George Charles Malcher who died recently aged 86 years, was born in the upper Silesia region of Poland. He studied law and administration at the Jagiellonian University, Cracow and political systems at the School of Political Sciences, Cracow.
After the German-Polish campaign of 1939 he escaped from a POW field hospital in Poland. In 1940 he reached France, via Hungary and Jugoslavia, where he joined the rebuilt Polish Army of General Sikorski.
He often recounted the story of how he "bought" his wife, his childhood sweetheart Jadwiga who had been imprisoned for anti-Nazi activity. His bribe of 100 US Dollars to a guard secured her freedom, this George considered to have been an excellent bargain.
George Malcher's future career was decided at Dunkirk. All unnecessary baggage was being thrown overboard by the evacuating forces to make room for people in the boats. He stepped in to translate for some Polish soldiers, to explain the necessity of losing their possessions - and a British Officer promptly made him his translator on the spot.
After the fall of France he served until the end of the War with the Polish Armed Forces under British Command in Great Britain, North Africa and Italy, employed mainly on intelligence duties. After the War, he was prevented from returning to a Poland under Soviet domination and subsequently worked for over 30 years as a high-grade linguist in the British Civil Service.
In 1958 George Malcher was awarded the M.B.E. in recognition of his services to the U.K. Ministry of Defence.
The birth of Solidarity in Poland coinciding with his retirement provided new scope for involvement in the struggle for Poland's freedom. George Malcher was the author of two books about Poland under Communist rule; "Poland's Politicized Army" (ISBN 0-03-071736-1) was published in 1984 (Praeger, New York, U.S.A.) and "Blank Pages, Soviet Genocide Against the Polish People" (ISBN 1 897984 00 6) published in the UK in 1993 by Pyrford Press.
Outside of his interest in world affairs George Malcher was a man of varied pursuits, as diverse as organic gardening at his home in Hampshire and collecting Polish coal sculptures. His knowledge of wild mushrooms was encyclopaedic.
George Malcher will be missed by many but particularly by Jadwiga his wife of 54 years, their three children and four grandchildren.
George Charles Malcher M.B.E. (Jerzy Karol Malcher) born 11th July 1914 Silesia Poland, died 21st May 2001 Hampshire United Kingdom, aged 86 years.
"Blank Pages, Soviet Genocide Against the Polish People"
Illustration : Pastel portrait of George Charles Malcher M.B.E., by an unidentified fellow soldier, 1940
Copyright © A.& M. Malcher - this page created May 2001