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General Sikorski was one of the great Polish heroes. After the German invasion of Poland, he became the Prime Minister of a new Polish Government in exile, and also Commander in Chief of the Polish Armed Forces, which fought with the Allies by land, sea and air throughout the Second World War. But he also personally directed Poland's internal resistance movement against the German occupying army in Poland itself. He was thus Political leader, military leader and resistance leader, all at the same time. He was the personal embodiment of the whole Polish Nation's fight for survival as a free nation and as a people, and liberation from the terrible oppression to which they had become subject. It is little wonder then that this man was so loved and respected by his people, and that they continue to revere and honour his memory to this day. As British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill said in his tribute to General Sikorski in the House of Commons, 'he was truly the symbol and embodiment of that spirit which has borne the Polish nation through the centuries.' General Sikorski was also very active in World politics at that time, attending many political conferences with the allies and was, indeed, one of the Architects of the United Nations. Churchill described his death as 'a most grievous loss to the cause of the United Nations.' And so it was as Commander in Chief of the Free Polish Forces that General Sikorski left England on 24th May 1943 onboard an RAF Liberator Aircraft bound for Cairo to visit Polish Troops fighting with the Allies in North Africa. On his return from Cairo, his Liberator aircraft touched down at Gibraltar, just as it had done on the way out to Cairo. General Sikorski was accompanied by his daughter Zofia, who was also Chief of the Polish Womens Auxiliary. The Party also included the Polish military Chief Of Staff and Chief of Operations, and their support staff. They arrived at Gibraltar on Saturday 3rd July at 6.37p.m. Their aircraft, the same Liberator, took off from Gibraltar airport at 11p.m. the next day, Sunday 4th July on the final leg of General Sikorskis return journey from Cairo to London. The aeroplane crashed seconds after take-off, just off the eastern end of the runway. General Sikorski, his daughter and all his party perished. General Sikorski's body lay in State for several days at the Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned on Main Street, until a Polish warship could reach Gibraltar to take it to the UK for burial. On arrival at the Cathedral entrance the street was crowded with Gibraltarian men (their wives, children and parents had been evacuated from Gibraltar during the war) who wanted to show their respect to this courageous Polish hero. The then Bishop of Gibraltar celebrated a requiem mass in the Cathedral before the mortal remains of General Sikorski and his party were transferred to the Polish destroyer 'Orkan'. General Sikorski was buried in Newark Cemetery in England. His grave became a shrine to free Poles throughout the world whose view was that the General's remains should never be returned to Poland while the country was under foreign domination. It was therefore not until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the liberation of Eastern Europe from Soviet domination that, in September 1993, his remains were disinterred and flown to Warsaw to be re-interred in a special crypt in Wawel Cathedral which lies inside the walls of the ancient castle, traditional burial place of Polish Kings.