A POLISH community leader was presented with an original scarf of the kind worn by a Polish fighter pilots who risked their lives in defence of Britain during World War Two.

Tomasz Wisniewski, founder of the Worcestershire Polish Association, said it was an honour to be presented with the rare gift by historical re-enactor Clive Williams who keeps the memory of their courage alive.

Mr Williams, a long-standing friend of Polish veterans, visited Mr Wisniewski's Worcester home where they looked at artefacts regarding 307 Squadron. The squadron, also known as the 'Polish Night Fighter Squadron' and 'the Eagle Owls', played a pivotal role in defending Britain during the war.

Mr Wisniewski was honoured to receive the scarf which he described as 'a unique gift that I will always treasure'.

The scarf bears the insignia of an Eagle Owl under a crescent moon clutching a bottle of Moet Champagne, the unofficial badge of 307 squadron.

The men first met at the inaugural Polish Heritage Day in Worcester in May when Mr Williams arrived at Peter Sikora's lecture on Poles in the Battle of Britain wearing full 307 Squadron uniform.

"Since that day we have corresponded regularly. He is very proud of the history and heritage that Poland and Britain share.

"He told me this is a debt we owe but can never repay to Poland," said Mr Wisniewski.

Mr Williams had been interested in bravery displayed by the Polish Air Force in exile since his childhood, portraying the part of a Radio Observer in 307 Squadron since the 1990s.

He ran a reenactment group called Wojsko Polskie and travelled around the UK promoting the history of the brave airmen and women of the Polish Air Force.

Mr Wisniewski said: "He told me that his love of the PAF had led him into collecting insignia and uniforms, and that is how he became a re-enactor, to bring the PAF to life again."

Mr Williams recreated replica insignia for PAF uniforms from photographs, supplying some to a Polish veteran who had removed the Polish insignia from his uniform while serving in the RAF.

Mr Wisniewski said: "He was going to visit Poland and wanted a pair of titles and bullion cap badge to take with him to donated to the museum. Clive was happy to gift these to him since they would be restoring his uniform to its former glory."

The late veteran pilot was one of the heroes of the PAF, Major Ludwik Steinke VM, KW of 307 Night Fighter Squadron.

Major Steinke was awarded the Virtuti Militari in the autumn of 1943, Poland's highest military decoration.

The pilot flew Beaufighters with 307 Squadron over the Bay of Biscay. Later, he became friends with Mr Williams who keeps a collection of his letters.

Ludwik was born in 1919 and spent his childhood in Chojnice, Poland.

He started flying gliders before the war, and when it came to do National Service, he joined the Air Force and learned to fly at Toruń, later serving in 42 Reconnaissance Squadron, flying Karas (light reconnaissance bomber/ reconnaissance aircraft).

He went on to pilot British aircraft, Fairey Battles and Hawker Hurricanes, was promoted to sergeant and served with the newly formed 307 Squadron throughout the war.

He shot down three enemy aircraft in one night in the autumn of 1943, for which he was awarded the VM.

After the war, he remained in the RAF with 25 Night Fighter Squadron at West Malling and became a flying instructor before retiring from the RAF in 1958 as a Flight Lieutenant.

In 1996 he was promoted to Captain by the President of the Republic of Poland. In 1998 he attended the celebration in Warsaw to commemorate the jubilee of the Polish Air Force.

Mr Wisniewski said: "As I talked with Clive, he told me how he became great friends with this true hero.

"He shared his treasured photographs with me of his good friend Ludwik, a very humble and proud man."

Mr Williams received an original scarf with the Eagle Owl badge from Mr Steinke, had it reproduced and visited the former airman at his home where he presented him with the original, and replica.

"He told me this brought tears of joy to Ludwik's eyes. He was speechless" said Mr Wisniewski.