Dr Yves Sojka (1920-2013)

MBChB Medicine 1950

Dr Yves SojkaThe University of Sheffield were saddened to hear of the passing of Dr Yves Sojka late in 2013. Yves was a long standing supporter of the Medical School at the University and attended the School’s 175th anniversary celebrations in 2004. We are very grateful to Dr Sojka’s family and friends for the donations made at his funeral towards Medical Research at the University.

We are grateful to his widow Mrs Madge Sojka who has written this short piece about his life.

Yves was half French and half Polish and after spending his early years in France, was educated at a military academy in Poland. He served in the Polish Mounted Artillery and was captured by the Germans in battle. En route by train to Germany, he jumped train and made his way to his home town to see his mother, before leaving the country to evade recapture. He then set off on a dangerous journey, skiing over the Carpathian mountains and travelling through several countries until he reaches Paris. There, he re-joined the Polish Forces and arrived in England at the Dunkirk evacuation. He was posted to Scotland. At that time he was 20 years old.
After many difficulties, he was able, while still in the army to enrol at the Polish School of Medicine in 1944, where he completed his first MB.

In 1945, this medical school was closed and he was accepted at the University of Sheffield. As his father was a prisoner of war in Germany and his Mother (who advised him not to return to Poland) was in Communist occupied Poland and therefore unable to help him, he was funded by his studies by a Paderewski scholarship, boosted by taking jobs in the vacations.

He was most warmly welcomed by his fellow students and made lifelong friends. He met his wife, Madge, at a Union dance in 1950 when he had just received his successful final exams results and they were married for 62 years until his death on November 22nd 2013 at the age of 93. Yves was always grateful to the University of Sheffield for helping him to achieve a useful and happy life as a GP.