'Joe's Bridge'-Memorial gone?

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Mark Hone, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    We paid a very interesting visit to the area of 'Joe's Bridge'. the start point of Operation 'Market Garden'. Unfortunately, we could find no trace of the Irish Guards' memorial on the north bank of the canal and it seemed to have been replaced by a slightly naff information board, only in Dutch, featuring a picture of a British paratrooper! Using a photo in my old edition of Holts' Market Garden guide we think that we identified the cobbled base of the memorial, now occupied by what appears to be an electrical junction-box.
     
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  2. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

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  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Mark

    One thing I have learned in a fairly long life it is that nothing is forever !

    I'm sure that other members can supply a pic of the original memorial so that we can see what it looked like.

    Ron
     
  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  5. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    The Dutch website photo I found and Paul Reed's website photo of the memorial are completely different. I'd be interested to know which is the correct one. One is in a field, the other is below the bridge. The wording on the signs appears identical.
     
  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi Rob

    Screen shot 2013-08-08 at 15.22.10.png

    It certainly looks like the original granite panel has been moved and placed within a new memorial base.

    Paul's is the one I recognise from other photos.

    Perhaps it has simply been moved for convenience of access?

    I really would like to see what that says, particularly if any ref has been left to the GAD or 30 Corps.
     
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  8. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    There seems to be a bit of confusion in the last post between the Liberation Route marker and the Irish Guards' memorial, which we failed to locate. The photos and map are of the Liberation Route marker. The information panel near the bridge on the north bank was a generic one, featuring a cartoon-like drawing of a German soldier and a British Para, which I have subsequently seen elsewhere, e.g. at Oosterbeek. I can heartily recommend the café near the bridge on the south side ('The Bridge Watcher'). Although the friendly waiter had only limited English he explained the history of the building and its role in the capture of 'Joe's Bridge' to us as we tucked into a very welcome bowl of home-made soup and delicious bread after a fairly hairy journey from Ieper.
     
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi Mark,

    Unfortunately at this time all I can go by is the link which Rob kindly located and which when 'zooming in' gives two markers on the map close to each other, one blue and one orange, one for the memorial and one for the Liberation Route marker.

    However, I've left a message with a good contact of mine who is involved with the IG battlefield/commemoration tour each year. Hopefully he can provide clarification.

    Thanks for bringing the matter up on the forum.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    The memorial on my website disappeared last year and has seemingly been replaced with the new one, which wasn't in place when I was last there earlier this year. Hopefully back there soon to update the site.
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  12. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    Photos of the current information board with 'Joe's Bridge' in the background and what we assumed (correctly) was the original base of the Irish Guards' memorial beside it. Compare with DBf's picture of the site a few years ago.
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    The bridge keeper's house on the south side of 'Joe's Bridge' today and in a pre-war photograph displayed in what is now the very nice 'Den Brugwachter' restaurant. We were slightly disappointed to learn that it was still the bridge keeper's house in September 1944 and not the cafe in which Captain R.D. Hutton had a drink after dismantling the explosive charges on the bridge!
     

    Attached Files:

  14. The Scorer

    The Scorer Active Member

    I visited the bridge during the week commencing 29th July, and the site of the memorial caused some confusion.

    The Irish Guards Memorial and the Liberation Route plaque have been moved to the other side of the canal. They are now off a track which runs from the main road towards the canal, very nearly opposite the restaurant. However, it's very easy to miss them, as from the road they don't really look as if they're monuments. The memorial is attached to a large stone and isn't visible as you look at it from the road.

    :)
     
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  15. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Thanks one and all for bringing to attention and getting this sorted -

    So
    the 'junction box' pictured in Then & Now images remains in its original location;

    the old IG memorial has been demolished, the original panel has been moved and tarted up in a new plinth (minus the badge which is apparently a target for souvenir hunters) and placed next to a Liberation Route marker, (location as per earlier link/attachments);

    and the original site now has a new (generic?) info board, in Dutch, in front of the junction box, which is about an operation which kicked off a week after the bridge was seized.

    Cheers
    Diane
     
  16. The Scorer

    The Scorer Active Member

    Just a few comments on your summary:

    So the 'junction box' pictured in Then & Now images remains in its original location:

    Yes.

    the old IG memorial has been demolished, the original panel has been moved and tarted up in a new plinth (minus the badge which is apparently a target for souvenir hunters) and placed next to a Liberation Route marker, (location as per earlier link/attachments);

    Yes.

    and the original site now has a new (generic?) info board, in Dutch, in front of the junction box, which is about an operation which kicked off a week after the bridge was seized.

    I'm not sure, as I only saw this area from the road.

    I hope this helps.

    :)
     
  17. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Cheers Scorer for acknowledgement; as Mark (the original poster) was there recently with his students and photographed it, I think that's the final box ticked too.

    This has all been reassuring as in general there aren't that many memorials 'on the ground' to IG - the one on The Bou was destroyed long ago, a replacement plaque having been dedicated in Tunis instead.
     
  18. The Scorer

    The Scorer Active Member

    No problems - if I knew how to, i'd post a photo .... !

    :)
     
  19. robmcroy

    robmcroy Junior Member

    Hello, I live not so far away from 'Joe's Bridge' and reading these posts I took these photograpfs last saturday to help solve the problem of the location of the memorial.
    Comming from Lommel (B) and driving into the direction of Valkenswaard (NL) you will find the IG memorial on the right hand of the road in a communal park with pond, just before the last turn to the bridge. It is easy to take pictures of the memorial together with the bridge in the background.
    Hope I could help.
    Greetz, RobMcRoy.

    Hereafter the links to the pics:

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1270887_10201444630351914_231399708_o.jpg

    https://scontent-a-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/1233339_10201444633391990_1966604177_n.jpg

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1277718_10201444634912028_439003692_o.jpg

    https://scontent-b-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/644056_10201444638352114_1664184058_n.jpg
     
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  20. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Thank you very much.
     

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