Monday, February 6, 2012

British Commonwealth soldiers

When the allied forces liberated The Netherlands in 1944-1945, many soldiers lost their lives in the low countries. If only you remember Operation Market Garden near Arnhem, the number of lives lost there adds up to almost 2,000. But also earlier during the war, there were casualties, in particular pilots of crashed aircraft. Among them were many British Commonwealth servicemen. Most have been buried here, usually close to the place where they paid the highest price. 
A gentleman by the name of Jan de Wilde decided to set up a website to honour these men. The website address is wargravessittard.org. Initially his intention was to mention British soldiers only, but it is now being extended both to other allies and to members of the Dutch resistance. If available a photograph of the tombstone is shown.
When I saw Jan's site for the first time, it struck me that British and other allied soldiers buried in Castricum (NH) were not mentioned. So I contacted Jan to find out whether he was interested in pictures of these graves. And of course he was. So along with many other cemetries, the Castricum Protestant Churchyard has now been added to his site. 
The part where our liberators have been buried, is being maintained by the Dutch Wargraves Commission (OGS).
Wargraves at the Castricum Protestant Churchyard
Together with thirteen unknown soldiers the following servicemen have been buried here:
F.D. Ayerst, Royal Air Force
J.A. Boyd, Royal Artillery
D.E. Burrin, Royal Navy
H. Donkin, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
A.J. Fitchett, Royal Air Force
M. Glass, Polish Forces
H.R. Glover, Royal Air Force
C.H. Hurle, Royal Air Force
J.A. Lamb, Royal New Zealand Air Force
T.D. Little, Royal Air Force
R.C. Mc Arthur, Royal Air Force
F.E. Mc Queen, Royal Canadian Air Force
M.P. Noble, Royal Air Force
C.E. Parkin, Royal Air Force
D.C. Scott, Royal Navy
J.B.H. Smith, Royal Australian Air Force
G.A. Smits, Koninklijke Marine
J.S. Smyth, Royal Air Force
G.C. Thompson, Royal Air Force
For more details, please see Jan's site.

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