TRIBUTE has been paid to Polish soldiers who fought in the Second World War with a Remembrance Service in Leominster.

Polish Vice-Consul Monika Rusiecka was among dignitaries at the third annual service in memory of Polish servicemen buried in the cemetery in Leominster, and the service was also attended by 93-year-old veteran Mario Filbrandt who fought at the Battle of Monte Cassino and now lives in Hereford.

Air Vice-Marshall Michael Smart, representing the Royal Air Force, gave a moving address on the importance of the Polish allies in the war against Nazism, and Leominster Air Training Cadets marched in uniform, and one cadet was stationed at each of the 12 Polish graves in the cemetery.

Civic dignitaries were also there to honour the Polish war veterans, among them the Mayor of Leominster, Councillor Jenny Bartlett accompanied by other town councillors and town clerk, as well as members of Herefordshire Council.

The service was conducted by Vicar of Leominster, the Rev Michael Kneen, and among those present was Andrew Raca, grandson of Jozef Folta who died in Leominster 70 years ago in 1948. His grave was only discovered earlier this year.

Leominster resident Joe Cocker welcomed everyone to the service and introduced Mr Filbrandt, who attended with a number of his relatives.

He was invited to lay a wreath on behalf of fellow veterans and the Leominster Area Polish Society. Six-year-old Kasia Dykes, who has one Polish and one English parent, assited Mr Filbrandt with the ceremony.

Mr Cocker spoke about progress in planning the restoration of the grave of General Stanislaw Kozicki, and explained that Leominster now has links with Skierniewice, the Polish town where he lived before the war.

In July, five more unmarked Polish graves were discovered in the cemetery dating from 1947 – 1948.