Julian Ignatius was born at Mlawa Ruska about 1825. Son of John David Brosch a grocer. [Mlawa Ruska is the place of birth on Julian's Census Return. It is possible that this should have read Mlawa Russia, then part of the occupied zone of Poland and now in the Ukraine. However there is a Mlawa some miles north of Lodz University and it would seem that that is the more likely place.
Little is known about his early childhood except that he was a vigorous healthy lad with a flair for learning. He was driven to school by sleigh in winter and was often chased by hungry wolves. One of his schoolboy exploits. At school the boys sold their old clothes to men who came to the school for that purpose, and mainly to obtain cash to spend at the "Tuck Shop" the boys would leave a watch in one of the pockets in order to get a good price for the old clothes, but before the buyer got very far, the boys would claim the supposed forgotten watch. This of course could not happen to the same person twice, but this did happen.
By 1848 Julian was studying Architecture at the University of Lodz and it was at this time that the Polish Insurrection against the Russian oppressors took place. Julian now about 23 left to join the Polish Lancers, with the gift of his own Siberian Pony from his parents. he fought in the Insurrection, was captured and imprisoned for months. While marching from prison to prison en-route to Siberia, Julian and others escaped, with the help of fellow Poles who had bribed the guards with whisky whilst collecting bread for the prison.
When escaping and sheltering at the home of a Polish Nobleman he was awakened in the early hours and informed that his captors were at his heels. He hid until dawn, up to his neck in the water of a lake in the grounds partly hidden by bush. This experience led to a chest complaint for the rest of his life. He eventually escaped into Germany where he stayed for about two years.
He spoke both French and German, but about that time in 1850 there were quite a number of Polish Refugees in Nottingham and I believe they had a Refugee Relief Fund in the town, but nevertheless quite a lot of Poles were settling in Nottingham and at that time a Hungarian Statesman, Alexander Kaasuth was espousing the cause of oppressed Poland in various cities up and down the United Kingdom and Julian sustained himself by travelling with him selling programmes, returning to Nottingham. His allowance from his relatives in Poland had ceased, he had no real job, no trade, and was going without real food in order to pay for his lodgings.
In those days, the exiled Poles usually met in the Flying Horse Hotel in the centre of Nottingham that remains to this day.
A Polish friend found Julian a job learning French Polishing which at that particular time was the most popular finish for wood that had ever been produced,
Julian began work at Alderman John Jelley's a local builder etc. at his workshop near the Arboretum.
He was a good worker, well liked and conscientious although he spoke French and German his English was not good, but his work was excellent, which prompted his workmates to tell him YOU - ASK - FOR -MORE - MONEY -JULIAN !! which he did in his broken English and Got.
By this time Julian had made many friends, even his boss John Jelley allowed him to bring his own work into his boss's own workshop. Whilst at a friends house he saw a photograph of a girl about his own age, an Irish girl and needless to say a Catholic whom he eventually married. [Basil Brosch 1977]