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Ida Skubiejska

Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
Born:
in 1945
Worked as a nurse in the Polish Army and married a Polish army officer who came to work in the UK
Mode of Arrival:

Ida was born in Bendzin, Poland to Polish parents. Her mother was a descendant of the famous Rabbi Eybuszys centuries before. Her paternal grandfather managed a big estate and the family lived in a large house. Her father had an economics degree. Her mother studied in Warsaw. They met and married in 1914 and settled in Cracow. Her father was taken Prisoner of War in WWI. After the war he became Director of Exports in the Institute of Foreign Trade in Warsaw and the family lived in Bendzin. Ida had a younger brother. She attended state school and then the University of Cracow (Jagiellonian) to study Geography, Zoology and Philosphy. She gained her degree after 5 years. She had a Liberal upbringing and never attended Shul. She received Hebrew lessons in the RI time at school. She would have gone on to take a PhD if war had not started. 

With the outbreak of war, she and her sister fled to Lvov, where they stayed for 1 year. Then they were taken to Siberia to the Tiger Woods. She was then given the opportunity to join the Polish army as a nurse and underwent training in the Southern Urals in Buzuluk. She was posted in 1941 to Juzar, South of Tashkent in Uzbekistan to a small hospital where people were dying everywhere. She was there for 7 months. She then was sent with a section of the Polish army to Krasnovots on the Caspian Sea in August 1941. They took a ship called Pahlevi with the British army to Iran and she stayed 1 year 2 months in Teheran in a small section of the British hospital reserved for Poles. There was an agency of the Palestine Jewish Community in Teheran and she was asked to accompany as a Red Cross nurse a number of c200 Polish children by ship to Palestine. They became known as the Teheran children. They took the Ascheinius ship, Oct-Nov 1943 and sailed though the Persian Gulf to Palestine. She worked in the Imperial Army Hospital looking after wounded Polish soldiers in Kfar Bilu for 8-9 months and then in May 1944 they were evacuated by train to Cairo, where they went sight seeing and by boat, the Rinchi, to England in the biggest convoy of ship to arrive in GB without 1 casualty. They stopped in Gibraltar on the way and celebrated D-Day. Ida was posted to Bridge of Earn to a small Polish section of a hospital and met and married her husband there, a Polish Catholic army officer, on 2 June 1945. She then worked in the recovery section of Carnoystie in Angus, North of Dundee. After she was demobbed they moved to London. Her husband worked for the Polish Embassy and Ida taught geography at Edmonton Technical College and at Shoreditch Technical College. Her husband later became an Accountant for Remploy. They decided they were too old to have children but were active in helping many people. Ida joined the Liberal synagogue, the Jewish Literary Society and the Council of Christians and Jews. After retirement they moved to Dalgetti Bay, Scotland and after her husband died she moved to Edinburgh. 

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@ Refugee Voices 2019