The Maid of Warsaw
In 1939 the 2nd Polish Corps joined the 8th Army and was tasked with the final assault on Monte Casino, a formidable position, Just before the attack the Polish were informed by their Corps commander (General Anders) that Britain could no longer Guarantee the integrity and freedom of Poland, Britain had declared War on Hitler's Germany!.
General Anders was offered to withdraw his troops from further operation in light of Britain's new stance, He refused and the 2nd Polish Corps captured Monte Casino, They continued to fight right up to the end of the campaign in 1945, and you will find today many Polish soldiers in Allied cemeteries in Italy.
The 7th Hussars were detached from the 7th Armored Brigade in Italy to join General Anders and fight alongside his 2nd Polish Corps, their first objective together was to secure the strategic port of "Ancona", two day of hard attritional fighting took place before Ancona fell in all the Germans had in the region of 800 Killed, and over 2000 wounded while we took over 800 prisoners.
The 7th along with their Polish Comrades moved on from Ancona to the Gothic Line and fought side by side until in September 1944 the 7th were again re-tasked and bade farewell to their Polish allies. On October the 10th 1944 the Fine service that the 7th Hussars had given whilst fighting along side the 2nd Polish Corps was recognized and the Commanding Officer Lt-Col R F G Jane received the following Communication from the Corps Commander:
With the approval of Lt-Gen Sir Oliver Leese, Commander of the Eighth Army, my Corps order No. 117 dated 9th October, 1944, confers on your regiment the authority for wearing the Polish Corps sign in commemoration of your regiments distinguished services shoulder to shoulder with the 2nd Polish Corps. In accordance with your wishes i shall forward two plaques as soon as they are completed, to be placed in both the Officers and Sergeants Messes.
I once more wish to thank you most fervently for the magnificent work of your regiment. From june to August, 1944, you played your part in the battles on the Adriatic Coast in an exemplary manner true to the highest tradition of your fine regiment and the British Army.
Your Work and co-operation in many operations, notably those for Monte Torto, Monte la Croce, Monterado and Cerasa will live as fine examples of Heroism and successful action under difficult and trying circumstances.
( Signed ) W. Anders, Lt Gen.
During their period of fighting together with the Polish Corps, their regard was held so high that in one eye witness account at a Field Dressing Station, it is said that whenever a Soldier of the 7th were bought in they were taken at the insistence of both Staff and Polish casualties to the front of the queue to be treated first.
The tradition of wearing the Maid of Warsaw on the service dress was continued with the Queen's Own Hussars and still exists in today's regiment The Queen's Royal Hussars. Every member of the Regiment wears the distinctive scarlet and silver crest of the City of Warsaw on his left sleeve in recognition of their valour in support of the Polish Forces during the Italian Campaign in World War 2.