|Physical description||Brass, Cotton, Ink, Linen|
|Date made||c 1939-45|
Second World War, 1939-1945
Red Cross armband : Staff Sergeant Officer Cadet Z Sobczak, 1 Polish Corps
White linen arm band with a red cotton cross sewn to the centre front. To the right of the cross is a blue circular stamp with illegible writing. The band is fastened with three brass press studs on the back. There is also lettering in brown ink along the bottom of the band which records the sevice number '722', the name 'Sobczak' and some partially obscured abbreviations which possibly refer to rank or unit.
This Red Cross armband was worn by Zenon Sobczak of Warsaw, Poland. He was called up from the Reserves to join the Polish Army on 1 September 1939. He took part in the defence of Warsaw during that month and was wounded in action on 25 September. From December 1939 until May 1940 he served with a Polish underground organisation until ordered to flee the country. He made his way to Beirut, Syria and reported to the Polish authorities there. He was placed under French Command from 10 June 1940. He served with 2 Machine Gun Company, 2 Rifle Regiment, Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade until the capitulation of the French. His unit was then transferred to British command. He took part in the fighting in North Africa, including the battles at Tobruk. He was wounded in action on 25 February 1942. In August 1942 he was posted to Luba Reconnaissance Squadron and sent to the United Kingdom. Later that year he was transferred to 10 Light Field Ambulance, 1 Armoured Division, 1 Polish Corps and in February 1943 joined the Field Dressing Station of 1 Armoured Division. From November 1943 until July 1946 Sobczak studied pharmacy in Edinburgh, Scotland. During his study he met a Scottish woman, Janet Mitchell Beatson, whom he married on 25 March 1944. On 19 September 1946 he joined the Polish Resettlement Corps and was discharged on 10 June 1947. On 13 December 1949 Zenon and Janet emigrated to Australia arriving in Melbourne aboard the 'Toscana' on 27 January 1950. Sobczak applied for Australian citizenship later that month, which was granted on 14 July 1952. On 3 July 1956 he changed his name by deed poll to Michael Mackay. The Mackays settled in Adelaide and had three children.