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Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands


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#1 ramacal

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:02 PM

I found these photos from Christmas Eve 2009. What an incredible act of respect to the fallen of WW2 at that time of year. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it.

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#2 Owen

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:07 PM

I do like that second pic.
Looks lovely.
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#3 TomTAS

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:12 PM

Hi Rob & Owen,

Me to...

Cheers
Tom

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#4 17thDYRCH

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:13 PM

Rob,

Great post. Thanks for sharing.
Our good friend Pieter F told me that every Christmas Eve, the local school children hold a candlelight vigil for the fallen Canadians.
The Dutch remember well the sacrifices paid by Canadian, British, Polish and American troops to liberate their country.

Cheers,
Randy
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#5 TomTAS

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:20 PM

Hi Randy,

They sure do I have the pleasure of saying they are some of the Best Friends I have...

Cheers
Tom
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#6 ramacal

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:25 PM

Top marks to the Dutch. I wonder why I have such a great affinity to them.;)

From this set on Flikr. There are a few more as there are too many to post.

CWGC Holten Canadian War Cemetery - a set on Flickr
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#7 17thDYRCH

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:39 PM

Hi Randy,

They sure do I have the pleasure of saying they are some of the Best Friends I have...

Cheers
Tom



Tom,
Roger that. Great nation and great people.

Randy
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#8 Rob Dickers

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 11:23 PM

Rob
Lovely to see the pictures, true respect,
especially as two of the lads from the regiment are at rest there.
RIP. Bdr Murphy & Gnr Derrick.
Cheers
Rob

Edited by Rob Dickers, 22 December 2010 - 12:30 AM.

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#9 ranville

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 12:14 AM

Many Thanks for the photos----very, very moving.


May i wish everybody on here a really Happy Christmas!:)

We're driving to Bruges for Christmas[carefully!] Will call in at Ypres to pay our respects at the Menin Gate on Christmas Morning.
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#10 canuck

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 12:17 AM

Rob,

Phenomenal pictures!!
Every dark cloud has a silver lining. As tough as the fighting was in Holland, Canadian soldiers, living and dead, have been honoured ever since by the Dutch. The level of respect and ongoing affection by those great people is very touching.
I'm sure that the gratitude shown over the past 65 years has been a source of pride to all veterans.
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” I spent my life trying to forget, only to find out by coming back here how important it is to remember”.

 

Ghislain Simard

Régiment de Maisonneuve

 


#11 Pieter F

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 08:24 AM

A great sight, but above all, it's a great gesture of honor to the fallen. I have spoken about this with Randy before, but I can not remember which topic this was so quickly.
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#12 englandphil

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 08:49 AM

Further Photos from 2005, 2007, 2008 & 2009 can be found here

Photo gallery : NVAFriends - Normandy Veterans Association - Normandy 1944 - Pilgrimages
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#13 Pieter F

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 12:53 PM

YouTube - Kaarsjes Canadese Begraafplaats

A video footage of last year's Christmas Eve.
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#14 ramacal

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 01:12 PM

Thanks Pieter. I've been keeping an eye out for something from last Xmas. Even more impressive when you see film footage and very moving.

Regards - Rob

Edited by ramacal, 10 January 2011 - 03:02 PM.

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#15 17thDYRCH

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 02:59 PM

Pieter

If I may add to Rob's words...a superb video. I am always mindful that the Dutch do not forget the sacrifices paid by Canadian troops.

Randy
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#16 spidge

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 03:29 PM

A great tradition of respect and gratitude.
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Spidge,


My project is the collection of over 11,400+ RAAF Headstone/Memorial photos located in 70 countries during WW2 and the 360+ from WW1. Can you assist? Do you know someone that can?
-------------------------------------------------------
My Signature photo is the Battalion history of WW2 and the patch of the 2/8th battalion. (Blood & Bandages)
My Avatar is my dad, Gunner Frederick Edwin Swallow "C" Company, 2/8th Battalion, 19th Brigade, 6th Division AIF. Critically wounded on the first attack on Tobruk, January 21st 1941.



 


#17 Pieter F

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 06:17 PM

This other video is even more impressive. Despite the sniffing of the nose on the background. But with that wind and snow, I can imagine it was a bit cold.

YouTube - Kaarsjes in de nacht
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#18 Pieter F

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 12:19 PM

I visited Holten war cemetery a fortnight ago. It's definitely one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the Netherlands. There are some interesting stories behind some of the graves.

