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Awarding of the Crosses of Merit of the Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic

Today, Ambassador Libor Sečka and the Military Attaché Col. Jiří Niedoba awarded the Crosses of Merit of the Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic to three persons in the representation room of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London. All the awarded play a very significant role in caring for the legacy of the Czechoslovak Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. We consider Mrs. Gerry Manolas, Mr. George Scott and Mr. Tom Doležal to be partners and friends of our Embassy ​​and we congratulate them on receiving the military award that each of them deserved for many years of excellent cooperation.

Short biographies of the awarded:


Is a British citizen, granddaughter of the Czechoslovak WWII veteran Bohuslav Šulc. In 2018, Mrs Gerry Manolas became the member of the committee of the Free Czechoslovak Air Force Association, which first changed its name to Memorial Association for Free Czechoslovak Veterans (MAFCSV) with the aim of gradually merging all Czech-Slovak expatriate associations in Great Britain dedicated to in memory of Czechoslovak WWII veterans. On 28th September 2019 the Association of Czechoslovak Legionaries Abroad (ACLA) officially joined the MAFCSV. Currently, the MAFCSV covers the organization of annual commemorations at the following Czechoslovak memorials: at the Brookwood Military Cemetery, at Cholmondeley Castle Park and at the Fountain of Czechoslovak paratroopers who assassinated Heydrich at the Leamington Spa. In near future, the MAFCSV plans to ceremoniously erect a monument to Czech-Slovak freedom and democracy fighters in 1939-1945 and 1948-1989, to be placed in the National Memorial Arboretum (Lichfield, Staffordshire, UK), which houses memorials to the military and civilian casualties in modern British history. The association's websites and Facebook pages are: https://www.mafcsv.co.uk/ , https://www.facebook.com/mafcsv/.


Is a British citizen, son of the Czechoslovak WWII veteran Jiří Scott, (née Šnábl / Schnabl).  Dr. George Scott is an honorary member of the Memorial Association for Free Czechoslovak Veterans (MAFCSV) and a historian who previously worked as a volunteer at the Imperial War Museum in London. He was credited with discovering the forgotten story of the deposition of the remains of Cpt Karel Šeda from Manchester to the Czechoslovak cemetery in Brookwood in 1964, while no tombstone has been erected yet. On the initiative of Dr Scott, the public was acknowledged with the story of Cpt Karel Šeda and his new tombstone during a virtual commemorative event on 8th May 2020.


Is a British citizen, the son of the Czechoslovak WWII veteran Oldřich Doležal (commander of the plane that sank the German ship Alsterufer). Mr Tom Dolezal has made a lot of efforts to make survey and collection of information and documents related to the operational activities of members of the Czechoslovak Air Force operating in the RAF during WWII. He is the coordinating director of the Free Czechoslovak Air Force Associates Ltd responsible for the administration and publication of information on members of the Czechoslovak Squadrons fighting on the side of the Western Allies during the Second World War on the Internet portal https://fcafa.com/. He was appointed as a co-founder of this information portal, which is considered the largest source of information about Czechoslovak pilots operating abroad during the war. The portal makes a significant contribution to preserving the memory of the Czechoslovak Air Force and its members fighting abroad for future generations. The published findings as well as the association's archive are used by family members of Czechoslovak veterans as well as publicists and historians conducting a search for the activities of the Czechoslovak Air Force in the West during WWII. Furthermore, the latter greatly helps the Czech Defence Attaché Office in London to address the individual requirements of foreign citizens, as well as citizens of the Czech Republic in the field of information on specific Czechoslovak soldiers operating in the RAF. The web sites created and administered by Tom: www.fcafa.comwww.facebook.com/CzRAF, @FreeCzechAF.

Tom Dolezal received the Cross of Merit of the Czech Republic Minister of Defence, III. Degree in 2014. In today's ceremony, Tom received Cross of Merit of the Czech Republic Minister of Defence, II. Degree.


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