GREATER POLAND UPRISING 1918-1919 - selection of biographies


Medical doctor, professor of Poznań University, sanitary inspector of Greater Poland Armies and titular brigadier general. Born on 23 March 1881 in Kozłowo (near Buk, in the former Grodzisk poviat), to the family of a forest district manager - Władysław, and Maria née Mojzykiewicz. He graduated from common school in Buk and then attended the G. Berger Gymnasium in Poznań. After passing the secondary school final exam, he took up practice in the H. Cegielski factory. He started his medical studies in 1903, initially in Greifswald, later on in Berlin and then Wűrzburg. On 14 April 1908 in Munich, he passed the state exam and obtained the diploma of a medical doctor. He worked in a surgery and orthopaedic clinic, and from August 1909 in the Berlin-Brandenburg Medical-Educational Centre for Invalids. He received his doctor’s degree at Leipzig university (3 June 1910). In 1911 he organised the orthopaedic technology section at the Universal Hygienic Exhibition in Dresden, and in September he settled in Poznań on a permanent basis, actively participating in the construction and organisation of the Poznań B.S. Gąsiorowski Orthopaedic Department (1 April 1913), of which he became the director and chief medical doctor. During World War I he was appointed head of the trauma ward of the 8th German fortress hospital, being at the same time the head of the 2nd surgical station of the main hospital in Poznań, as a mass mobilisation doctor with the rank of captain. At the same time the Prussian Ministry of War appointed him as the advisory orthopaedist-consultant of the 5th Army Corps. He managed the research centre on gunshot damage to peripheral nerves and obtained excellent results in their treatment. In November 1918, he joined the Worker and Soldier Council where he took up the duties of Sanitary Head. He founded the Polish Red Cross Society in Poznań and then at the request of the Medical Department of the Poznań Society of Friends of Learning, he proceeded with the organisation of courses for stretcher-bearers and nurses. He contributed to the retaining and securing of sanitary-medical materials, which were collected in great quantities in the Sanitary Storage and prepared for transport by the Germans. From 27 December he organised sanitary action in Poznań. On 4 January 1919, he was officially appointed chief medical doctor of the Greater Poland uprising. He personally commanded the sanitary units during the battles of Szubin and Zbąszyń and during the seizure of Ławica airport. In February 1919, he was appointed Sanitary Inspector for the formed Greater Poland Armies, with the competences of a division commander. He was directly subordinated to the commander-in-chief. By decree No. 84 (dated 6 May 1919) for the time of holding the relevant military post, the Commissariat of the Supreme People’s Council gave him the rank of second lieutenant general (presently the equivalent of brigadier general), medical doctor. In August, he became the Sanitary Inspector of the Greater Poland Front and after its liquidation he was transferred to the Eastern Front and took up the post of Sanitary Head of the 1st Army. He organised and supervised the work of hospitals and sanitary stations and coordinated the evacuation during the retreat of the 1st Army in May 1920. In July he received convalescent leave and returned to Poznań while still remaining at the disposal of the Supreme Command of the Polish Army. On 23 August he was granted the right to use the titular rank of brigadier general doctor. At the end of August, he returned to the Eastern Front again as commander of a volunteer sanitary company, which he himself had organised. On 9 October, he received the post of Sanitary Inspector for the Poznań and Pomerania Central Command. Because of his health condition, on 22 October 1921, he was transferred to the reserves. He returned to work at the B.S. Gąsiorowski Orthopaedic Department, and the Council of the Medical Faculty of the Poznań University entrusted him with clinical lectures regarding orthopaedics. In April 1922, he received his post-doctoral degree in this subject, and on 4 April 1923, he was appointed to the post of associate professor and head of the first University Orthopaedic Clinic in Poland, with its seat at the Gąsiorowski Hospital. He conducted lectures at the Physical Education Department and cooperated with the Society of Surgeons and Orthopaedists of Western Poland. In 1923, he became a member of the editing committee of ”Polski Przegląd Chirurgiczny” [Polish Surgical Review]. On his initiative, the Polish Society of Orthopaedists was founded in 1928, and he became its first president. He organised the first Congress of the Society in Poznań, initiated the publication of ”Chirurgia Narządu Ruchu i Ortopedia Polska” [Polish Motor Organ Surgery and Orthopaedics] and was its first editor-in-chief. He constructed callipers for the removal of subluxations in knee joints. He was also the founder and long-time president of the Singing Society “Echo”. He published over 30 scientific papers. Some very well-known doctors were his students: F. Raszeja, H. Cetkowski, M. Grobelski and W. Dega. In March 1928, he was elected as member of the Senate of the Republic of Poland for the Poznań District, representing the Non-partisan Bloc for Cooperation with the Government. He was the leader of the Regional Committee of the National-State Non-Partisan Bloc for Cooperation with the Government in Greater Poland. He was a member of the Association of Reserve Officers and president of the pro-government Provincial Board of the Federation of Polish Associations of Homeland Defence. He died in Warsaw on 8 March 1930, was buried in Poznań and since 1962, his remains have rested in the Cemetery for Distinguished Greater Poland Citizens on St. Adalbert's Hill. He received, among others? the Cross of Independence and the Cross of Valour (twice). He was married to Walentyna née Ślążyk and had three children - Izabela (1912), Jędrzej (1914) and Janina (1917).
E. Tomkowiak, Wierzejewski Ireneusz (1881-1930), (in:) Słownik biograficzny powstańców wielkopolskich 1918-1919, ed. A. Czubiński, B. Polak, Poznań 2002, pp. 397-399? E. Tomkowiak, Powstańcy Wielkopolscy. Biogramy uczestników Powstania Wielkopolskiego 1918-1919. ed. B. Polak, T. V, Poznań 2008, pp. 185-188.
Author of the entry
Eligiusz Tomkowiak