 

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Craftsman Edward John Brewster and Private Winifred Lilian Brewster, both aged 20, are buried next to each other. They were husband and wife. Tragically, they were killed in a car crash on their wedding day, 15 April 1946. Nearly a year after VE-Day. Winifred Brewster is one of the few female allied casualties buried in the Netherlands.

 

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Private Gaele Visser (24) was the son of Rein Andries Visser and Janke Visser. He was born in Haskerhorne, Friesland, the Netherlands. They had emigrated to Canada before the war, but when Gaele learned his family was oppressed by the Germans, he joined the army. He hoped he would liberate his family one day, but was killed before the allied forces liberated Friesland.  

 

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Private Ralph Piercey is the youngest man buried in Holten. He used the passport of an older brother to enlist in the army.


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#19 Pieter F

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 12:28 PM

The men who are buried in graves III.A.15 and III.A.16 not only served in the same regiment (Royal 22e Regiment) and were killed on the same day (14 April 1945). They also have got the same surname (Laporte) and were from the same town (Montreal). They weren't brothers though, but I haven't found out yet if they were related in some way.


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#20 stolpi

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 01:33 PM

Thank you Pieter.

 

Holten is one of the more depressing cemeteries I know, because the victims all fell in the last weeks of the war, some even on the last day. The end was so close ...


Edited by stolpi, 25 September 2015 - 07:04 PM.

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#21 ramacal

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 02:18 PM

The men who are buried in graves III.A.15 and III.A.16 not only served in the same regiment (Royal 22e Regiment) and were killed on the same day (14 April 1945). They also have got the same surname (Laporte) and were from the same town (Montreal). They weren't brothers though, but I haven't found out yet if they were related in some way.

From Findagrave and the casualty lists of the Royal 22E Regt. Both from Montreal is the only link. Jean Roland & Roland Laporte

 

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Edited by ramacal, 25 September 2015 - 02:19 PM.

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#22 smdarby

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 06:10 PM

Excellent post Pieter - very interesting.

Just wondering, you say that Winifred Brewster is one of the few women casualties buried in The Netherlands. I visited Sittard War Cemetery a couple of months ago where Vivienne Hole is buried (who is probably the only ENSA casualty of WWII?). Do you know of any other women burials in NL?

Edited by smdarby, 25 September 2015 - 06:11 PM.

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#23 Pieter F

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Posted 27 September 2015 - 10:29 AM

Thanks for the replies and additions Stolpi, Ramacal and smdarby.

 

You are right Stolpi. There is even a considerable number - 209 - of casualties who were killed after hostilities ended. Trooper George Crawford being the last of them. He died on 26 October 1946.

 

Vivienne Hole and Winifred Brewster are buried in a Commonwealth war cemetery. There are also four women buried at the American cemetery in Margraten.


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#24 Rob Dickers

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Posted 27 September 2015 - 02:21 PM

The 10th Medium has three Gunners buried at Holten, all KIA in May1945.

I have had to explain to relatives of these men over the years why they were buried in a Canadian Cemetery.

 

Rob


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#25 stolpi

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Posted 27 September 2015 - 08:31 PM

You are right Stolpi. There is even a considerable number - 209 - of casualties who were killed after hostilities ended. Trooper George Crawford being the last of them. He died on 26 October 1946.

 

Pieter, I noticed that some headstones carried a later date than May 5th, 1945, but was unaware of the large amount: 209 out of 1393 burials. What were the causes of death of those who died after the end of the war ? 


Edited by stolpi, 28 September 2015 - 06:42 AM.

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#26 Pieter F

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 08:43 AM

Mostly soldiers who died of wounds, who were killed while clearing mines and in accidents.
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#27 smdarby

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 09:17 AM

Agreed - died of wounds, lots of unexploded ordnance still around, lots of vehicles, lots of people with weapons, plus of course in any large population there will be deaths due to illness and natural causes.

I found an interesting story for a post-war (British) casualty buried at Overloon. Maj Ronald L. Crouch DSO, MC (IV.A.8.), of the Royal Artillery, was shot dead by a Dutch sentry on 26/6/45. He was reportedly speeding in his car and refused to stop when the sentry took aim and killed him instantly. He was initially buried near Maastricht before being moved to Overloon.

There are quite a few post-war Canadian casualties buried at Groesbeek also, from what I can remember.

Edited by smdarby, 28 September 2015 - 09:22 AM.

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#28 Pieter F

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 07:40 AM

That's correct: 146.


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