Saving from oblivion

saving from oblivion

More and more people want to know their roots or think about saving from oblivion. Unfortunately, this is a difficult and time-consuming job requiring knowledge of the languages of the partitioned countries, as well as Latin. Working in this profession can resemble detective work. Despite this, the satisfaction of finding ancestors and information about them is immense and far outweighs the effort expended. During the adventure of genealogy, we encounter a wide variety of issues. However, one of the greatest successes was finding the grave of a Polish Army soldier who died defending the Republic of Poland in September 1939. I’m talking about Aleksander Gliński.

How it all started…

We were contacted by Mr. Wieslaw Walaszek, who was looking for the grave of his mother-in-law’s father, Mrs. Renata Glińska-Janowitz. He gave us information about his place and date of birth and that he died in September, near Warsaw. This is the first time we have encountered this type of case. However, this does not mean that we did not take up the challenge. We began our search by looking through available databases, library catalogues and lists of soldiers who fought in the Defensive War of 1939. 

What I found…

Firstly, in the collections of the Jagiellonian Library I found a very valuable and interesting publication entitled The Book of Buried Polish Soldiers Fallen in World War II. This multi-volume work restored the memory of Polish soldiers who died defending their homeland. The work uses, among other things, archival materials from the Main Board of the Polish Red Cross, the Central Military Archive, the former Ministry of Spatial Planning and Construction, and the Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom Sites.

An entry has also been posted on Aleksander Gliński. By working closely with Mr. Walaszek, I confirmed that this was the person we were looking for. Our hero was killed on 24. 09. 1939 in Jelonki in Warsaw. He was buried in the Military Cemetery in Stare Babice. The remains of 340 soldiers were deposited in this necropolis, of which only 176 have been identified. This statistic is sad and tragic because the vast majority of them were laid to rest in a nameless grave.

Who was Aleksander Glinski…

Aleksander Glinski was a rifleman in the 360th Infantry Regiment. This unit was hastily formed from volunteers and reservists in September 1939. It consisted of 5 battalions with 3515 soldiers. Unfortunately, we did not manage to find out in which of the battalions Gliński fought. One of the main objectives of the regiment was the defense of Warsaw in the western section. 

The first commander was Lieutenant Colonel Jakub Witalis Chmura. However, he died on 12 September and was replaced by Lt Col Kazimierz Galiński. He died of wounds on 26 September, and the last superior of the unit was Lieutenant Colonel Tadeusz Wladyslaw Daniec. It is also worth mentioning that Janusz Kusociński, an outstanding Polish athlete, fought in the ranks of the 360th IR. We can only assume that our hero knew the Los Angeles Olympic gold medalist.

Grave of Aleksander Gliński at the Military Cemetery in Stare Babice. 
Wiesław Walaszek’s Photograpy.

Military Cemetery in Stare Babice

At the very end I decided to find the baptismal certificate of Aleksander Paweł Gliński. He was born on 25. 06. 1901 in Krąg, a village near Starogard Gdański, belonging to the Roman Catholic parish in Kokoszkowy. He was the son of Aleksander Gliński and Apolonia Stablewska. His godparents were Franciszek Konczyński and Anna Puff. Here is also information that Aleksander married Anastazja Brieske on 25. 08. 1930 in Tuchola.

Certificate of baptism of Aleksander Paweł Glińsk

The whole Your Roots In Poland team contributed to the fact that Mrs. Renata Glińska-Janowitz was able to light a candle on her father’s grave after 76 years of searching. We are proud of this success. This is yet another proof that determination and perseverance in the search made it possible to achieve the set goal.



Głowacki L., Obrona Warszawy i Modlina na tle kampanii wrześniowej 1939 r., Warszawa, 1985 r.
Księga pochowanych żołnierzy polskich poległych w II wojnie światowej. T. 1, Żołnierze września, A-M, wstęp i red. nauk. Edward Pawłowski.

Archival sources:

Archiwum Diecezjalne w Pelplinie, Akty metrykalne aktów urodzeń parafii Kokoszkowy, Księga nr 1040.

Family of Aleksander Paweł Gliński