A Yorkshire charity has published the first book to tell the story of the amazing contribution of Polish people to the UK over the last thousand years.

Poles in the UK: A Story of Friendship and Cooperation, which is published by The British Polonia Foundation (which has its headquarters in Otley), is a unique collaboration between a British and a Polish author. They have joined together to produce a comprehensive account of the many ways in which Polish people have helped the UK, in war and in peace time.

Co-author Brin Best said: “I began working on this book as I was shocked how few of my friends knew that over 100 Polish fighter pilots fought in the Battle  of Britain alongside their British counterparts. And the more research I did, the more connections I found between Polish people and the UK.”

Co-author Maria Zukowska said: “The story of Anglo-Polish cooperation over the ages is rich and fascinating, but often overlooked. As a Polish and a British citizen, I hope that this book introduces something new and positive, and helps to build bridges and deepen Polish-British ties.”

As well as dealing with the vital contribution that Polish people made to World War II, the book explains the many other historical contributions of Poles to the UK. It also includes interviews with, and contributions from, over 50 people living and working in the UK today – in diverse professions.

The authors will also be carrying out educational work in schools across Yorkshire as part of the project, with both Polish and British children.

More information about the project can be obtained by visiting the Facebook page Poles in the UK (www.facebook.com/polesinuk). The 248-page, full colour book is available now from Amazon and all good bookshops.