Today the 1st Polish Guard Lancers re-enactment group has grown considerably from it’s humble origins and now boasts two companies of about fifteen men each in Poland and the U.K. with a further company forming in France. It’s functions are to portray the regiment at events, battle re-enactments and ceremonies both in the U.K. and abroad. In December 2004 members of the unit were present in Paris to parade with other Napoleonic units through the city to the Emperor’s tomb at Les Invalides where the unit was presented alongside other units with a standard and Eagle in commemoration of the Distribution of Eagles ceremony in 1804.This was a highly prestigious event which will probably never again be repeated and those who attended were very proud and honoured to be involved.
On the 12th of September 2008 members from both companies visited Spain to commemorate the Charge of the regiment at Somosierra in 1808.
The unit is always looking for new recruits and would like to encourage Poles or others interested in Polish history in the U.K. or abroad to join its ranks. At present there are a number of members in the unit who speak good Polish and would welcome more Polish speakers to participate.
1st company, 1er escadron, UK
The 1st company is the senior company within the regiment and was created in 1993 by George Lubomski of Polish decent and supported by Jerry Lavender ex 17th/21st Lancers. The company originally formed part of the ‘Association Britanique de la Garde Imperiale’ commanded by the late Major Derek Mellard.
In its early days the 1st company took part with the ‘Association…’ in many events the most noteworthy being the annual ‘Euromilitaire’ show in Folkestone and Warwick Castle.
In 1995 the company presented itself for the first time in Europe during the anniversary celebrations at Waterloo, along with its brothers-in-arms the 2nd Regiment of Guard Lancers.
By 2001 the company travelled to Poland to build links with other Napoleonic re-enactment units who were just beginning to form and undertook extensive research of uniforms and equipment in the Polish Army Museum, Warsaw supported by Andrzej Ziółkowski, a dear friend who worked in the museum and who had a passion for the Napoleonic era and the Polish Army of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. With his support long lasting links were made with re-enactors willing to portray the Napoleonic era.
There followed several return trips Europe and Poland visiting the country home and resting place of Count. Vincent Korvin Krasiński at Opinogura, north-east of Warsaw where it met the current Count Krasiński, Ciechanow, as well as the battle commemorations of Waterloo / Plancenoit, Boulogne, Austerlitz, Pultusk, the commemoration of the Coronation of the Emperor and the commemoration of the Presentation of Eagles ceremony in Paris.
In the UK the company has taken part for many years in the Annual August Bank-Holiday event ‘Military Odyssey’ and has supported the Polish Community at various Polish Festivals, some held at Bletchley Park.
In 2008 it joined with it’s 2nd company to take part in the commemoration of the charge of the Polish Light-Horse at Somosierra, Spain, a most memorable and proud day for all who took part. During this event several officers and men were officially recognized for their dedication to the promotion of Polish history and culture with the award of the Polish Combatants and ex-servicemen’s medal.