national anthems

3.10 – 3.15pm – Thank you and invitation to group photograph/s

3.15pm – End of ceremony