Dr Wladyslaw Bednarowski, a Pole, studied Philosophy in the Jagiellonian University in Krakow prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. He escaped with the Polish Army at the start of the War, eventually arriving in Britain. At the end of the War, he obtained a post as Lecturer in the Aberdeen University Logic Department (later merged into the Philosophy Department, which is now part of the School of History, Divinity and Philosophy). He continued to teach and pursue research there, in due course being promoted to a Readership, and ultimately retiring in 1975. He stayed in Aberdeen until his death in November 2002, aged 94.
Having visited Poland on various occasions in his later years, Dr Bednarowski recognised the value there would be for Polish academics in being able to visit a British University, and formed the idea of providing money for this purpose. His idea was welcomed by members of the Aberdeen University Philosophy Department, and the Trust was instituted in 1999 by a small group, with money given by him.