Colonel Dr Bolesław Zawalicz-Mowiński (1903–1993), pseudonym “Zawalicz”, “Gończ”, “Witold”, “Stef” and “Dyrektor”.
I. The interwar period
Bolesław Zawalicz-Mowiński was born on 5 June 1903 in the small town of Skrzeszewo in the district of Kartuzy. He spent his childhood on his parents’ estate and they ensured that he was given a good education. He later became involved in the independence movement in his homeland within the framework of the Polish Military Organisation (Polska Organizacja Wojskowa, POW) in Włocławek, for which he was awarded the Independence Medal and the Badge of Honour of the Pomeranian Front. At the beginning of 1920, he joined the squadron of the First Krechowce Uhlan Regiment. He interrupted his military service in favour of completing his school-leaving examination. After graduating, he was drafted into the 25th Uhlan Regiment in whose ranks he took part in the Polish-Soviet War. As a result of the wounds he suffered there, he left his unit and returned home. For his involvement in the fighting, he was awarded the 1918–1920 War Medal – For the Defenders of Poland.
Once recovered, he decided to study agricultural sciences. In Poznań, he completed a one-year traineeship before continuing his studies in Königsberg and Bonn. After some time, he broke off his degree and was enlisted by the Polish army. In 1923, he was assigned to the mounted infantry regiment and then detached to the cavalry’s officer cadet training college in Suwałki. Upon completion of his training, he was promoted to officer cadet and became a platoon leader. In 1924, he was seconded to the Polish Army Reserve. Back in civilian life, he continued his degree, finally completing it in Königsberg in 1926. He then took over the management of the family’s estate. After two-year’s practical training, he presented his PhD thesis and was awarded the title of Doctor of Engineering in Agricultural Sciences. In the interim, he took part in reserve drills, which saw him promoted again to officer cadet sergeant and finally, in 1928, to the rank of officer – he became second lieutenant of the reserve.
In 1929, he decided to move away from Skrzeszewo, the town in which he was born, and move to Trzemeszno in the Mogilno district where he had acquired an estate. At his new place of residence, he got involved in social causes in farmers’ associations, in the Reserve Officers Association and in the Organisation for National Unification (Organizacja Zjednoczenia Narodowego, OZN) in Mogilno.
In the meantime, he had been promoted again and was now first lieutenant of the cavalry reserve. Notwithstanding this, he held the position of Municipal Commissioner of Trzemeszno from 1937 to 1938 and, what is more, in 1938 he ran for a parliamentary seat in the 5th parliamentary term of the Sejm as an independent candidate – farmer from District 99 Inowrocław. He also contributed to the editorial team of the weekly newspaper “Kosynier”, which was published within the confines of the municipality. He played an active role in the initiation of agricultural districts in the Greater Poland region and emerged as a “pioneer” of the Polish village. Also in 1938, he took part in the festivities of the Air and Gas Defence League (Liga Przeciwlotnicza i Przeciwgazowa, LOPP) in Trzemeszno, during which he organised a rally to remember the occupation of the Olsa region. At the beginning of 1939, he decided to resume active military service. After completing his training, he was promoted to captain of the cavalry reserve.