WWII hero robbed of savings and medals receives over £20,000 from kind-hearted fundraisers
Kind-hearted fundraisers have donated over £20,000 (PLN 114,000) to help a 100-year-old Polish war hero robbed in his home.
On 30th June, crooks posing as inspectors blagged their way into the London home of RAF veteran Jan Stangryciuk and his wife Jadwiga before making off with their savings, jewelry and WWII medals.
The couple had been saving the money so that they could visit family in Poland who they have not seen since the start of the pandemic.
Following the robbery, close friend George Byczyński decided to start a GoFundMe campaign, saying at the time: “We all owe a debt of gratitude to Jan and others like him who risked and gave so much during the war.’’
Following wide-spread media coverage in both Poland and the UK, communities from both countries came together to raise a whopping £22,460.
Posting an update on the fundraising page on July 30, stunned organizer Byczyński said: “We have now officially ended the fundraiser with over 1000 donors! It’s an incredible success of people of good will.
“Jan Stangryciuk was invited to Good Morning Britain, and numerous other media channels and newspapers spoke about this story. Our belief in humanity can be restored.
“We are now ensuring that Jan and Jadwiga have a good security system and a camera and they will be able to enjoy their summer holidays in Poland.”
He added: “There aren’t many of the WW2 heroes left, and we’ve proven that we know how to honour, thank them and make sure that they will be able to spend their lives in safety and dignity.
Arriving in the UK in 1942 at the age of 19, Mr Stangryciuk began training in a Wellington Bomber before being horrifically injured during a crash.
Spending months in hospital where after 20 operations he had his face reconstructed, he returning to flying in 1944-45 where he took part in 18 missions over Nazi Germany as a rear gunner in the No. 300 Land of Masovia Bomber Squadron.
He remained in London after the war and married his first wife, adopting her surname of Black. He left the RAF in 1948, spending the next 20 years working as a delivery driver.
After the incident both the Polish and British communities came together to raise funds for new security system at Mr and Mrs Stangryciuk’s house and their trip to Poland. The campaign ended last week. All 1005 donors managed to raise over 22 thousand pounds for the couple.
To read more about Mr Stangryciuk click here.