The contribution of Polish airmen during the Second World War will be recognised at a special event.

The lunch and talk at the Polish Community Centre in Little Horton, Bradford, on Monday, is being organised by the Bradford Polish Veterans Association.

The gathering will hear from two local men who campaigned for a memorial to be erected to seven Polish airmen who died when their plane crashed near Skipton in 1943.

On September 23, 1943, a Wellington bomber took off from Skipton for a routine training mission.

Shortly afterwards, the plane crashed on the banks of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal at Bradley. None of the Polish crew survived.

Five of the crew were novices but the pilot, Flt Sgt Fraciszek, had flown seven missions. The navigator, Instructor Lieutenant Jozef Wolnik, had completed 46 missions over enemy territory and had been awarded Poland’s highest military decoration, the Virtuti Militari.

The memorial unveling on April 22 last year was attended by representatives of the Polish Air Force and the RAF, as well as Josephine Stebbing, the widow of Lieutenant Wolnik.

Now, 65 years after the fatal crash, the Bradford Polish Veterans’ Association is to remember those who died and receive a talk from the two men who played an integral role in having the memorial erected.

Peter Whitaker, of Cross Hills, near Skipton, and Jim Hartley, of Bradley, came up with the idea and carried out painstaking research, finally seeing their dream come to fruition.

On Monday the two men are to be guest speakers at the event organised by Romana Pizon, of the Polish Veterans’ Association.

Mrs Pizon said: “This year is a special year for Polish people in Bradford and Great Britain as we are celebrating 60 years of residency here with various initiatives.

“After 60 years the Polish veterans take part in many wider community events including memorial services and commemoration events and our members represent the Polish community at RAF events across the UK.

“Our latest venture put us in contact with Mr Hartley and Mr Whitaker. Thanks to these gentlemen, seven of our Polish pilots who died in very tragic circumstances have been remembered with a fitting memorial erected in their memory.

“We have invited Mr Hartley and Mr Whitaker to our monthly luncheon to talk about their work in having the memorial established.”