GREATER POLAND UPRISING 1918-1919 - selection of biographies

JĘCZKOWIAK Józef Gabriel

JĘCZKOWIAK Józef Gabriel
Organiser of the underground resistance before the Greater Poland Uprising and captain in the Polish Army. Born on 31 January 1898 in Poznań, to the family of Jan - an official, and Anna née Wrońska. In Poznań, he graduated from common school and was admitted to St. Mary Magdalene Gymnasium. He obtained the diploma of a land reclamation technician and took up a job in the Pankall and Krenz land reclamation office. From May 1913, he belonged to the ”Wolves” patrol in the Piast scout group in Poznań. He was sentenced to one month of imprisonment for his participation in a patriotic demonstration at the monument of Adam Mickiewicz (20 July 1913). After turning the ”Piast” scout group into a troop he became a platoon officer and then a warrant officer. On 15 October 1914 he joined the underground militia ”Vulture”. On 10 May 1915 he was arrested by the Prussian police for the writing and distribution of anti-German poems, but as a consequence of the negative result of a search, he was released. On 8 May 1916, he was detained again. As the group leader of the 1st Boleslaw I the Brave Group he became additionally the group leader of the 2nd Casimir the Great Group. On 16 November 1916, he was drafted into the army and served as a telegrapher for the 3rd Reserve Battery of the 5th Heavy Artillery Regiment on Sołacz. On 16 March 1917 he was sent to the Western Front to France as an artillery observer for 30 naval artillery batteries and then as an illustrator to the 11th Infantry Division, and then, again to the 30th battery. On 30 October 1918 he deserted from the army and came back to Poznań, where he joined the Polish Military Organisation of the Prussian Partition. He took part in the forging of German military documents and ration cards and also in operations against German ammunition stores. On 5 November 1918, he was sent to Warsaw, under the name of Karl Schroeder, to organise the Poles who served there in the German garrison. He also gathered intelligence for the needs of the Polish Military Organisation? together with other soldiers of Polish nationality he contributed to the general slackness in the garrison, facilitating the disarming of Germans. He also called on the soldiers to return to their homes. On 10/11 November 1918, Poles occupied most of the facilities which had been in the hands of the Germans. Jęczkowiak participated in taking control of the headquarters at the Main Railway Station and the members of his group were involved in taking over the barracks and the Main Post Office. At the Main Railway Station, he set up a Recruitment Office for the Polish Army, which was moved to the post office building on 18 November (on Napoleon Square). He also held training for the academic legion. He maintained contacts with the Department for the Affairs of the former Prussian Partition of the Ministry of Military Affairs. On 1 December 1918 he returned to Poznań and from 5 December he was the commander of the interior guard whose task was to protect the sessions of the Partition’s Sejm of Poland. He gathered information about the size of the Poznań garrison and the overall sentiments prevailing in it. On 27 December 1918, he participated in events taking place on the streets of Poznań. In January 1919, he joined the W. Wierzejewski Scout Company, a subsequent company of the 1st Greater Poland Rifle Regiment, and in March he took part in the siege of Lviv, where, on 18 March, he was wounded. On 15 June 1919, he was assigned to the reserve battalion of his regiment and to the 2nd Field Aeronautic Company, as an instructor. On 18 June, he was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant and transferred to the Aeronautic School in Poznań, and on 23 July, to the Field Gendarmerie Command in Poznań. He served there until 15 December 1927 (in Poznań, Brest and Grodno). On 26 October 1919 he was promoted to second lieutenant and on 1 December 1920 - lieutenant. After being transferred to the reserves at his own request, he moved to Gdynia. He was a municipal councillor, president and member of the board of many organisations. On 1 January 1938, he was promoted to the rank of reserve captain. In September 1939 he fought in the Pomerania Army in the region of Pomerania and in the battle of the Bzura River. He was wounded on 22 - 23 September 1939 in the Kampinos Forest and taken into German captivity. After liberation, he was the commander of a Polish-American guard company, then the commander of a gendarmerie company in the Polish Training Camp for guard troops in the American army (Mannheim-Kaferthal). From 1 June 1946 he served in the gendarmerie command of the 7th American Army. In May 1946, he returned to Poland as a military transport commandant. He worked in inspection bodies in Gdańsk and Gdynia, and later, in the years 1957-1964 in Szczecin and there he retired. He died on 14 February 1966 in Szczecin, where he was buried. He was awarded the Cross of Independence (previously the Medal of Independence), the Cross of Valour and the Golden Cross of Merit. From his marriage to Jadwiga Dybizbańska he had one daughter - Wanda (1923).
B. Polak, Jęczkowiak Józef Gabriel (1898-1966), (in:) Słownik biograficzny powstańców wielkopolskich 1918-1919, ed. A. Czubiński, B. Polak, Poznań 2002, pp. 138-139.
Author of the entry
Bogusław Polak