THE BANNER OF THE 18. LVOV RIFLEMEN BATTALION (Sztandar 18. Lwowskiego Batalionu Strzelcow)
The banner of the 18. Lvov Riflemen Battalion (18. LRB) was one of few handed in after the end of the war yet still before dissolution of the Polish Armed Forces in the West. Then the 5th Kresowa Infantry Division, commanded by General Nikodem Sulik, quartered in northern Italy and the 18. LRB in Predappio. In October 1944, in the pursuit after the enemy, the 18. LRB captured this defended by German soldiers town. As a token of gratitude for liberation from occupation, the inhabitants of Predappio decided to honour the 18. LRB by founding a banner and handing it over to the battalion. After due settlements, commandant of the battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Aleksander Florkowski, applied to commandant of the 2. Polish Corps for the permission to accept the banner from the Italians. The ceremony of the deliverance of the banner, in which General Wladyslaw Anders participated, took place in Predappio on the Division's Day - 15 September 1946. On return to England and demobilization of the Polish Armed Forces in the West, the banner of the 18. LRB was transferred to the Polish Institute and General Sikorski Museum in London. The banner was conded to the care of the Board of the 18. LRB Departmental Circle. In 1947 there was an initiative to decorate the banner with the Cross of the Virtuti Militari (Class V), however, its conferment took place only in 1968, during the term of President of Poland within the Polish Government in Exile - August Zaleski. Yet emigrational quarrels and controversies were not to be avoided. Finally the banner was decorated on 1 October 1972.
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