A former Polish air force officer — believed to be the country's last surviving pilot from the Battle of Britain —and who spent his final years in Canada, was buried on Wednesday in a state ceremony.
Brig. Gen. Tadeusz Sawicz died Oct. 19 in Toronto at the age of 97 at the Copernicus Lodge on Roncesvalles Avenue.
His ashes were brought to Warsaw for burial at the historic Powazki military cemetery.
His wife, Jadwiga, and his daughter Anna, also came from Canada for the state funeral.
The ceremony for Sawicz opened with a Catholic Mass at the ornate armed forces' cathedral.
In attendance were Defence Ministry officials, Polish armed forces officers with army standards and troops from the RAF Queen's Color Squadron.
Poland's Deputy Defence Minister Czeslaw Mroczek said that Sawicz "wrote a beautiful page in the service of the motherland" and gave an example of "true patriotism." The national anthem was played and an army salute honoured Sawicz.
The British Ambassador Robin Barnett, speaking in Polish, praised Sawicz and Polish airmen who fought in Britain's defence during World War II.
The U.S. Embassy and Air Force sent a wreath.