The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1994Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Mr Major’s Speech at Wreath-Laying Ceremony in Warsaw – 1 August 1994

Below is the transcript of Mr Major’s speech at a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of the Liberator Stone in Skaryszdwski Park in Warsaw, on Monday 1st August 1994.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a privilege to be with you this afternoon and to have had the opportunity of laying this wreath. It is a wreath in honour of all the air crew who lost or risked their lives to bring help to the heroic people of Warsaw during that terrible time in 1944. 1944 is especially remembered but of course the help spread through so much of the war.

We stand this afternoon on the spot where a Liberator aircraft was brought down; British, Canadian and South African airmen died on that occasion. This afternoon we are here especially to remember them and we rejoice that the only living survivor of that crash is with us here today; he is here together with comrades from the air drop, veterans from Poland and from allies and Commonwealth countries.

We look back over a space of fifty years to those remarkable events. As we do so, we owe it to the dead to continue the task of building a Europe in which peace and stability will take root and will remain with us for ever. I have but one simple message on this occasion and that is that Poland and Britain can join together in that task of providing peace in the future.

It is my privilege to be your guest to lay this wreath today. It is the privilege of all of us here to be here today in freedom because of what was done by the men who died in that Liberator and so many others besides. Let us therefore remember them not just in the short term but for ever and I am delighted to be but a small part of that remembrance on this occasion and thank you for being here.