Vali bey Yadigarov (1897–1971) was a soldier of the Imperial Russian Army and officer of both the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, Polish Army in the Second Polish Republic and the Home Army. He served in different armed forces from 1916 until 1946, fighting in both World War I and World War II. In the interbellum Poland, he was promoted to commandant of the 7th Lublin Uhlan Regiment.
Jedigar was born on 31 October 1897 in the real estate of Tekeli, Tiflis Governorate, Russian Empire, in a noble Azerbaijani family. He attended a private gymnasium in Tiflis, graduating in 1915. After graduation, he briefly studied at Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, but changed his mind and joined Tiflis Cadet Corps, in 1916. Soon afterwards, together with Dagestan Cavalry Regiment, Jedigar was transported to the Eastern Front, to fight in the Brusilov Offensive. After its failure, Vali bey Yadigarov returned to Kiev, entering Kiev Artillery School. In late 1917 or early 1918, he went to his homeland, to serve in the army of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
Following the Red Army invasion of Azerbaijan, Vali bey Yadigarov continued fighting against the Bolshevik invaders until March 1921, when he left his homeland, and via Turkey and Romania left for Poland. In November 1922 he was officially accepted into the Polish Army, with the rank of the rittmeister.
In October 1924, Vali bey Yadigarov completed cavalry training for officers, at the Cavalry Training Center in Grudziądz, and in January 1925 he was sent to the 10th Mounted Rifles Regiment, stationed in Łańcut. His skills were appreciated by the military authorities, and the Azerbaijani soldier was quickly promoted. Furthermore, he was a protege of General Janusz Głuchowski, deputy minister of military affairs and commandant of the 7th Lublin Uhlan Regiment.
In June 1930, Vali bey Yadigarov completed the battalion commandant course at the Training Center in Rembertów. In 1932, he completed with distinction the Higher War School in Warsaw, and as a qualified officer, was sent to Baranowicze Cavalry Brigade. In 1934, he was promoted to major, and in 1936, was appointed commandant of the 7th Lublin Uhlan Regiment, stationed in Mińsk Mazowiecki.
In the 1930s, Vali bey Yadigarov became acquainted with several high-ranking officers of the Polish Army. As a result, he was supportive of the policies of the Sanacja regime (see also Piłsudski's colonels). Following personal request of Józef Piłsudski, he was an interpreter of a Turkish mission to Poland. After Piłsudski's death, bek Jedigar selected as one of the soldiers to stand guard over the open casket.
In late August 1939, Vali bey Yadigarov was a lecturer at the Cavalry Training Center in Grudziądz, and a contract officer in the Mazowiecka Cavalry Brigade. Following the Invasion of Poland, he joined the brigade as its chief of staff. Captured by the Germans as a POW, he was released due to his foreign ethnicity, and returned to Warsaw in August 1940.
After return to Warsaw, bek Jedigar immediately became involved in Polish resistance activities. He formed conspirational 7th Lublin Uhlan Regiment, and commanded it since August 1940 until July 1944. He was respected by the Home Army authorities, and as a personal friend of General Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski, was responsible for cavalry training.
In mid-July 1944, Bor-Komorowski ordered him to leave occupied Poland and escape to the West, to avoid Soviet captivity. Bek Jedigar, together with wife and daughter, went to Vienna, to return to Warsaw after the outbreak of Warsaw Uprising. Jedigar remained in occupied Poland until January 1945.
In mid-1945, Jedigar reached Italy, joining Polish II Corps. After some time, he left for Great Britain, and in 1949, together with the family, emigrated to Argentina. He was a very active member of different associations of Polish war veterans, and deputy chairman of Organization of Subjugated Nations Liberacion Europea.
Vali bey Yadigarov died of heart attack in Buenos Aires, on 13 December 1971. On 4 August 1990 his ashes were buried at Warsaw's Muslim Tatar Cemetery, during an official ceremony.
- Andrzej Krzysztof Kunert: Słownik biograficzny konspiracji warszawskiej 1939–1945 T.1. Warszawa: Instytut Wydawniczy PAX, 1987