Most of my documentation and personal signatures show me as J Anna - this is not an affectation. The initial J stands for Jadwiga - a beautiful Polish name which points to my heritage. I was given the name by my parents in deference to one of Poland's most famous saints, Jadwiga, Królowa Polski (Queen of Poland). Not to be confused with another royal Jadwiga Śląska (Silesia). Their (patron) saints days are celebrated on either the 15th or 16th of October and confusion reigns constantly - I have always celebrated my patron saint's day on 15th October.
This does not explain why I do not use the name on an everyday basis. All members of our family have two 'first' names (previously known as 'Christian' names) and a name of choice received at confirmation - mine is Maria.
Unfortunately, computers do not allow for a second name to be used as a first name, so I am constantly, even after all this years, greatly upset by the mispronounciation of this beautiful name. The first syllable, 'Jad', is not pronounced with a hard 'j' as in 'jag(uar)' for insances, but as in 'Yad' (Vashem). The second syllable, 'wig' is not pronounced as the English word for hair piece, but with a 'v' sound transposing the 'w' with the same strength as the 'vid' in the word video. The final 'a' is short and sharp and not as in 'ay'. If you choose to look at the video of the Polish tennis player you will hear her pronounce the name correctly.
Variations of the name are 'Edwige' (in French and which pronounciation I do like) and 'Hedwig' from the German also used as a name for Harry Potter's owl.
I thought that it would be appropriate to devote a page to women bearing the name of Jadwiga in my personal section.
I will start with our great-aunt:
A nun in the religious order of
1930s Polish Tennis Star - Jadwiga Jędrzejowska
Fabulous Portrait of JJ in 1933
A rare still of JJ playing at Wimbledon where she reached the Final in 1937
Born 15 October 1912 in Krakow / Died 28 February 1980 in Katowice / Married Alfred Gallert, 1947
Played under maiden name after marriage. Unlucky never to have won a major title. Her forehand was the biggest of her era. She remains the greatest ever Polish player,make or female.
Jędrzejowska reached the singles final of a Grand Slam tournament on three occasions, still a record for Polish tennis.
Wimbledon (1937): lost to Dorothy Round 6–2, 2–6, 7–5.
US Championships (1937): lost to Anita Lizana 6–4, 6–2.
French Championships (1939): lost to Simone Mathieu 6–3, 8–6.
In women's doubles, Jędrzejowska won the 1939 French Championships with Mathieu, defeating Alice Florian and Hella Kovac in the final 7–5, 7–5. Jędrzejowska's record in other Grand Slam women's doubles finals was as follows:
French Championships (1936): Jędrzejowska and Susan Noel lost to Mathieu and Billie Yorke 2–6, 6–4, 6–4.
US Championships (1938): Jędrzejowska and Mathieu lost to Alice Marble and Sarah Palfrey Cooke 6–8, 6–4, 6–3.
In the mixed doubles final at the 1947 French Championships, Jędrzejowska and Christian Caralulis lost to Eric Sturgess and Sheila Summers 6–0, 6–0.
At the age of 44, Jędrzejowska reached the women's doubles quarterfinals of the 1957 French Championships with partner Pilar Barril.
According to Wallis Myers and John Olliff of The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail, Jędrzejowska was ranked in the world top ten from 1936 through 1939 (no rankings issued from 1940 through 1945), reaching a career high of World No. 3 in those rankings in 1937.
Played the French 9 times from 1931 to 1948, making SF in 1937 and RU in 1939.
Played Wimbledon 10 times from 1931 to 1947. QF 1935,38-39, SF 36, RU in 1937.
Played US in 1937 (RU) and 1938 (QF).
All 21 slams she made the QF 4 times, SF twice, and twice RU.
As illustrated by Jan Matejko the endearing image I was brought up with whilst learning the history of Poland
Lithographic pint made by W. Walkiewicz according to painting of Wojciech Gerson. Edited for Art Associations in Lviv in 1876
Daughter of Polish national hero Marshał Józef Piłsudski - obituary
Jadwiga Piłsudska-Jaraczewska with officers during the war
Jadwiga Piłsudska-Jaraczewska (second from right) with other ATA pilots during the war
Images courtesy of The Daily Telegraph
Member of the Polish Resistance / Concentration Camp survivor
Page updated : 13th September 2016