Bindon Illustration presents a unique portfolio of art that captures the life of Władysław Gnyś as seen through the eyes of his son, Stefan. This photo-biography offers a personal and intimate look into the life of a military veteran, brought to life through breathtaking illustrations that tell the story of a man who lived through history.


by Stefan Gnyś

A selected portfolio of art for the photo-biography from the son of Wladek Gnyś
All images ~ pencil, digital black & white

Back Story:
I was a student in high school in the late 1970’s. Stefan was a teacher of geography and as a favourite instructor, I attended a few classes with him. In those early years I was pursuing my art interests, naturally, and in my last year of high school, Stefan commissioned me to do a painting of his father shooting down a Stuka dive bomber… unaware at that time that his dad was a WWII fighter pilot in the Polish Airforce. Stefan’s mother was in the process of writing a biography of her husband’s life story.and this is when I became fully aware of the momentous event of Sept 1, 1939. Władysław Gnyś witnessed the first fatal casualty of the war [his squadron commander Capt Wedwecky] just minutes into the invasion and then minutes later he himself became credited with the first kills of the German military shooting down two Dornier bombers. We kept in touch a little bit after my high school graduation in 1978. Some years later in late November 2012 a chance phone call from a ‘former geography’ teacher and a meeting in December led to this project.

Stefan was writing a sequal to ‘First Kill’ by Barbara Simmons Gnyś. As this book ‘First Kills’ was to be a photo-biography, I was asked to create some choice images, maybe just 5 or 6 for it. Well, the image count quickly grew to 10, then to 20… 30… ending at 48!


For more information on the history of Władysław Gnyś and the book ‘First Kills’, please visit’