Tony Sosna fought with the French Resistance during the Second World War before making Huddersfield his new home after deciding not to return to his native Poland.
Over the years he became a prolific letter writer to the Examiner and is thought to have submitted just short of 3,000 letters after penning his first one in 1958.
From 1943 he fought in the French Resistance as a radio operator. In June 1944 he took part in the Normandy fighting carrying out important and dangerous missions reporting the deployment of Hitler’s troops. He was wounded twice.
Ignacy (Tony) Sosna was born on New Year’s Day 1925 in Upper Silesia, Poland, on the border with Germany and remembers the first day of World War Two when the Germans invaded on September 1, 1939. He grew up in a patriotic family and after World War One his father took an active part in the Silesian Uprisings against German rule.
After World War II ended, between 1946 and 1948 Tony lived in the Cannon Hall military camp near Barnsley.
Following demobilisation he worked for many years in several industries including textiles and for geographical and cartographic companies preparing aerial maps. He spent most of his professional life as an accomplished photographer.
He married Carol in October 1965 and they enjoyed almost 50 years of happy married life together until her death in 2011. Tony was very close to his wife’s family, her sisters, their husbands and children and especially to his nephew, Timothy.
He had many interests, hiking in the mountains, photography, playing the mouth organ and writing to Polish and English newspapers especially regarding the contribution of Poles in the liberation and development of England.
Tony’s very last letter was published in the Examiner three days before his death praising the staff at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary who cared for him when he had a blood transfusion.
As a World War Two veteran he regularly represented Poles in many official celebrations including various Remembrance Day Celebrations and at the Huddersfield Town Hall.
He was an active member of the Polish Church in Huddersfield taking an energetic and dynamic role in the life of the parish.
Due to his beautiful, strong tenor singing voice, he often led the singing during church services and other church celebrations.
Despite his age and health issues, he had a very good memory, was very active and full of humour to the end.
He had eight siblings and is survived by two sisters. One is 83 years old, the other is 90 and both still live in Poland.
Tony’s funeral will be a Requiem Mass at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield, tomorrow (Tuesday, December 19) at 1.15pm followed by burial at Lockwood Cemetery.