THE search for her long-lost grandfather has led to Elly Spilberg to making a desperate appeal to Border Telegraph readers.

Mrs Spilberg has spent several years attempting to trace her father's biological father through various war records and interviews with living family members.

But the Polish soldier who her grandmother fell for in the autumn of 1942 remains a mystery.

Elly told us: "We have searched the Polish soldiers’ records at Sikorski House and I have questioned the few people in my family that are still in touch, and contacted all my likely DNA matches, but I am still none the wiser."

The Polish soldier was based in Kelso in the autumn of 1942 when romance blossomed with 19-year-old Janet Thomson from Heiton.

During 1942 a Polish tank brigade and a tank regiment were based in the market town.

Polish soldiers were also based in Galashiels, Melrose, Lauder, Earlston and Duns during 1942.

Many of the regiments were moved around the area as well as to other parts of Scotland the following year.

Janet married an English soldier, Vincent (Tom) Woolham, in the March of 1943 in Roxburgh Church.

And Elly's father was born four months later.

Tom brought Michael up as his own.

Elly added: "The family never spoke of it, and sadly my father died in a car accident in January 1968, when I was a baby.

"He was an only child.

"I would never have known a thing about his Polish father if my great-aunt, Janet’s older sister Isabella, hadn’t come to stay when I was a teenager.

"She told me about my grandmother and the Polish soldier, and I didn’t really process at the time, but I thought about a lot over the years, and last year I did a DNA test to see whether the story was true.

"The test confirmed that I am about one-quarter Eastern European. I am now 50 years old, and time is running out for me to find answers.

"I would like to appeal to your readers to see if anyone remembers anything about the Polish soldiers in Kelso."

If anyone has any details about the Polish soldiers who were in Kelso during the autumn of 1942 they can contact Elly on