This project grew out of my own desire to trace my mother Elizabeth’s, background. She had been left as a tiny infant in a babies home in Devon during the war. Mum felt displaced all her life, not knowing who she truly was or where she belonged. We all need roots. I began my search in 2014, and have since managed to piece together some of the tiny fragments of information that remained, connecting me to Poland and the Jewish community. My grandparents backgrounds were diverse and yet they bridged the gap. My hope is that this work will do the same for others- we all have a story and a history. Each one has value.
in the garden of Loxtor Wrey, Lustleigh, Devon 1950
Loxtor Wrey, Lustleigh
Helena Lis M.O.D. record.
My grandmother, Helena nee Rothenberg
at our grandmothers grave
Helena’s former next door neighbour
Janusz Ral, Polish Military Historian
Janusz Ral helped me locate and translate many of my grandparents (particularly my grandfathers) records.
Vice President programming at JewishGen, Co founder and Board Member of Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Jewish expert (Q&A) WDYTYA Magazine.
Holding a portrait of our father Derek Workman.
Oldest grandchild of Stanislaw and Helena Lis
Searching the face of his father
Portrait of a son
Seth Milne with his grandfathers image
From Generation to Generation - Survivors
As part of the investigation into my mothers background I was honoured to meet and photograph Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, Adam and Alicia Adams.
I also met with a friend of my grandmothers, Teresa Somkowicz, who survived deportation to Khazakstan as a child.
Finally I visited 99 year old Polish WW2 veteran Stanislaw Zawerbny (Stanley Young) in Edinburgh. .
These elderly survivors welcomed me into their hearts and homes, sharing their life stories with me. Words cannot express my gratitude to each of them, and to their children, who facilitated my visits.
Adam Adams (Izrael Natan Melamed) is from Lublin, Poland, and was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust.
Alicia Melamed Adams
Alicia Melamed Adams (nee Goldschlag) lived in Drohobycz, Poland prior to WW2 and was the only member of her immediate family to survive the Holocaust.
Charles is the son of Adam and Alicia Adams.
Teresa lived near Lwow, Poland before WW2. She was deported to Khazakstan by the Russians.
Krystyna is the daughter of Teresa Somkwicz. She is seen here with a photograph of her mother and my grandmother in 1964
Stanislaw Zawerbny (Stanley Young) lived near Lwow, Poland before the war. He was a soldier in the Polish Army under British command, and lives in Edinburgh. He is now 99 years old.