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The exiled Polish soldiers who made Fraserburgh their home

New photography exhibition tells how hundreds of exiles made a new life in the north-east.

Hundreds of exiled Polish soldiers came to the north-east of Scotland during the Second World War but were never able to return home to their families.

Now an exhibition in Fraserburgh is revealing the previously untold stories of how they made the town their home.

Fragments That Remain features striking portraits of their descendants who still live in the coastal town.

The images were taken by photographer Jennie Milne who was researching her own family links with Poland when she discovered soldiers were based in the village of Cairnbulg.

Jennie said the families were delighted to discuss their Eastern European backgrounds.

Rita Sivewright's dad moved to the north-east after Germany invaded Poland.
Rita Sivewright's dad moved to the north-east after Germany invaded Poland. Jennie Milne

"Many people coming to see the exhibition know the people in the portraits but they had no idea about their background, so it's been quite a revelation," she said.

"In many cases their ancestors were young teenage boys wrenched from their homes into forced labour then made to fight in the German army. Many were then captured and sent to Britain."

Jennie has documented their moving stories through a large series of photographs.

The portraits include present-day family members with their relatives' photographs, identity cards and, in one case, a bible.

Ian Dyga's father Richard was posted to the town in 1945 after being held a prisoner of war. He opened a newsagent which still operates as a popular family business.

Ian Dyga's father Richard was posted to Fraserburgh in 1945
Ian Dyga's father Richard was posted to Fraserburgh in 1945 Jennie Milne

Rita Sivewright's dad also found himself hundreds of miles away in the remote north-east, where he settled and married her mum after meeting her at a dance in a local hall. She said she was very proud of her Polish heritage .

She said: "My dad came here as a young soldier, he couldn't go back after Germany invaded Poland.

"Well, he could have, but he would have been shot as a traitor. He never spoke about his parents or his brother or sister, it was as though there was nothing."

Jennie was inspired to create the exhibition after untangling her own family tree . Her search to uncover her mother's lost roots are also detailed in the exhibition.

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