born 3 December 1928
died 9 January 2000
Krystina Drabinska was the daughter of a well-to-do hardware store owner in the centre of Warsaw, and attended a convent school for girls during World War II.
Without her parents’ knowledge she became a messenger for the Home Army (Resistance) during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, was caught and was sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp in September 1944 at the age of 16. There she worked as a slave labourer, making parts for the Nazi war machine.
After the liberation of Ravensbrück she was first at the displaced persons (DP) camp in Lübeck, where she met her future husband, and then in Bramsche, where she was under the protection of what appeared to be a very well-organised Polish community.
Josef Stanislaw Prochnicki (1922-1976) came from a Polish village close to the Russian border, and when the Soviet Army invaded eastern Poland in September 1939, he had been sent to a labour camp as a prisoner of war. When the Russians changed sides, he along with many others made his way to England to join the British Army, serving as a paratrooper. At the end of the War he became a military policeman with the occupying forces in Germany. There he met Krystina and they were married in Germany, later settling in Nottingham where there was a thriving Polish community. Neither wished to return to a Poland occupied by Russia.
Joe died tragically in a car accident at the age of 54 and later Krystina became a close companion of John William Garratt (1915-1981), who had served with the British Army during the War as a driver with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC), and to whom this plaque is also dedicated.