Sandra Dick: True hero has no need for glamour

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The frocks, the glamour and the hairdos! The global singing sensation who, to everyone’s surprise, hit the occasional high note – quite an achievement these days for someone who makes their living from singing.

Weren’t the Oscars just so very well, Oscar-ish, full of back slapping and forced grins, over-excited celebrations, air punches and a political statement here and there?

Because if you’re going to make a stand for women’s rights, you might as well do it at a function where every woman in attendance has had her hair, figure and choice of dress dissected by bitchy women and gay men.

There were points during yesterday’s breakfast television news when threats to European peace, two politicians allegedly up to naughties and three schoolgirls running off to join Isis were secondary to a pretty young woman called Felicity Jones.

What an engima she was in her beaded puffball frock, alternating between worst dressed and best dressed depending on when you logged on to a certain London-based newspaper’s website.

The rich and beautiful in Chopard diamonds, gowns with enough sequins to sink Kate Winslett and the Titanic, Lady Gaga with her red Marigold gloves and Rita Ora minus her pants all kept Twitter alight and ignited the dreams of a starstruck generation for whom celebrity, wealth and looks are everything.

Back in Newington, Boleslaw Kozub was getting spruced up for his special moment.

No Oscar statuette for the 99-year-old, instead he was receiving the Gold Cross of Merit from the Polish consulate, his nation’s highest civilian honour, in recognition of his “extraordinary” services to his home country during the Second World War.

Mr Kozub has a story worthy of any Hollywood blockbuster, fleeing Poland as war broke out, he evaded capture for months as he made his way through Hungary, Yugoslavia and Italy. At one terrifying border crossing he hid under a pile of coal on a goods train to escape detection.

In Scotland he served in the 1st Polish Armoured Division and in June 1944 joined fellow heroes storming the beaches of Normandy.

From there he fought in the Battle of the Falaise Pocket, in which Nazi forces were trapped by the Allies. And in May 4, 1945, he and his fellow troops accepted the surrender of several German military units at Wilhelmshaven.

He might have been forgiven a bit of backslapping and high-fiving. Instead back at home he kept it all secret from his three children for years.

His generation of real-life action heroes didn’t tend to show off with glitzy red carpet displays and air kisses. Even if they certainly had more to shout about than most.

His daughter Denyse Kozub describes her father’s life as “like something you’d make a film about.”

Perhaps, let’s hope, someone will.